“It means he is a man, he is gay,” she said. “I hope that his kids will have the right to their own identity in public.”
“So much for a ‘no-discriminating’ state,” wrote one commenter. “Now you’re forcing kids to tell an adult what they think… That’s so disgusting.”
Another wrote, “There are certain words you can’t say in public…I think that’s what some kids get for being ‘gay’ in the eyes of the school system. No wonder why some people are unhappy with the way they were raised! Shame on you.”
HB 1723 doesn’t mention gender identity, only sexual orientation.
Some parents are concerned
The issue of what children can and can not understand about gender identity has been a touchy one across the U.S.
In October, a California school district superintendent faced a public outcry after he was photographed wearing two separate pink-colored T-shirts on one arm. The shirts were printed with the words “Gender Variant” on one side and the words “Born Male” on another. Superintendent Jeff Roesner later apologized for the shirt, which he said was an attempt to highlight his experience as a gay, lesbian or transgendered person. But the reaction to the shirt was swift, with parents and students telling ABC News that the shirts should have never been approved for sale.
It is not clear, however, how HB 1723 might affect the future of the new law. It is a nonbinding resolution that will not take effect, and will not require any action on the part of the state’s education department.
But the controversy could come to a head at a meeting Thursday in the California Assembly, where the language could be discussed.
“You can’t have an adult say to a child, ‘Don’t do that because I feel uncomfortable if I do,'” said John Nichols, the communications director for Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for LGBT rights.
The bill’s authors, who are mostly Republicans, are asking educators and others to be more sensitive.
“The language is extremely specific and needs to be understood by everybody,” said House Speaker Anthony Rendon, R-Paramount.
The bill’s two Republican co-authors do not oppose allowing children to participate in athletic activities if they are a member of the school’s sports teams. But they would like to see the bill clarified a bit with an exemption for transgender student-
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