California parents launching ballot initiatives on transgender sports, surgery, notification

The Democratic-controlled California Legislature has shown no interest in curbing the gender-identity movement, so a group of parents’ rights advocates is seeking to bring the transgender issue directly to the voters.

Protect Kids California, a newly launched campaign committee, plans to kick off Monday a signature-gathering effort to place three initiatives related to gender identity, students and parental rights on the November 2024 ballot.

The first proposal would “require schools to notify parents when a child requests the school treat them as transgender.” The second would prevent biological males from competing in female scholastic sports. The third would ban cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers and genital surgery for minors seeking to switch genders.

Leading the multiprong campaign is Jonathan Zachreson, president of Students First California and a member of the Roseville City School Board. Supporters include Erin Friday, an attorney with the parents group Our Duty, and Republican Assemblymen Bill Essayli and Joe Patterson.

Supporters cite polling showing most voters agree with their positions on parental notification, girls’ sports and medicalized transition for minors.

Such measures already have been approved by state legislatures in multiple red states, but not California, which on Jan. 1 became the first trans refuge state for minors seeking to undergo medicalized sex-change treatment.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Rob Bonta has launched an investigation into the Chino Valley Unified School District’s vote to require schools to notify parents about their children’s gender-transition efforts, calling it a “forced outing” policy.

Since then, at least two other school boards have passed similar policies, prompting a rebuke from Mr. Bonta.

“It is deeply troubling to learn that school districts are putting the well-being of transgender and gender nonconforming students at risk by forcibly outing them,” Mr. Bonta said. “My office stands against any actions that perpetuate discrimination, harassment or exclusion within our educational institutions.”

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