CA GOP Backs Repeal Of Transgender Student Protections Law


Gathered in Anaheim, California for the party's statewide convention, members of the California Republican Party approved a resolution on Sunday supporting the repeal of AB1266, also known as the School Success and Opportunity Act, signed into law earlier this year by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. The law provides sweeping protections for transgender students in California's public schools. However, the bill quickly drew the ire of the right and the Tea Party in particular. Opponents of the bill hope to put the issue on the 2014 ballot and repeal the measure via referendum. Think Progress reports:

The repeal effort has been spearheaded by a group known as the Capitol Resource Institute (CRI), which may have been operating illegally
due to not providing the IRS with the necessary financial information
to remain tax-exempt. The National Organization for Marriage’s Frank
Schubert is advising CRI’s “Privacy For All Students” petitioning
campaign, which NOM in turn has endorsed in violation of its own mission statement. According to the campaign,
it harms society when “being male and being female are stripped from
societal norms and we’re guided into a genderless future.”

However, not all Republicans at the GOP convention were enthused about fighting this bill. The resolution passed only by a split vote and vice-chairman for the California Republican Party Greg Gandrud warned about the dangers of going after a transgender rights bill when the party is looking to expand its message and its membership. Gandrud told BuzzFeed:

Greg"There were a lot of people who voted no, like myself, Log Cabin
Republicans, and our straight allies,” Gandrud said. “I am openly gay,
and I want to build the party so that we can build up some authority on
other issues like keeping taxes low and fixing roads and making sure we
have reliable drinking water in California.”

Gandrud accused
supporters of the referendum as acting selfishly by “obsessing over
social issues” they can use to activate their base of donors. “Some
people are very emotional about it,” he said. “They are the same people
who opposed marriage equality and they are just conservative on social
issues. They are just running out of issues and they could raise a lot
of money on those issues and they had to find a new boogeyman and that
is transgender kids.”

Acknowledging some of the concerns voiced by
opponents of the law, he said, “There’s nothing in the current law that
prevents somebody who really isn’t transgender to go and use any
bathroom.” Because the law does not require transgender students to
provide any certification from physicians, he said, “The law opens up
the door for a lot of abuse and I can see how that can happen. But we do
have to recognize that there are transgender children and they — like
gay and lesbian children — deserve protections.”