SACRAMENTO, CA – A new bill making the rounds in the California Assembly would see retail stores facing fines up to $1,000 if they do not establish gender-neutral displays for children’s merchandise, according to reports.
Assembly Bill 2826, proposed by ‘Assembly member’ Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), would require that children’s clothing, toys and childcare items in retail stores with over 500 employees be displayed in a gender-neutral fashion; in other words, no separate typical “pink” and “blue” or “boys” and “girls” sections.
According to the bill, it would address the “difficulties” that some people encounter when shopping over what products may or may not be suited for their children.
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“Keeping similar items that are traditionally marketed either for girls or for boys separated makes it more difficult for the consumer to compare the products and incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate,” the bill reads.
Retailers that do not rearrange their children’s merchandise into gender-nonconforming displays and aisles could be fined as much as $1,000, although they will be given 30 days to correct the violation before the fine is applied.
The bill is expected to be heard in March; if it is passed, it will go into effect January 1, 2023.
The news comes as companies and stores are announcing more gender-neutral approaches to their products; for example, iconic toy manufacturer Hasbro recently announced that their popular Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head dolls will now be gender neutral; they will simply be known as “Potato Head” going forward, with children able to create “potato families” with two dads or two moms if they so choose.