California Mandates Transgendered Access to Sports, Restrooms

by Sterling Beard

Students in California who identify as transgender may now choose which restrooms they will use and whether to join the boys’ or girls’ sports teams at public schools, thanks to a new law that Democratic governor Jerry Brown signed into law on Monday.

Schools across the state will now have to follow the lead of districts such as Los Angeles, which already allows students to participate in sports and choose restroom facilities based upon their “gender identity.”

According to a spokesman for the bill’s sponsor in the state assembly, San Francisco Democrat Tom Ammiano, California is the first state to enact a law mandating access for transgender students. The bill’s supporters have argued that it will help the “morale” of transgender students and reduce bullying and abuse, but opponents say the law is too vague and doesn’t specify how it should be implemented.

The bill’s signing comes on the heels of a settlement in a transgender-discrimination lawsuit last month between the Arcadia Unified School District in Southern California and a female middle-school student, identifying as male, who had been denied access to male restrooms and locker rooms. (Kevin Williamson wrote about the case and the broader issue for the most recent issue of NR.)

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