The California state legislature proposed a bill last month, February 18, that would ban department stores with more than 500 employees from having separate, gender-specific sections for kids clothing and toys.
Assembly Bill No. 1084 was written by Assemblymembers Evan Low (D-Campbell) and Christina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), and has yet to be voted out of committee. If the bill goes on to be passed by the legislature, it would go into effect on January 1, 2024. Any store that doesn’t correct a violation of the policy within 30 days of receiving a notice will be subject to a $1,000 fine. Assemblyman Low, chairman of the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, said he was inspired to write the legislation after a staffer’s daughter complained to her mother that the toys geared toward math and science were in the boys section.
According to the LA Times, Low said, “In the state of California, where we hope to inspire, for example, more girls to get into science and engineering and mathematics, we want to ensure that those periodic tables and dinosaurs are not in the boys’ section.” Leader of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, Assemblywoman Garcia, stated, “This message is about inclusivity. I think we have kids who are figuring out their identities, and so we want to give them that safe space to do that.” Despite considerable support in California, there has been opposition to this bill.
In an article published by the libertarian-leaning magazine, Reason, the author noted, “Regulating how companies market their products online and in their stores could potentially raise First Amendment challenges as well.” In addition, conservative commentator, Ben Shapiro, remarked in a tweet on February 27, “Good to know that while we’ve got hundreds of thousands of homeless people across our state and now dozens of cases of coronavirus, CA has its priorities in order.” This was in reference to Assembly Bill No. 1084, and an article about the bill was included.
ARTICLE: LAUREN GOLLOFON
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: INSIDER