TLC’s Masen Davis: What Happens Next With AB 1266
November 8, 2013
Right-wing gets it wrong. Again.
November 9, 2013

Update of California referendum targeting trans children

Since election day we’ve gotten numerous requests for updates on what’s happening with the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) backed effort to repeal the California law defining protections for transgender school children.

The law (AB 1266) protecting transgender children, which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed in August, says schools must treat transgender students as equal to cisgender students.  A PJI-backed coalition of anti-LGBT groups calling itself “Privacy for All Students” has circulated 100s of thousands of anti-trans petitions throughout California. Their goal is to collect 505,000 valid signatures by November 12, 2013. If they collect those signatures, it will stop the trans equality law from taking effect in January and put the civil rights of trans kids up for popular vote in November 2014.

While election day has come and gone, signature gathering still continues!

Signature gatherer hiding face after being caught misrepresenting the issue to voters

Signature gatherer hiding face after being caught misrepresenting the issue to voters

According to the office of the California Secretary of State, signature gatherers will continue gathering signatures until this Sunday. It is very important that if you see people gathering signatures, immediately report them by calling 866-377-0578.

It is vitally important that we document signature gatherers who are committing election fraud by misrepresenting AB 1266. The TransAdvocate has exposed numerous instances of election fraud being committed by signature gatherers. One signature gather was caught on tape telling people that trans protections for children leads to rape and molestation.

If you see them, take photos and get audio or video of the rhetoric they’re using to get people to sign their petitions. If you catch them lying, be sure to record what is said (along with any dishonest signage) and if possible, the names of those who you catch committing election fraud. If you can record them, send video evidence to the TransAdvocate. It is a violation of California Election Code § 18600 to fraudulently represent of the facts of their petition drive. All documented instances of election fraud will be reported to the State of California.

According to the office of the California Secretary of State, it is unlikely that we will know whether the petition drive was successful until the first week in January, 2014. The Secretary of State will immediately act on evidence documenting election fraud. Furthermore, if the level of documented fraud is great enough to prove systemic, the validity of the petition drive and petitions can be challenged in court.

If you’re in California this weekend, be on the lookout.  Immediately report signature gatherers by calling 866-377-0578. Document all fraudulent representations and contact the TransAdvocate.


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Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of the transgender community. She started the first trans homeless shelter in the South and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program, pioneered affordable healthcare for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. Cristan is the editor at the social justice sites and, is a long-term member and previous chair of the City of Houston HIV Prevention Planning Group.
  • Joni I agree. The problem is our state is economic progressive and socially conservative. Tom Ammiano misread the political calculus of the people. The best idea might be is to repeal via the legislature it and make the far right waste their money when the campaign gets invalidated, and wait a year or two. Maybe get some education of the general public before we try again.

    I honestly don’t want ads from Pacific Justice, Traditional Values and NOM saying that trans people are sex offenders and other sleazy crap. Best to cut our losses if the signatures all come in as valid.

    • Sorry, but you don’t make a bully stop enjoying punching you in the face by just giving in to their need to harm you. You make them stop by making the fight too painful for them to enjoy it.

    • Hi Matthew. I think the problem with someone like Ammiano is that he is from an ultra-progressive, super-safe district. He never has to face any real challenge to his seat, which breeds arrogance and makes it easy for him to dismiss alternative views. And you can see that in this bill.

      AB 1266 provides no guidance for schools on implementation and doesn’t provide any basis or process to evaluate a gender identity claim. They just rammed it through because they could. Frank Schubert said yesterday that if there had been some reasonable criteria in the bill, such as requiring the student to make some showing that there was a consistent identification with a particular gender identity, then there wouldn’t have been a repeal effort. He is not an honest man, so he may well have been lying about that. But it is for sure that a lot of Californians will vote for the repeal because it is so open-ended and vague and was imposed in such an arrogant manner. Maybe repeal, rewrite, and re-enact is the way this will go.

  • Not true that we won’t know until January. They are going to turn in 700,000 signatures and that is more than enough to qualify and to provide a cushion against invalid signatures. They told the press 3 weeks ago that they already had 500,000. It’s time to start living in the real world and face the fact that this is going on the ballot.

    • Yes, they may turn in a million signatures, but if the majority were obtained via fraud, they won’t qualify. Even if every single signature was legal, the State of California will not certify anything until January. Until that happens, what a hate group has to say about what their doing is irrelevant.

      • I don’t think any ballot measure in CA has ever been disqualified because of fraud on the part of signature gatherers. And I doubt that anyone could prove that hundreds of thousands of signatures were obtained through fraud, which is not just making outlandish hyperbole or predictions, but intentionally making false factual statements. That is just not going to happen.

        So basically, it comes down to invalid signatures. And if they turn in even 600,000, they are almost certainly going to qualify. At 700,000 it is guaranteed to qualify. And Frank Schubert told TIME yesterday that they were turning in 700K. A professional campaign guy like Schubert would not say that to a national magazine like TIME if he didn’t already know that he had the signatures in hand.