Proponents, Opponents of Transgender Bill Await Governor's Decision

By Conan Nolan and James Hourani
|  Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013  |  Updated 7:05 AM PDT
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A bill that would allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of the gender they identify is waiting for the pen of California Governor Jerry Brown to either sign it into law or reject it with a veto. The Governor is feeling pressure from both sides. Conan Nolan reports from Burbank for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 9, 2013.

Conan Nolan

A bill that would allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of the gender they identify is waiting for the pen of California Governor Jerry Brown to either sign it into law or reject it with a veto. The Governor is feeling pressure from both sides. Conan Nolan reports from Burbank for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 9, 2013.

Proponents and opponents of a controversial transgender bill are anxiously awaiting the decision of California Gov. Jerry Brown.

If the Governor signs the bill into law, transgendered students from kindergarten through high school will be allowed to choose to use the bathroom or locker room of the gender they identify with.

Ashton Lee, a 16-year-old student in the San Joaquin Valley town of Manteca, is a strong backer of Assembly Bill 1266, passed by the California State Legislature last week.

He was born Kimberly Marie Lee.

“I think it was eighth grade or freshman year when I figured out what being 'trans' really means and I was like, ‘Oh, well that’s totally me! That makes so much sense,'” Lee said.

The bill also allows transgender students to participate on the sports teams of their identified gender.

"Transgender girls should be treated like all girls," said Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. “And transgender boys should be treated like all boys are treated.”

The Los Angeles Unified School District adopted the practice years ago and a district representative told NBC4 there have been no problems.

Opponents argue that the bill will violate the privacy of the majority of students.

“No girl should have to act as if a boy who enters the showers is the same gender, when they can see that they’re not,” said Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute.

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