California voters could have the opportu- nity in November 2016 to decide whether schools and other government facilities will require individuals to use restroom facilities appropriate for their gender at birth.
Ballot initiative 15-0019, proposed by a coalition known as Privacy for All, received official title and summary from the attorney general’s office in June. Proponents Jack Hibbs and Gina Gleason, pastor and direc- tor of faith and public policy, respectively, for Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, have until Dec. 21 to gather 365,880 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
The official summary of the proposed initia- tive reads: “Prohibits individuals from using facilities in government buildings except in accordance with their sex as determined at birth, through medical examination, or court judgment recognizing a change of gender. Creates legal damages claim of at least $4,000 against a government entity or per- son that violates the provision. Allows busi- nesses to prohibit employees or patrons, including transgender people, from using facilities except in accordance with their sex as determined at birth, through medical examination, or court judgment. Exempts businesses from criminal and civil liability for implementing such a prohibition.”
The initiative would repeal AB 1266, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2014, and allows in- dividuals, including high school students, to use restrooms and locker rooms according to the gender with which they claim to identi- fy, rather than according to their birth gender.
The initiative is the second launched by Mr. Hibbs and Ms. Gleason. In 2013, after the law passed, they gathered more than 600,000 signatures to place a referendum for repeal of AB 1266 on the November 2014 ballot, but secretary of state Debra Bowen rejected thousands as invalid.
Privacy for All sued, represented by Pacific Justice Institute, whose attorneys are also defending the Chino Valley school board against a suit filed by Freedom From Reli- gion Foundation. The suit to validate the ref- erendum to repeal AB 1266 remains pending even as the new ballot initiative is under way.
“This may be our last real opportunity to take back our privacy rights from a gov- ernment that has shown utter disregard for them,” said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute.
The suit filed by Freedom From Religion Foundation seeks to forbid school board members from praying in public meetings.