By Melody Gutierrez
Two bills aimed at eliminating obstacles transgender people face cleared the Assembly along party lines on Thursday, including one that will allow students to select the bathroom and sports team that correlates with their gender identity.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, said his Assembly Bill 1266 will force school districts to be in compliance with current laws that prohibit discrimination against transgender students.
"No student can learn if they feel they have to hide who they are at school or if they are singled out for unequal treatment," Ammiano said.
AB 1266 passed 45-24, with many Republicans voting against it.
"I do not believe that by allowing individuals of opposite sex to use the same restrooms makes any sense at all and I think the vast majority of Californians deeply oppose this," said Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks.
The lower house also passed Assembly Bill 1121 by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, to make it easier for transgender people to change the name and gender listed on their birth certificate. That bill passed 55-16.
Both bills will now head to the Senate.
PHOTO CREDIT: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, leads the Pledge of Allegiance during the LGBT Pride Month Celebration at the Assembly floor on Monday, June 14, 2010. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua