A referendum to block California’s controversial Choose-Your-Own Bathroom Bill officially failed to qualify for the state’s November ballot on Monday.
The law, frequently called California AB 1266, stipulates that all students will have access to bathrooms and locker rooms as well as play on sports teams that are “consistent with his or her gender identity” rather than the student’s actual biological composition. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law in 2013. (RELATED: Calif. governor signs transgender students’ rights bill)
Had the referendum drive by opponents been successful, it would have temporarily blocked the law until a popular vote could be held on the issue in November, reports the Los Angeles Times.
A coalition called Privacy for All Students was behind the referendum. Supporters collected over 619,000 signatures. However, various county officials only counted 487,484 signatures as valid. Bureaucrats threw out over one-fifth of all the signatures.
In the end, the measure failed to qualify for the November ballot by some 17,000 signatures.
Backers of the referendum have vowed to challenge the official signature count.
“We are ready to review and challenge every signature that was not counted towards the referendum of this impudent and in-your-face bill,” Brad Dacus, president of the conservative Pacific Justice Institute, told The Daily Caller. “Our children’s privacy is worth doing all that we can.”
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, the Bay Area Democrat who sponsored the bill labeled the referendum’s supporters as “people that make money off promoting hate and professional fear mongers,” according to the Times. He also insisted that the opponents of co-ed bathrooms don’t understand the issue the way he does.
“The good thing that comes out of this misguided referendum effort is that we were able to continue to educate people,” said Ammiano in a statement obtained by the Times. “It’s important that we begin to understand what transgender students are going through.”
As Fox News notes, a referendum concerning students in public schools choosing their own bathrooms and locker rooms would likely have been as contentious as the 2008 battle over Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that until last year prohibited same-sex marriage in California.
Now, though, California students are now able to choose their own bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams based on how they feel about their gender.
Male California high school senior Pat Cordova-Goff is already playing on the girls softball team at Azusa High School in the northeastern corner of suburban Los Angeles. (RELATED: California 2014: Strapping senior calling himself female to play on girls’ high school softball team)
Cordova-Goff, 17, was born a boy — and, by all accounts, remains a boy — but now identifies as a girl. He has undergone no surgical procedures or treatments. He played on the boys baseball team as a freshman.