The political action group Privacy for all Students [advocacy website] said Sunday that they have received sufficient petition [text] signatures to bring about an initiative on the November 2014 ballot to repeal California's new law intended to protect transgender public school students. Under California law, 505,000 valid signatures must be submitted to bring about a referendum [referendum backgrounder] on the law. Privacy for all Students alleges [AP report] that they have received 620,000 signatures. California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] signed [JURIST report] AB 1266 [text] into law in August. The law, which goes into effect on January 1, amends the state's education code to specifically prohibit public schools from discriminating on the basis of gender identity and gender expression and allow students to participate in sex-segregated activities consistent with their own gender identity and regardless of the gender listed on their records. The law will have the effect of granting transgender students the ability to choose whether to use the boy's or girl's bathroom at school and whether to join a boy's or girl's sports team. California is the first state in the US [AP report] to incorporate protections for transgender students into its laws.
Rights for transgender individuals remains a contentious issue throughout the world. Last month the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) [official website] ruled [JURIST report] in favor of a transgender woman who endured physical and verbal harassment during her employment as a federal contractor in Maryland. In May a number of human rights groups urged Cameroon to drop charges [JURIST report] against two transgender youths who were arrested for engaging in homosexual conduct. Earlier that month, Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal ruled [JURIST report] that a law prohibiting a transgender woman from marrying her boyfriend was invalid under the Chinese constitution. In March Canadian lawmakers approved a bill [JURIST report] that would outlaw discrimination against transgender individuals.