CA Bill Would Make It Illegal For Stores To Display Children's Clothes By Gender
Sacramento, CA – California lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it illegal for stores to separate children’s clothes and toys according to gender.
Assembly Bill 2826, sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low, would abolish “girls’ aisles” and “boys’ aisles” at all retail department stores that employ at least 500 workers, The Sacramento Bee reported.
The stores would be required to display children’s products in a gender-neutral location, “regardless of whether a particular item has traditionally been marketed for either girls or for boys,” according to the bill.
Failure to comply with the new law would result in a fine of up to $1,000.
“Unjustified differences in similar products that are traditionally marketed either for girls or for boys can be more easily identified by the consumer if similar items are displayed closer to one another in one, undivided area of the retail sales floor,” according to the bill.
Separating items according to gender also “incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate,” the bill read.
Separating kids’ products “pigeonholes children,” Low said in press release.
“No child should feel stigmatized for wearing a dinosaur shirt or playing with a Barbie doll,” he said. “It also incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate.”
Low claimed he drafted the bill at the behest of the young daughter of one of his staff members, The Sacramento Bee reported.
According to his office, the child said she thought it should be illegal for stores to have separate boys’ and girls’ sections because she didn’t like them arranged that way.
“I was inspired to introduce this bill after 8-year-old Britten asked, ‘Why should a store tell me what a girl’s shirt or toy is?’” Low said in the release. “Her bill will help children express themselves freely and without bias. We need to let kids be kids.”
Parents’ reactions to the proposed law change have been mixed.
“As a mom of two toddlers, if I have a boy and a girl, having it centralized where I don’t have to run around the store is a great idea,” Chloe Gannage told KSBY.
Others disagreed, arguing that there was no reason for the government to force department stores to create a single children’s department.
“We want raise our daughter to know she’s a girl, that’s how she was born, that’s how she will live and our sons that they were born boys,” Candice Miller told KSBY. “I want my daughter to dress like a girl and I want my boys to dress like boys and I want those sections to be separated.”
If passed, the proposed legislation would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.