California governor signs bill letting transgender students choose restrooms

West Hollywood, UNITED STATES: A sign is posted at the entrance of the restrooms during the "Transgender Day of Remembrance" at the Metropolitan Community Church in West Hollywood, CA, 20 November 2006. HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California has become the first state to enshrine certain rights for transgender students in state law, requiring public schools to allow those students access to whichever restroom and locker room they want.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday that he had signed AB1266. The new law gives students the right “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities” based on their self-perception and regardless of their birth gender.

Supporters said the law will help reduce bullying against transgender students. It comes as the families of transgender students have been waging local battles with school districts around the country over what restrooms and locker rooms their children can use.

Detractors said allowing students of one gender to use facilities intended for the other could invade the other students’ privacy.

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