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Opponents of a new law allowing transgender students to use the school facilities reflecting their gender identity have submitted a referendum to nix the law.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1266 last week, angering opponents. They said the law, written by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, (right) would undermine parental choice and cause discomfort for students. Republican lawmakers denounced the move on social media, and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, said he would pull his children from public school.

On Friday, some of those detractors filed a referendum to overturn the law, which they have dubbed the "the co-ed bathroom bill."

"We respect that some students are struggling with their own sexual identity, but we ask for respect for the other students who will be humiliated when a boy walks into the (girls') locker room," said Karen England, who is executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute and the contact point on paperwork submitted to the attorney general's office. "This is a privacy issue, a safety issue, and a common sense issue."

In response, the executive director of Equality California, one of the sponsors of AB 1266, issued a statement dismissing the referendum as "a predictable move by fringe groups that oppose all pro-equality measures."

"AB1266 is an historic civil rights bill ensuring all students have the opportunity to participate and succeed in schools, including transgender students," John O'Connor said in the statement. "EQCA and our partners will remain vigilant about monitoring the situation."

PHOTO: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco listens to comments at an Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing on Wednesday, October 22, 2009 at the State Capitol in Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.


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