California state law opening doors for transgender students receives governor’s signature

Jerry BrownA controversial bill surrounding transgender students’ rights in California received the governor’s signature, opening doors for a growing population of transgender youth.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the law, which allows transgender students to participate in school groups and use school facilities based on their gender identities, Monday. Introduced by state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), transgender students are now permitted to enter restrooms and locker rooms and play on respective sports teams based on their gender identity.

“Being accepted or not accepted at school makes all the difference in the world for these kids,” Shannon Minter, the legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told The San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s in terms of both their abilities to succeed in school in the short term and their long-term health and well-being.”

Though state law already prohibits discrimination based on students’ gender identity, the bill’s proponents say this new legislation will go the extra step in ensuring transgender students feel “comfortable and safe at school,” The Chronicle reported.

Opponents of the legislation worry students “now may be subjected to some very difficult situations and their parents to even more objectionable situations,” state Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) said. He continued, saying the law is “an extraordinary consequential piece of legislation.”

Nielsen’s fellow Republican senators fear other students may take advantage of the law to play on a sports team with members of the opposite sex, and the lawmakers called on the California Interscholastic Federation — the state’s governing body for high school sports — to determine what it would do in such instances.

However, those in favor of the law argue barring a transgender students from using the locker room aligning with his or her gender identity can create academic issues. For instance, preventing a student from joining a sports team because of his or her gender identity can lessen their involvement in school. And for students requiring access to a locker room, barriers pertaining to gender identity may prevent him or her from achieving credits needed to graduate.

Assembly Bill 1266 will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014, but several cities across the state have had policies in place regarding transgender students’ access for year. In San Francisco, transgender students have had access to locker rooms and restrooms of their gender identity since the 1990s.

And California isn’t the only state faced with affairs related to transgender students’ rights. An elementary school in Wisconsin sparked controversy after hosting a school spirit day called “Switch It Up Day,” in which students were encouraged to dress in garb typical of the opposite sex. And Colorado first grader Coy Mathis — born a boy — and her family won a landmark civil rights case after she was banned from using the girls’ restroom at her school.

Comments

Polititainment

Brazile says she brings 'realism' to TV
Democratic National Committee Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile is a real life actor who brings “realism” to your living room and she wants you to know it. The New York Times published a letter by Brazile Wednesday that was apparently in response to a NYT critic who dinged Valerie Jarrett’s recent appearance on “The Good Wife.” The […]
Stewart: How a bill becomes an ad

Jon Stewart observed Tuesday night that, although Congress doesn’t pass many laws these days, all those bills don’t go to waste—instead they are reborn into campaign ads slamming opponents for not voting on something.

Stewart wants to move 'home' to England

Jon Stewart is having second thoughts about the whole “American independence from Britain” thing.

Colbert: Obama is stealing Bush's lines

Colbert observed Monday night that some of Obama's recent comments on ISIS and Iraq seem a little familiar.

Liberal lobbying firm makes ‘Bibi-Yoncé’

If you’ve ever thought that the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reminded you a lot of a Beyoncé song, liberal Middle East lobbying group J Street has the internet campaign for you!

White House

Holder resigns with 26 percent approval rating, making him third least popular Obama cabinet member

Attorney General Eric Holder’s dismal 26 percent approval rating as he steps down from his duties still leaves him as only the third least popular Obama administration official to resign.

Barack Obama doesn’t celebrate National Coffee Day. He celebrates tee time.

Look. We get it. The president gave his coffee salute, The Semper Latte, just days ago, recent enough to use for National Coffee Day jokes from dusk 'til decaf. But aren't we missing an opportunity here?

U.S. Grants $450M to Community Colleges To Link Job Training To Employers
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden announced almost a half-billion dollars of grants Monday to community colleges working with employers on job training. Linking training to industry demand is key to the Obama administration’s strategy for improving wages and reducing unemployment. Massasoit Community College in Massachusetts and Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley Technical College received the […]
WH: Secret Service’s ‘task is incredible’
THE HILL – The White House said Sunday it remained confident in the Secret Service despite news that the agency didn’t realize for five days that bullets had hit the White House in a 2011 shooting incident. “I know the Secret Service is on top of this and they will take every necessary step to correct […]
Even hardcore left states don’t believe Obama is doing a good job
President Obama is facing more bad approval ratings, but this time they are coming from states that used to be his biggest fans. Just 39 percent of registered voters in New York responded to a new Marist College poll that they believed Obama was doing an “excellent” or “good” job. This is the lowest level […]

Congress

Lawmakers react to Secret Service resignation

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson tendered her resignation Wednesday in the wake of news of multiple security breaches and testimony before Congress this week.

John Boehner: Obamacare 'has to go'

In an interview with USA TODAY Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner affirmed that Obama's championed but disastrous Affordable Care Act "has to go."

McCain: Rand Paul 'trusts me' in military matters

McCain thinks he would wield a great deal of influence over a potential President Paul, “particularly on the military side of things.”

Rep introduces bill to ban porn on gov. computers
Most people wouldn’t think to browse porn at work, but then again, most people aren’t federal employees. Earlier this year it was discovered that one EPA official had been browsing pornography for two to six hours a day while at work and now Rep. Mark Meadows, (R-N.C.) has introduced a bill explicitly “prohibit[ing] the access […]
DWS repeated 'back of his hand' line
Apparently when Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz finds a phrase she likes she is going to repeat it, no matter how offensive. For the second time within the past month, footage of the DNC chairwoman has surfaced in which she accused a Republican governor of giving women “the back of his hand.” Republican Super […]