20 June 2024

(Aggregate News Network) California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Senate Bill 760 into law, compelling K-12 schools in the state to establish gender-neutral bathrooms by July 2026. This law is part of a broader effort to bolster LGBTQ+ rights in California.

Under SB 760, all school districts, county education offices, and charter schools must have at least one gender-neutral bathroom on campus by July 1, 2026, accessible during school hours and events when students are present. Temporary closures are allowed only for documented safety concerns or necessary repairs. These bathrooms must be clearly labeled, unlocked, and accessible to all students, with a designated staff member overseeing compliance.

State Senator Josh Newman, who sponsored the bill, praised the law as a step towards eliminating outing, bullying, and stigmatization, hoping it sets an example for other states.

Tony Hoang, Executive Director of Equality California, commended the move for protecting LGBTQ+ rights in California and rejecting hate-driven attacks.

This law follows years of national debates on LGBTQ+ inclusion in schools and bathroom access. North Carolina’s 2016 law requiring individuals to use facilities corresponding to their birth certificate gender was repealed due to widespread criticism.

In related actions, Governor Newsom signed new LGBTQ+ protections into law but vetoed a bill involving parental affirmation of a child’s gender identity in custody cases, citing existing protections for children’s well-being.

Across the U.S., other states have addressed LGBTQ+ students’ rights and bathroom access, underscoring the importance of LGBTQ+ rights in society.