Update of California referendum targeting trans children

Since election day we’ve gotten numerous requests for updates on what’s happening with the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) backed effort to repeal the California law defining protections for transgender school children.

The law (AB 1266) protecting transgender children, which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed in August, says schools must treat transgender students as equal to cisgender students.  A PJI-backed coalition of anti-LGBT groups calling itself “Privacy for All Students” has circulated 100s of thousands of anti-trans petitions throughout California. Their goal is to collect 505,000 valid signatures by November 12, 2013. If they collect those signatures, it will stop the trans equality law from taking effect in January and put the civil rights of trans kids up for popular vote in November 2014.

While election day has come and gone, signature gathering still continues!

Signature gatherer hiding face after being caught misrepresenting the issue to voters
Signature gatherer hiding face after being caught misrepresenting the issue to voters

According to the office of the California Secretary of State, signature gatherers will continue gathering signatures until this Sunday. It is very important that if you see people gathering signatures, immediately report them by calling 866-377-0578.

It is vitally important that we document signature gatherers who are committing election fraud by misrepresenting AB 1266. The TransAdvocate has exposed numerous instances of election fraud being committed by signature gatherers. One signature gather was caught on tape telling people that trans protections for children leads to rape and molestation.

If you see them, take photos and get audio or video of the rhetoric they’re using to get people to sign their petitions. If you catch them lying, be sure to record what is said (along with any dishonest signage) and if possible, the names of those who you catch committing election fraud. If you can record them, send video evidence to the TransAdvocate. It is a violation of California Election Code § 18600 to fraudulently represent of the facts of their petition drive. All documented instances of election fraud will be reported to the State of California.

According to the office of the California Secretary of State, it is unlikely that we will know whether the petition drive was successful until the first week in January, 2014. The Secretary of State will immediately act on evidence documenting election fraud. Furthermore, if the level of documented fraud is great enough to prove systemic, the validity of the petition drive and petitions can be challenged in court.

If you’re in California this weekend, be on the lookout.  Immediately report signature gatherers by calling 866-377-0578. Document all fraudulent representations and contact the TransAdvocate.


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Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of underserved communities. She started the first trans homeless shelter in Texas and co-founded the first federally funded housing-first homeless program, pioneered affordable health care for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. She has published short stories, academic chapters and papers, and numerous articles for both print and digital magazines. She received numerous awards for her advocacy and has presented at universities throughout the nation, served on several governmental committees and CBO boards, is the Editor of the TransAdvocate, and is a founding board member of the Transgender Foundation of America and the Bee Busy Wellness Center.