California's proposed parental notification policy for gender identity changes fails to qualify for ballot

A California policy that would have required schools to notify parents if their child wants to change their gender identity did not qualify as a ballot measure for the November election.

Proponents of the proposed ballot measure announced Tuesday they failed to collect the number of signatures needed to put the measure up for a vote.

Supporters said the measure would have provided necessary transparency for parents, while opponents of the proposal argued it could have threatened the safety of children who live with family who are not accepting of such a change to their gender identity.

Parental notification policies in some California school districts during recent months have led to legal battles with the state.

SCHOOL DISTRICT TO CONTINUE FIGHT AFTER CA JUDGE BLOCKS PARENTAL NOTIFICATION POLICY: ‘BATTLE NOT OVER’

Proponents of the measure had sued state Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Democrat, over the title and summary he issued for the proposed ballot measure, accusing him of biased language that made it harder for them to collect signatures.

Bonta titled the measure the “Restrict Rights of Transgender Youth” initiative, but supporters of the proposal sought to change it to the “Protect Kids of California Act” and called for an amended summary.

“While we are disappointed we didn’t meet the threshold to qualify for the ballot, we are encouraged by the amount of support from every sector of the state,” campaign organizer Jonathan Zachreson said in a statement.

The campaign gathered about 400,000 of the 546,651 signatures required to qualify for the ballot, according to Zachreson, who said many of those signatures came from people in Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside.

The proposal would also have prohibited biological males from 7th grade through college from participating in female sports, and would have banned transgender surgery for minors, with some exceptions.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge sided with Bonta after a hearing last month, purporting that his description of the measure was accurate. Proponents of the proposal plan to appeal the ruling, Zachreson said. They hope a successful appeal would allow them to reopen the signature-gathering process for another opportunity at making the November ballot.

CALIFORNIA JUDGE SUGGESTS SOME PARENTS POSE ‘DANGER’ TO TRANS STUDENTS AFTER BLOCKING NOTIFICATION POLICY

Last week, state lawmakers announced a bill to ban school districts from adopting policies that would require parents to be notified of their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity, with some exceptions, including if the student’s safety is at risk.

This comes amid nationwide efforts to address local school districts’ policies and the parental rights of transgender students.

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Republican-led states across the country have aimed to impose bans on transgender medical treatment, prohibit biological males from competing in female sports and require schools to notify parents if their child wants to change their gender identity. 

Some lawmakers in other states have introduced bills with broad language mandating that parents be notified of any changes to their child’s emotional health or well-being.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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