SACRAMENTO, April 18, 2015 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Privacy advocates have taken the first step to prohibiting unwanted intrusions in California bathrooms, showers and locker rooms. Privacy For All has submitted language to California elections officials to place the Personal Privacy Protection Act on the 2016 ballot.
If approved by California voters, the Personal Privacy Protection Act requires that individuals "use facilities in accordance with their biological sex in all government buildings". The proposed initiative does not require private businesses to maintain sex separated facilities, but protects these businesses from legal action if they do require employees and patrons to "use facilities in accordance with their biological sex."
"We have great compassion for any person that is uncomfortable in traditional, sex separated facilities.
But we also want to protect the privacy that most of us expect when we are in public bathrooms, showers and dressing areas" said Gina Gleason, a proponent of the initiative.
California's legislature took an unprecedented step in 2013 by passing AB 1266 that allowed students in California public schools to choose the bathroom, shower and locker room that corresponds to the gender they identify with even if that is different from their biological sex. But that law was put on hold as opponents gathered almost 620,000 voter signatures for a referendum to allow voters to vote on the controversial new law. The matter is currently in court following voter officials rejecting more than one in five signatures to keep the measure off of the November 2014 ballot.
"California voters may have two chances to vote against co-ed bathrooms in 2016" said Karen England, a Privacy For All spokesperson. "We hope to wrap up the court battle over the AB 1266 referendum and place that on the ballot, but we also expect to have this new initiative before the voters at the same time."
If the voters vote to overturn AB 1266, the new initiative would still be needed to assure privacy in California bathrooms. AB 1266 applied only to facilities at public schools, where the new initiative applies to all government buildings including schools.
The Personal Privacy Protection Act also protects private businesses that may feel pressured to separate their bathrooms by gender identity as opposed to gender reality in order to avoid threatened lawsuits.
Proponents of the new initiative need to gather 365,880 signatures of California voters to place the measure before voters.