California Law Protecting Transgender Student Receives Mixed Reaction

New law in earliest stages as school starts.

Open arms -- and the threat of lawsuits.

The reaction to California's new law giving transgender students in public schools full access to the restrooms and locker rooms they choose is eliciting a reaction across the spectrum, according to news reports.

Members of the Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute think that the law could allow 16-year-old boys to enter the showers with 13-year-old girls "on the pretext that he is a she," according to the San Jose Mercury News, which noted the possibility of a lawsuit.

Another problem is athletic in nature. The possibility of a "girl [being] booted off the soccer team because a boy has a genetic hormonal advantage" was floated by institute president Brad Dacus in comments to the newspaper.

The law became active this week after Gov. Jerry Brown signed it following a 21-to-9 approval vote in the State Senate and a 46-to-25 vote in the Assembly.

San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Oakland school districts all had similar policies on their books, the newspaper reported.

Since the law passed, a transgender student in Mountain View-Los Altos has used a staff bathroom rather than a student one. 

There may be a learning curve and some growing pains, but in the end, "human rights are nonnegotiable," said Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint.

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