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California Parents Advocate for Anti-Trans Initiative to Make Ballot

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A newly formed entity, Protect Kids California, is stirring up a storm by pushing to include an anti-transgender measure on the 2024 California ballot. 

Termed the Protect Kids of California Act of 2024, the initiative seeks to ban gender-affirming care for minors, compel school staff to disclose students’ transgender identities to parents and dismantle existing protections for transgender students.

The organization, spearheaded by Jonathan Zachreson, a member of the Roseville City School District Board of Trustees, commenced its petition drive last week after initially announcing plans in August. 

Zachreson, also associated with Reopen California Schools during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, alleged that California presents false choices to parents and youth, particularly young women, regarding gender-related decisions.

These measures directly challenge California’s comprehensive safeguards for transgender individuals, including minors. 

The state stands as a pioneering sanctuary for trans youth, extending legal protections for minors seeking gender-affirming care. 

Debate Over Protect Kids California Initiative

california-parents-advocate-for-anti-trans-initiative-to-make-ballot
A newly formed entity, Protect Kids California, is stirring up a storm by pushing to include an anti-transgender measure on the 2024 California ballot.

Recent legislative actions, such as Governor Gavin Newsom signing nine LGBTQ+ rights bills, further fortified protections, ensuring privacy rights for minors by changing gender identifiers and mandating LGBTQ+ competency training for educators.

However, conservative activism has prompted district-level policies compelling faculty to disclose students’ transgender status to parents, drawing legal scrutiny. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against Chino Valley Unified School District, deeming the policy unconstitutional, with a judge blocking key provisions in October.

In a move to collect signatures, Bonta’s official description of Protect Kids California’s initiative as Restricts Rights of Transgender Youth drew a sharp rebuke from Zachreson, who criticized it as biased. Scott Davison, the group’s attorney, plans to legally contest Bonta’s description, alleging it is misleading and violates the California Election Code.

The brewing conflict underscores the tense battle surrounding transgender rights in California, pitting activists seeking to advance protections against those advocating for restrictive measures. 

The future trajectory of this initiative, its legal challenges, and the implications for transgender youth in the state will remain a focal point of debate in the lead-up to the 2024 ballot.

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