California’s Assembly Bill 1314 dies in committee

California Assembly Bill 1314 Bill Essayli

Republican Assembly member Bill Essayli, who represents the 63rd District in western Riverside County, introduced Assembly Bill 1314. The bill would give school districts three days to notify parents, in writing, once a school employee learns a student identifies as a gender that doesn’t align with their birth certificate or other official records. For example, asking to be identified by a different gender or participating in sports of the opposite gender. The bill died in the education committee after the chair refused to give the legislation a hearing. Photo: Office of Bill Essayli

Assembly Bill 1314, which would have required California school districts to notify parents if they discover the child’s gender is different from the one assigned at birth, died in the education committee after the chair refused to set a hearing for the legislation.

Assembly Bill 1314, which was introduced last month by  Republican Assembly members Bill Essayli, of Riverside, and James Gallagher, of Yuba City, would have required any teacher, counselor, or employee of a school to notify the parents of any student that identifies at school as a gender that does not align with the child’s assigned gender at birth, uses sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, or uses facilities that do not align with the child’s assigned gender.

Assembly member Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), who chairs the education committee, released a statement Monday about his refusal to hold a hearing on AB 1314.

“This bill would require educators to ‘out’ a student to their parents, even when the student does not feel comfortable coming out, potentially forcing them into an unwelcoming or abusive home,” he said.

“As a parent, I believe that gender identity conversations between parents and their children should occur  in a safe and private space.

“I will not be setting AB 1314 for a hearing, not only because the bill is proposing bad policy, but also because a hearing would potentially provide a forum for increasingly hateful rhetoric targeting LGBTQ youth,” Muratsuchi said.

Essayli had said that the bill was all in the name of championing parents’ rights and helping youth.

The bill will stay in the education committee until policy bill deadliness pass. Then, all bills that didn’t move out of their chamber of origin die and are not brought back, unless their authors decide to roll them over to the following year.

Equality California, the state’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, applauded Muratsuchi’s decision.

“Under existing law, parents already have ample rights to be active partners in their children’s education — LGBTQ+ youth should be given dignity and respect to decide when and how to reveal intimate details about their lives,” Tony Hoang, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “The state should play no part in right-wing attempts to vilify trans people and further inflame the never-ending culture war.”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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