SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California could soon force large department stores to display some child products in gender neutral ways after the state Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday aimed at getting rid of traditional pink and blue marketing schemes for items like toys and toothbrushes.
The bill would not outlaw traditional boys and girls sections in department stores, but it would require retailers to have a gender neutral section to display “a reasonable selection” of items “regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys.”
The bill would only apply to department stores with 500 or more employees, so most small businesses would be exempt. It also wouldn’t apply to clothes, just toys and “childcare items,” which include hygiene and teething products.
The state Senate passed the bill Wednesday, sending it back to the Assembly for a procedural vote before it heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. If it becomes law, California would become the first state to require these sections in stores, according to the office of Assemblyman Evan Low, the bill’s author.
This is at least the third time California lawmakers have tried to pass this bill, with previous versions failing to pass in 2019 and 2020. Low, a Democrat from Campbell, said the measure was inspired by a 10-year-old girl named Britten whose mother works in his legislative office.
“Britten asked her mom while shopping why certain things in a store were ‘off limits’ to her because she was a girl, but would be fine if she was a boy,” Low said. “Thankfully, my colleagues recognized the pure intentions of this bill and the need to let kids be kids.”
Some large retailers are already rethinking how they display their products. Target Corp., with 1,914 stores across the United States, announced in 2015 it would stop using some gender-based signs in its stores.
The California Retailers Association declined to comment on the bill Wednesday. Formal opposition has come from a number of conservative groups. State Sen. Melissa Melendez, a Republican from Lake Elsinore, voted against the bill, saying she would “recommend we let parents be parents.”
“Unlike the author, I actually have children, five of them to be exact, and I can tell you it is very convenient for parents,” she said. “I don’t think parents need the government to step in and tell them how they should shop for their children.”
Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, said that while both he and Low are “childless gay men,” he defended their right to have opinions about children and families.
“We know what it was like to grow up not conforming to the way that your gender is supposed to be,” he said, adding: “This is about making safe spaces for all children in today’s society and not pushing, sometimes forcing children to conform.”
While the law will require large department stores to comply, penalties for not doing so would be light. Starting in 2024, prosecutors could seek fines of up to $250 for first offenses and up to $500 for second offenses. Those would be civil, not criminal, penalties. Stores could also end up having to pay for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
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It might work if there were gender neutral people, but there isn’t! Mr.Weiner can have all the opinions he wants but he isn’t a parent. Sen. Melendez is right, this is not the sort of thing government should be mandating, retailing is driven by consumers and their tastes, not government mandate unless you’re in the old USSR. Funny, the words of the little girl sound curiously like the setups from children in climate change, racism, sexism, adult concepts worded by children to gain empathy for whatever cause.
How’s about stores RETALIATE by pulling all their business OUT OF COMMIEFORNIA!!!
Brainwashed kids—stupid parents—and brainless, incompetent Liberal politicians. This is the kind of garbage that legislators spend their time creating bills for—this is the best they can do with their time???
How I wish for the days again when I was a kid—when this BS wasn’t ruining our society and our country.
I wonder. IF we could go back say, to the mid 50s, when this insanity was in its infancy, and starting its spread into all of our institutions, COULD WE HAVE STOPPED IT BACK THEN had we actually TRIED!
Boy, communist California, you can dress all boys in pink and dress these boys in girls cloths and you can raise another generation of sheep communists, just like the politicians you have running California now!
This is another example of the Democrats desire for Socialist Democrat party Control.
The U.S. is or was a Free Market System, where the consumer dictates what sell or doesn’t sell.
Not a corrupt, immoral, unethical, socialist Democrat Party ruled State. “Rule and Ruin”.
The Traitorous socialist Democrat Party has stated their objectives.
The “Socialist Democrat Party State” political officers, Gestapo, Woke and Cancel Culture are just getting started.
You will obey, be loyal and support the “Socialist Democrat Party State” or you will be classified as
“Enemies of the State”.
These fools can bow down to their traitorous, socialist Democrat Party and their corrupt, dishonorable, puppet president Joe Biden if they want, but We the rational People are not their dogs on a leash but if pushed we will bite.
just when you thought California politicians couldn’t get any dumber they prove you wrong
Hence why even IF Larry elder, manages to beat Newsome like the red headed step child he is, IT STILL WON’T change a damn thing imo. BECAUSE the state legislature, and practically every city’s legislature/mayors, are JUST AS INSANE as Newsome is..
Dems only pass &/or enforce laws that gives them dictatorship power & control over law abiding working class citizens because it is too much trouble & politically / physically dangerous for them to enforce laws against the millions of career criminals, illegal aliens, vagrants & the aggressive & hostile govt dependent militants they created who now refuse to work for their upkeep.
Target CEO is like the Woka Cola CEO & the other grossly overpaid monopolistic Corp execs whose success is tied to corrupt political power, media favor & bowing to a few fringe group activists rather than the majority of the public.
Why else would businesses tolerate wholesale thievery & even total destruction unless corrupt politicians promise to use our tax $ to offset their losses?
The gender neutral section law in stores is just as absurd as Target putting all boy & girl clothes together. Parents will still buy the toys & clothes for their little girls or boys in pink, blue, trucks or dolls.