With the beginning of the new year, California's landmark School Success & Opportunity Act, also known as AB 1266, will go into effect. The new law, sponsored by a coalition of organizations reinforces existing protections for students under California's non-discrimination law, ensuring that transgender students have access to facilities and activities with respect to their gender identity.
After Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1266 into law in August, it has been the target of anti-trans attacks by opponents, who've made outrageous, false claims about the new legislation's potential effects on California's K-12 public education system. Opponents have also submitted signatures calling for a referendum vote on the new law, and have now filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of State for allegedly refusing to count some signatures that were received after the deadline of November 8.
The use of fabricated stories by anti-trans activists trying to repeal AB 1266 has been particularly disturbing. Earlier this year, GLAAD spoke out against the anti-LGBT Pacific Justice Institute for promoting claims that a transgender student was harassing her peers at a Colorado high school, all of which was discredited through fact-checking of Cristan Williams at the TransAdvocate.
GLAAD will continue to monitor media coverage around AB 1266 as the law takes effect. If you see defamatory coverage of AB 1266 or of transgender students, please report it to GLAAD.