• Rich

California Bill Would Ban Gendered Signs at Retail Stores

State legislatures in California proposed Assembly Bill 1084 that would require retailers with more than 500 employees to remove gender-specific signage and “maintain undivided areas of its sales floor.

The bill would apply to items such as toys and clothing. It would also affect online retailers with a physical presence in California as it would require them to use gender-neutral terms on their sites.

What would California be without a law like this, am I right?

Co-author of the bill, Assemblywoman Christina Garcia, told USA Today, "It's really important that toys and kids' sections be neutral in order to give kids as many opportunities to flourish and develop and be creative. We should allow our kids to explore and try different things and let them come to their own conclusion of how they will identify themselves."

With that kind of talk, I’m surprised Garcia still identifies as an “assemblywoman” and not an “assemblyperson.”

If the bill is passed, it would go into effect on January 1, 2024 and would fine retailers that violate it a $1,000 civil penalty.

The other co-author of the bill, Assemblyman Evan Low, chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, said that the inspiration for the bill came to him when a staffer’s 9-year-old daughter had to search for science-related toys in the boy’s aisle of a retail store.

Citing retail chain Target’s decision to end gendered toy sections in 2015, Low told the Sacramento Bee, "As much as I'd like to think of this as watershed legislation, this is something the industry is already doing. We're just trying to play catch up."