Jelly Belly Candy Chairman Donates Thousands of Dollars to Harm Transgender Children


Chair of the Jelly Belly Candy Company, Herman Rowland, Sr., has
donated thousands of dollars to the anti-LGBT 'Privacy for All Students'
initiative campaign, which is working against legislation California Governor Jerry Brown signed in August protecting transgender students.

Writes Karen Ocamb at Frontiers:

Rowland Sr., Chair of the Jelly Belly Candy Company, is a major
contributor to the Privacy for All Students initiative campaign—led by
Prop. 8 strategist Frank Schubert, who is now the political director for
the National Organization for Marriage. Just as he did with the
misrepresentations and scare tactics of the Prop. 8 campaign, Schubert
is trying to collect enough signatures to put an initiative on the 2014
ballot to repeal the historic “School Success and Opportunity Act, ” AB
1266, authored by out Assemblymember Tom Ammiano. The transgender
student law goes into effect on Jan. 1, unless the measure qualifies,
which would put the law on hold.

Rowland, Sr. made a $5,000 donation to the effort.

Ocamb adds:

might remember that Jelly Belly disavowed any anti-gay attitudes in
2010 when the sad NOM-back Latino tour bus (tracked by the Courage
Campaign) tried to pay a visit. Instead of a warm welcome, Jelly Belly
Consumer Affairs Manager Kit McCoy said they were unaware of being a
highlighted stop on NOM’s itinerary. “Jelly Belly does not allow any
group to promote their special interests, pass out flyers or approach
our visitors for their own interests at our public tours,” McCoy said. is running a petition calling on Rowland Sr. to stop hurting transgender children.


  1. Derrick from Philly says

    @ *live, of course.

    I like the sentence without the correction, Thedrdonna. It’s so romantic.

    You know, I don’t like to talk about it much, but I had a miscarriage with a jelly baby back in 1977. Very painful. I was so young. So, I made all my partners wear condoms after that–long before everybody started wearing them. (I’m starting to weep)

  2. me says

    I just have a question…I know I’ll be criticized. Does the law have any medical or psychiatric requirement evaluation? I don’t know.
    If it is just: here go to the girls locker room, you say you’re a girl (female is saved for true xx, no?) so head on in. Or does it needs to have a diagnosis?

    Seems like it’d be easy for a horny teen to get by.

    Wouldn’t a medical requirement squash this?

  3. Jonny says

    I will write to the Segerstrom Center shortly but I wanted to get the word out since I missed my “in-person” chance last night. Currently, Priscilla is playing at the Orange County (California) arts center. I noticed at the bar that they were selling cocktail flavors…small jelly belly boxes with margarita, Cosmo, etc flavors. I thought that would be fun for parties. I did not buy the tiny $2 box last night and now I’m glad I didn’t. Show is playing next in San Diego, so if you go to OC or San Diego to see the show, please let management know that this product is in direct conflict with the entire musical’s goals.

  4. Thedrdonna says

    @Derrick, what a touching story!

    @Me: Female is generally appropriate for someone who has mostly female sexual characteristics, be they genitals, genetics, endocrine system, secondary sexual characteristics, etc. given that the technical definition is only sometimes used, and that it can be used interchangeably with “woman”, it can be tricky.

    And, with regards to lockers or whatever, this law reflects policies that have been in use across the state and across the country for years. Teachers and administrators are not going to let some jack off kid just wander into the other bathroom because they suddenly “became” trans that morning. The law is written to say that it’s based on “gender identity”, and that will require confirmation by school officials. Gender identity is not something that radically changes from one day to the next, and any legitimate trans student is going to have plenty of evidence to support their use of gender-correct facilities.

  5. patrick says

    It is actually an incredibly radical law without any sort of medical, parental or psychological controls at all. Brown is obviously afraid of the trans brigade and was forced to sign this awful bill.

  6. Belthazar says

    @Thedrdonna – I swim/bike/run at Lake Andrea (of course in season) and he has just given me another reason not to buy mixed candy bags — not even for Halloween.

  7. Tyler says

    As if Kev C wasn’t already an obvious troll, he further “outs” himself by using the word “hermaphrodite.” Rick/whichever alias you choose to go by: you’re pathetic. Are you Herman Rowland Jr?

  8. Ken says

    @Me – don’t buy into the flawed thinking of these people. There is zero evidence to support their claims that any harm has or will come to cisgendered students who share facilities with trans kids. These “Christian” con-men are fanning the flames of fear in order to raise money from their marks and expand the influence of their organizations. They don’t care about kids and they don’t care about the Bible. They care about MONEY. Now that there is greater acceptance of gay people they are making trans kids the new Boogeyman. Same old tricks, new target. It’s up to us to make sure these kids are protected.

  9. Marjorie says

    I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, a number of anti-gay groups are supporting this referendum and it would be good to defeat their effort just to make them fail.

    On the other hand, the law itself is badly written and is completely one-sided, allowing for no flexibility in how a school responds, based on the situation of the particular trans kid and the reaction of the other kids. Also, this law is a project of trans activists, many of whom are extremely anti-gay and who have coopted the gay civil rights movement for their own purposes. Just a year ago, a number of them were encouraging people to go out and vote against marriage equality. They were prepared to inflict real harm on gay and lesbian families in order to punish us for not prioritizing their issues over gay civil rights. So it would be really sweet to see trans activists in tears as they go down to defeat.

    As of right now, I am planning on voting to repeal the law, defeat the trans activists, and then encourage the legislature to pass a more reasonable law that protects trans kids but allows schools some flexibility in how they do that.

  10. Steven F/San Diego says

    Responding to some of the lies told by TheDrDonna:

    “Teachers and administrators are not going to let some jack off kid just wander into the other bathroom because they suddenly “became” trans that morning. The law is written to say that it’s based on “gender identity”, and that will require confirmation by school officials.”

    They will have no basis to stop him. The law requires no confirmation by school officials. Gender identity is not defined. No procedure is set up to verify gender identity or to sort bogus claims from genuine ones. If a student says, this is my gender identity and let me in that locker, any school that refuses faces potential legal liability.

    This vagueness and lack of definition is intentional. Trans activists hate to define terms in these laws because they know that it will cause an uproar if the real meaning got out to the public. They prefer proposing vague laws and then imposing their interpretation through unelected school bureaucrats.

    “Gender identity is not something that radically changes from one day to the next, and any legitimate trans student is going to have plenty of evidence to support their use of gender-correct facilities.”

    Legitimate trans? Is that like Todd Akin’s views on legitimate rape? Please do explain yourself.

    In any event, the law requires absolutely no “evidence” and no allowance is given to the school to demand such evidence. You are lying. Also, since gender identity is not defined, there is no basis for saying that it doesn’t change day to day. In fact, many “genderqueers” maintain that their gender identity is fluid and does change all the time. So yes, a genderqueer could demand to use the boys locker room on Monday and the girls on Tuesday. If the school balks, then it has to be prepared to spend many thousands of dollars and wasted hours in a lawsuit. TheDrDonna, surely you don’t approve of locker room discrimination against genderqueers?

  11. rdm says

    @Marjorie: I’ve seen enough sad stories to know that schools should NOT have flexibility in how they respond, because they invariably make the choice to harm the trans students.

  12. Ken says

    You know, as a gay teen in the boy’s locker room and restrooms, somehow the other boys I shared the facilities with came out of it un-raped and un-molested (by me at least). This fear-mongering about trans kids sharing facilities with cisgendered kids betrays a fundamentally ugly perspective (and perhaps perverse inclinations).

  13. Steven F/San Diego says

    Ha ha! If you knew me, you would know that the last thing I am is a social conservative.

    Anyway, I hope that all the Towleroad readers take note that TheDrDonna couldn’t refute one thing I said or point to anything in the law that requires that there be evidence or confirmation of gender identity. And s/he didn’t answer my question about “genderqueers.” Silence speaks volumes.

  14. woodroad34d says

    Jelly Bellys are not the only kind of Jelly Beans of that style. Try googling gourmet jelly beans. Do for jelly beans what we did for pasta. This fellow sounds like someone from Willy Wonka.

  15. litper says

    Even though I’m not a big supporter of trans people, I can’t understand those who are against this bill. Do they really want to see trans women in male locker rooms and bathrooms and in male teams? I think that would be much more harmful to children.

  16. Steven F/San Diego says


    So I actually listened to the entire audio file you posted. The presenters clearly say that the law provides no requirement for evidence and sets forth no guidance as to how or whether a gender identity claim can be verified. One of the presenters specifically mentions gender fluidity where a person’s identity can change day-to-day. So all your assurances are lies.

    As I was listening to this presentation, I couldn’t help but think what a vast waste of money this all is. That presentation is being listened to by thousands of school administrators all over California. It is over an hour long. That’s thousands of labor hours on this bizarre nonsense that will likely impact a few dozen trans kids. Even the presenters say that there won’t be many students actually making use of this law. When you consider everything else that goes into implementing this and all the time that will be spent on future lawsuits to hammer out exactly what the law requires, it is a huge imposition on California taxpayers. You could take all the money that is going to be spent on lawyers and consultants and use it to build shelters to house several thousand trans homeless people.

    This law is going to be repealed.

  17. TheDrDonna says

    @Steve: There’s a pretty big difference between listening and hearing, thank you for demonstrating it so aptly. The part you mention is a very “yes, but…” moment, which you would have mentioned if you had any intention other than maligning trans folks. Why don’t you go over to One News Now? you and they have a lot in common over this issue, you could trade hateful jibes about how awful trans folk are.

  18. FFS says

    Was my comment seriously deleted because I referred to this exemplary human being as a feminine hygiene product? Whilst Rick an his ilk are allowed to spew their anti-trans, anti-women, anti-sanity filth on every post? Priorities, Andy. You need some.

    The salient part of the comment that was unbelievably deleted was that unisex bathrooms have been a thing for decades. No one has died, as a result. Everyone should get over themselves.

  19. says

    The idea that the bill is an invitation to young perverts to play trans and invade the girls’ bathroom is boiler-plate conservative claptrap. They don’t like the bill, so they invent abuses, just as they invented nightmare shower fantasies to argue against the repeal of DADT. The truth is there is no reason to believe the bill will be abused, any more than there was reason to believe openly gay soldiers would suddenly start molesting straight soldiers in the showers.

    @Steven, you’re arguing out both sides of your mouth by insisting both that the bill is hugely onerous and ripe for abuse yet so non-consequential only a couple of people will make legitimate use of it. Do you really think actual trans kids barely exist yet hordes of horny fake trans kids are lying in wait to abuse the law?

    Most opponents of trans rights aren’t truly interested in protecting others–they use that as a smokescreen for irrational trans animosity.

  20. Steven F/San Diego says

    Ernie, school administrator have to spend time and money understanding their new legal obligations under this law. In a huge state like California, with thousands of administrators and lawyers, that entails a real cost and it is incurred regardless of how few the law actually benefits.

    As for hordes of horny fake trans students, I didn’t say one word about that. It is interesting that you project onto me arguments I never made just as TheDrDonna is sure that I am a social conservative who thinks that trans people are awful. Neither you nor she can grasp that one can be progressive still be opposed to this poorly written and ill-considered law.

    BTW, there is no logical reason why there could not be few actual trans kids taking advantage of the law and a large number of fake trans kids abusing it. The number of the former doesn’t limit the latter. The main problem is not the number of fakes, but that the law provides no safe harbor for any school that wants to be able to verify a gender identity claim and deny the request for locker/bathroom access if the gender identiy claim can’t be verified.

  21. Andrea says

    The whole argument is stupid as is arguing on the internet. No straight person is going to pretend to be trans to sneak a peak at a few boobs, for christ sake they can just google that. They would not open themselves up to the ridicule that a trans high school student would receive from all the straight block heads. If this saves one trans kid then the money is well spent.

  22. says

    @Steve, you say that DrDonna and I are projecting arguments on to you, yet you are making a socially conservative argument, however progressive you may consider yourself. How is your argument any different than theirs?

    I’m not sure why you think there will be issues with gender identity “verification”? If you didn’t say a word about horny fake trans students, what motive do you think kids would have for pretending to be transgender if they’re not? Why would lots of non-trans students have an interest in abusing this law?

    Your fears about mass abuse (the same ones touted by rightwing conservatives) seem as unfounded as those of marriage equality opponents who think two male buddies will marry just to scam the system and get benefits.

  23. Erin Fuller says

    To those who are not keen on what you must do to claim Transgender status unlike being Gay Lesbian or Bi sexual those who are Transgender are scrutinized we endure months of psychological therapy that’s not a choice its a requirement when was the last time any of you had to prove your orientation? After the psych sessions we are granted permission to undergo hormone replacement therapy to finish what mother nature had started and cruelly ended then after two full years of psych evaluations we are allowed to have corrective surgery. any questions

  24. Steven F/San Diego says

    “I’m not sure why you think there will be issues with gender identity “verification”?”

    You would be sure if you would read through the comment thread.

    As for why some students may abuse this law, that is not my burden. The burden should be on the activists who are imposing a significant cost onto taxpayers and administrators to show that it will help a significant number of students and that it is better than a more limited rule which gives schools more options in how to respond. As it stands, trans students are only a fraction of one percent of the population. But this law would only benefit a tiny fraction of that fraction of one percent. That would be a sub-sub-subset of trans students who 1) actually identify as another gender (rather than have gender atypical expression), 2) have not fully transitioned, AND 3) want to use facilities of the opposite sex in school. You if you got together every CA student who meets all those criteria, they would all fit into a Toyota.

  25. TheDrDonna says

    Actually nobody in primary school can fully transition, the surgeries involved are almost always performed only after the trans person reaches the age of consent. But you’re right, people rights should be based on how many of them there are. That’s been such a great reason to oppose marriage equality, why shouldn’t it extend to trans folk too? By the way, that was sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch it. I was making fun, again, of the fact that you’re using right-wing talking points.

  26. says

    Actually it is your burden, Steven. Anyone could say any law could be abused and therefore shouldn’t go into effect. Those opposed to marriage equality have said it will be abused, be costly, only benefit a tiny minority–in other words, they’ve made the same bogus arguments.

    Still not sure why you believe it will benefit so few but potentially be abused by so many. But, if there was a “verification” process (however that would work) you would support the law? Or would you be opposed to any such law since it, according to your statistics, only affects a minority?

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