(The Center Square) – Parent activist group Protect Kids California introduced three ballot initiatives to set statewide transgender youth policy in sports and education.
The three initiatives include the adoption of parental notification for gender changes, preventing transgender students identified as male at birth from competing in girls’ sports, and banning the use of puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and genital change surgeries for minors.
“These are common sense issues,” said Jonathan Zachreson, founder of Protect Kids California. “Unfortunately, California is controlled by an out-of-touch legislature that refuses to engage in protecting parents or kids.”
According to the California Secretary of State, these initiatives would each need to collect 546,651 signatures to receive placement on the November 2024 ballot.
The announcement of the flurry of ballot initiatives coincides with a lawsuit by California Attorney General Rob Bonta against Chino Valley Unified School District for its parental notification policy. Four school districts, Anderson Union High, Temecula Valley Unified, Murrieta Valley Unified, and Chino Valley Unified School Districts have adopted parental notification policies modeled on AB 1314, a bill introduced by California Assemblymember Bill Essayli (R-Woodcrest) that failed to be heard by committee.
These policies mandate that schools notify parents of any injury, bullying, talks about suicide, or requests to identify with or participate in programs or use school facilities that are for a gender different from what is on their birth certificate or official records.
Bonta cites California’s Equal Protection Clause and state education code anti-discrimination clauses, saying the policy discriminates against students who wish to use facilities that are not aligned with the student’s gender, the policy undermines California’s constitutional right to privacy, and places transgender and gender-nonconforming students “in danger of imminent, irreparable harm from the consequences of forced disclosures.”
Meanwhile, Protect Kids California cites Rasmussen polling in California finding 68% of California voters, including 65% of Democrats, support schools notifying parents if their child identifies or requests to be identified or treated as a gender different from their biological sex.
Protect Kid California also points to two other polls showing strong overall support for their measures, including a Gallup poll finding 93% of Republicans, 67% of independents, but just 48% of Democrats believe transgender athletes should be able to only play on teams that match their birth gender, and a Harvard/Harris poll finding the exact same percentage of voters believe puberty blockers should not be allowed for minors.
With 47% of voters in California registered as Democrats, 24% as Republicans and 29% as no party preference, these measures would need strong turnout from independents to have any chance at passing.
Chloe Cole, a 19 year old who was placed on puberty blockers at 13, received a double mastectomy at 15, and detransitioned at 16, also spoke at the announcement event held at the California Capitol’s steps to share her story.
“At age 12, my medical team diagnosed me as suffering from gender dysphoria,” said Cole. “I was told by my doctor that I needed to be put on puberty blockers right away. They gave my parents a false choice: ‘would you rather have a dead daughter or a living transgender son.’ I was fast tracked onto ‘gender affirming care.’ It’s a decision I regret greatly today. Kids need more time to work out their struggles during adolescence. There shouldn’t be any hurry to permanently change the life on any child.”