Conservative activists try to flush transgender bathroom bill

A conservative activist group aims to take down a bill that would protect transgender K-12 students.
Photo via Getty Images.

Yesterday a religious activist group announced it gathered enough signatures to place a statewide referendum of the newly signed “transgender bathroom” law on the ballot, potentially shooting down legislation meant to protect transgender students’ rights in public schools. 

AB 1266 was sponsored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and would allow students in K-12 California schools to use their chosen gender when engaging in traditionally sex-segregated school activities, using school bathrooms or showers, and when playing on sports teams. 

The law was originally slated to take effect in January 2014, but if the referendum is approved for the ballot, the law would be postponed until after the November vote. 

The Privacy for All Students coalition announced it reached 600,000 signatures to challenge the law through its Facebook page as well as website Christian News Wire. The group gathered about 100,000 more signatures than required, which is actually a fairly slim margin for signature-gathering efforts.

A video on the group’s website made a plea against the bill.

“A sixth grade boy can decide or think, maybe I’m a female… so I determine now to go in the girl’s locker room or bathroom, he doesn’t have to notify his parents, his teacher, or anyone,” Pastor Jack Hibbs of a Southern California church said in the video. “God forbid that on our watch we would expose our kids to such a terrible law. Sign the petition and pray.”


The video ginned up fear, saying the law would allow teenage boys to pretend to be transgendered to peep on young girls in bathrooms. 

Executive Director of the Equality California Institute John O’Connor told the Guardian the bathroom privacy issue was a distraction, but more than that, just wasn’t true to how teenagers behave. “There’s a pressure to conform. Kids don’t pretend to be gay, they don’t pretend to be transgender. It just doesn’t happen.” 

In a statement to the press, Ammiano questioned the motives of the group. 

“This effort is nothing but bullying at the ballot box and only makes sense as a way for these groups to raise more money by throwing fear into their supporters and misleading people about what the law does,” he said. 

O’Connor said that when listening to the arguments, it’s important to consider the source of the campaign. 

Indeed, according to the Privacy for All Students website their main adviser was Frank Schubert of Mission Public Affairs, LLC, which is the group that led the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign against marriage equality.

Mission LLC are professional haters, having fought seven battles against same-sex marriage in the past five years: Twice in Maine and once each in North Carolina, Washington, Minnesota, Maryland, and California. 

If the referendum is placed on the ballot Schubert would take over the campaign in full, according to the Privacy for All Students website.

The announcement came just three days after a Bay Area teen was charged with a hate crime for lighting a gender neutral teenager’s skirt on fire with a lighter on an Oakland bus. 

Richard Thomas, 16, was charged with aggravated mayhem, felony assault and hate crime enhancement after telling officers he set the victim on fire because he was “homophobic,” according to Reuters. 

The victim, 18 year old Sasha Fleischman, is still in stable condition at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and will require several surgeries to recover. 

The hate against his bill and the hate from the fire incident come from the same place, Ammiano said. “We need to stop hate, not encourage it with things like this misguided referendum.” 

The signatures must still be verified by the Secretary of State for the referendum to qualify for the ballot.




working to totally deplete the LGBT community's campaign coffers by narrowly ramming through the legislature bills like this one, which have a lot of support in 2-3 zip codes in SF but very little anywhere else.

While the bill's merits are fair the referendum is going to stir up a lot of unanswered questions the trans community has preferred to gloss over - like their absence from the battle over marriage (because transsexuals can already get married) and their active sabotage of bills like ENDA in the past because they were angry they weren't included. Oh yes - we're headed for a giant shit storm with this referendum.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 11, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

voting for gay marriage, if there were another ballot on that.

They are nowhere remotely close to accepting trans-anything, and may never be.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 6:59 am

Look up the recent polling on transgender rights. I think you'll be surprised. My hunch was that it might take a while longer for something like this to be accepted; my thinking was that more young people are in favor of transgender rights, so we just have to wait for the bigots will die off. But actually there's overwhelming support for transgender rights even now. I'm actually not certain that this bathroom bill will be overturned in a referendum. But even if it is, just getting that issue out there and discussed will move the debate forward. And it's safe to say that if you're "not remotely close to accepting transgender anything," as you put it, then you're actually in a tiny minority already.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 9:03 am

transgendered people in anything like the way they have recently accepted gays? I have seen no polls indicating it is anything other than a small minority, mostly located in those same two or three zip codes that Lucretia mentioned.

Your comment is anecdotal only and it is entirely possible that, as a far-left liberla, you just do not interact with the silent majority. Certainly my everyday encounters either are hostile to TG's or the topic doesn't come up at all (more likely).

Also, the US may not become more liberal as the "bigots die off" because people become more conservative as they get older. Those 20 year old liberals that you know may end up being 70 year old republicans.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 9:09 am

I suspect they are not that convincing when the source is revealed.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 9:18 am
Posted by Greg on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 11:30 am

How did I know that was going to be the case?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 11:38 am

Google "transgender rights poll" and you'll get a half dozen sources saying the same thing. Take your pick. They all say pretty much the same thing. There's bound to be one there that doesn't feature someone you have a grudge against.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

If you ask some generic question about whether trannies should have basic rights, you will no doubt have a majority say yes.

But ask them whether a guy with a frock and a dick should be allowed to use the same bathroom as their teenage daughter and you might get a different response.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

Where is the poll showing Americans support forcing women to share bathrooms with penises?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 11:45 am

But pre-ops cannot?

Not sure where that leaves those who get half way thru the reassignment and then run out of money.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

If the US Senate passed a bill with 60 votes that included transgender job protections, then that is a hint that opinions are changing. While for some, gender and sex are different, for most, essentialism rules, and I don't see that changing.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 10:08 am

is even easier to extend existing discrimination laws by including a new protected class.

But we're talking here about bathroom usage, and in schools at that, and that is a very different category. Again, I see little evidence that Americans are ready to support something like this, even if San Francisco might.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 10:27 am

what "equal rights" really means.

You may be correct that fewer people would be willing to accept this than are willing to accept the broad concept of "equal rights," but I think it's because most folks haven't thought through what "equal rights" really means. And it's unclear how much "fewer." I've seen no polls on this specific initiative, but if vast majorities can accept transgender people as full human beings deserving of equal rights, then a good chunk of those are probably willing to take the concept of equal rights to its logical conclusion. I don't know how the ballot fight will turn out, but I have a feeling that it's a bigger chunk than conservatives think.

If they're not there already, I think it's just a matter of time. Progressives have always been ahead of the curve. That's why they're called "progressives."

Posted by Greg on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 11:36 am

let alone that absolutely everyone has to have identical rights always. And in practice, we don't think like that. Lots of people have major disadvantages, like folks who are fat or poor or stupid or smokers, and while they may in theory have equal rights even though those are not protected classes, they always get the wrong end of the deal and people appear to be able to live with that.

I think the problem the left has is assuming that every group of people who have a bad deal must be somehow "fixed", and that such "progress" is endless and linear. But ordinary people are quite comfortable with inequalities in life, else the US would not be one of the most unequal nations in the West.

The question, as always, is you knowing when you have gone too far. You push that with criminals, and I think you are pushing again with trannies. Most of us can accept them but we certainly don't want that rammed down our throats. We're still digesting gay marriage, at least in a dozen or so States.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

then we'll never make any progress. Progress is only made when we push the envelope and go outside of some people's comfort zones.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

and to define "progress" as simply being the world becoming more like you think it should be.

Sadly the world is more complex than that, and you believing something is right and just and food does not, by itself, mean that is progress.

In particular, how do you know if you have gone too far unless the voters tell you?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

Greg gets what Greg wants.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

confirmation bias. If he gets his way, it's part of the "arc of social justice" while if he doesn't get his way then it's just a matter of some old ignorant people dying off.

His being wrong really never enters his head. What Greg feels, Greg knows is right, no matter how ludicrous and unpopular..

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

You can't fire someone for being fat or a smoker or stupid or poor unless it actually affects their job performance; you can, however, fire someone for being transgender even when it does not affect their job performance whatsoever. Those people who are "disadvantaged" are not actively being denied rights and jobs and marriages and medical care for simply being "disadvantaged".

"Tr*nny" is an extremely offensive slur, so please refrain from using it if you want to be taken seriously at all, because when you resort to calling people names, it makes you sound even more inane than you already do.

Posted by Angry Queer on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

Why are today's oppressed so whiny when compared to the oppressed of the past? The trans folks at Compton's did not whine and complain when they were actually oppressed, they stood up to oppression and began to turn the tide. This, under much more difficult circumstances. Ditto for Stonewall.

Yes, oppression still exists, and yes, trans folks are the most oppressed in queerdom. But the only way that minorities make change is to walk in power accompanied by allies invited to walk with them to make them stronger then they otherwise would be.

So long as trans politics appears to non trans people as a game of semantic 'gotcha,' that coalition will remain elusive.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

That just leaves the outliers and outcasts who have decided that they wan theirs too.

Fatties, uglies, smokers, trannies, short people, illegals - the "me too" list will never end

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

so your categorization of that term is incorrect. It is an epithet of pride, not shame.

Oh, and people do not rejected for jobs if they smoke. It's quite a common question to ask now. While tranny employees can be quite disruptive in a work setting.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

California is an at will state.

Of course you can fire people for being stupid.

Posted by Matlock on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

California has job discrimination protections in place for transgender people.

People cannot be fired simply for being transgendered.

This crashes headlong into the ENDA argument of 2007, where the wailing was that if LGB moved forward then T would never get their civil rights.

The historical example in California shows that LGB can get our rights and then once public opinion begins to shift, T get theirs.

The issue on ENDA is how many LG and B lost their jobs since 2007 in flyover states just for being gay so that the activist corps could feel PC about throwing the majority under the bus to protect "the most vulnerable?

This is a bass-ackwards approach to civil rights campaigning that has no, zero, zilch evidence to support it in the historical record.

The issue remains that once the clothes-on civil rights issues are resolved, consensus is forming that people in civil society get to define themselves as they see fit and get basic tolerance in the public sphere for it, that the clothes off issues arise.

Gender theory that separates sex and gender is not widely accepted outside of part of the transgender community and the academics who are crafting it.

That gender theories that minimize sex as a determinant are pushed by those who are not sexually equipped to their gender is not surprising. But for most all people most all of the time, they're going to want the carpet to match the drapes when the clothes are off.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 8:19 am

1) There is no "clothes off" issue. That's a San Francisco oddity that even San Franciscans do not like.

2) Gender and sex are related. Non-straights and TS's are more sexually active, more likely to engage in sex work, and more likely to be HIV positive.

People who are not straight tend to define themselves much more in terms of their sexuality than the average straight dude. You only have to walk through the Castro to see exhibitions of raunch that would be unthinkable in heterosexual Marina.

If your gender is non-standard, chances are your sex life is too.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 8:42 am

A majority of Californians tolerate whatever gender expression anyone wants to present when their clothes are on. Leno passed basic transgender civil rights almost a decade ago and nobody launched a referendum campaign.

In situations where clothes are off, bathrooms and lockerrooms in the school context or anything sexual in the adult context, a large number of people are not going to be okay discovering that the person they're with differs in the sexual equipment department from the norm for that context.

I could care less myself. But my position is a minority now.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

And the way it was written left it open to terrible mischaracterization on the part of the opponents. Terrible "ick" factor.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 11:40 am

Maybe it's "icky" for you, but it wasn't too icky for the majority of the legislature (including some pretty conservative Democrats), and for a moderate governor to sign it. Again, I don't know how it'll all turn out, but I suspect that the hard right may be surprised at how many people will be OK with this. Face it Lucretia, you're old and you have old ideas. Maybe it'll happen now, maybe in a few years. Maybe when enough people like you die off. But as Gavin Newsom said, "like it or not" this will be the reality.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

I can think of a number of "freedoms" and "rights" that will never pass.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

All the conservatives are saying this will never pass. And I say it's a virtual certainty that it will. Maybe a few more of you need to die first, though.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

to be great is for everyone over 50 to die.

Not realizing that young idealists grow up to be aging conservatives/.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

Studies of this have actually shown that people's opinions stay pretty similar throughout their lives once they pass their formative years. But the generations just grow more progressive.

If you ask my father, a right winger if there ever was one, he'll say he's pretty progressive. Maybe in his day he was.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 2:15 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

More toys for rich people? More traffic congestion?

Posted by Greg on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

ideally on a state-by-state basis. See, unlike you, I don't think that my views and values should be imposed on others.

Progress is what happens and not what you personally want to happen.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

At whatever level you think that people like you can do the best.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 6:11 am
Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 7:38 am

I prefer direct democracy to representative democracy in a Republic that is now an Empire;

Posted by marcos on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 6:50 am

and those who have the most free time to pursue ideological bias.

Terrible idea.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 7:20 am

Properly structured direct democracy is the antidote to activist dominance. The two political parties are heavily dominated by activists, that is why public policy produced by this government so rarely reflects public opinion.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 8:05 am

i mean independent troublemakers like Eric who thinks that his ideas are universal truths and that other ideas are "stupid". And who think that elections are flawed unless they yield the result he wants, and then they are not.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 8:36 am

I think that's left open to interpretation.

No one's going to keel over if this bill is repealed. It hasn't even gone into effect yet.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

group of true believers get their way.

When born againers ban abortion that will be "progress"

When the government owns all housing stock and we are packed together like match sticks in croncrete mixed with sand public housing, that is "progress."

When Randroids make John Gault king, that will be progress.

Whatever argument by definition a true believer makes and that argument comes to pass, it is "progress."

Posted by Matlock on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

"progress" we will all immediately drop all objections and fall at his feet.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

Too bad the child isn't holding a pretty Transgender flag (in the picture above).

I think that hate and fear are the two dominant factors used in our society these days for accomplishing someone's, "let's go back to another time" agenda, unfortunately.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

I am not agree with you, children's must have to enjoy and get picnics for fresh their mind.

NewAmericanJackets X Men

Posted by NewAmericanJackets X Men on May. 27, 2014 @ 3:21 am

I do not agree with discrimination against anyone, but it makes me angry when the word hatred is used to ascribe motive when it is not true. I do not hate anyone yet I am against AB 1266 and hope it is repealed. Supporters of this bill must hate straight people to force straight teenagers to undress or shower with someone who physically is of the opposite sex even if in his/her mind they are not. This should be called indecent exposure because it violates a right to privacy. Also, a male playing sports with females, even if he thinks he is a female, still has the greater strength of a male and has an unfair advantage. This is a stupid law.

Posted by Herschel Riggan on Nov. 11, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

Their unfortunate tactic is to brand anyone who opposes their policies as "hating" either blacks or gays or the poor, and so on.

To their mind, no change is too far, and they don't even care what the majority think, feel and want.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 6:13 am

This law should be pass because it is for children and we have to acknowledge this because a fair amount of people want this to be done. Hexder

Posted by brad powell on Nov. 12, 2013 @ 2:15 am

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