California anti-trans group fails to gather enough support to challenge bathroom law

A bid by right-wing, anti-LGBT groups to put California's Success in School and Opportunity Act on the ballot this fall failed to gather enough legitimate signatures to become a ballot referendum. According to the Associated Press, the signatures gathered by the so-called Privacy for All Students Coalition contained too high a number of false or unverifiable signatures to force a public vote.

The group needed a total of 504,760 signatures by the deadline, which was in November of 2013. Election officials returned the official count of signatures on Monday, stating that only 487,484 of them were valid.

National Center for Transgender Equality director Mara Keisling said in a statement, "We are very happy with today's outcome upholding the majority of Californians' belief that transgender students deserve a fair shot at doing well in school. School administrators and teachers in California had already been making the appropriate adjustments to achieve that even before this law took effect. And our view, along with the views of many parents, administrators and teachers in California, is that transgender kids should have the same education as all our kids."

The Pacific Justice Institute joined forces with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to fight the California law, which went into effect Jan. 1. Both groups are classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups due to their decades-long records of spreading misinformation and anti-LGBT propaganda.

Under the Success in School and Opportunity Act, students are allowed to use sex-segregated facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their expressed gender. Right-wing groups oppose the law, maintaining that allowing trans students these freedoms will lead to chaos and confusion that will infringe upon the rights of cisgendered students and leave them traumatized.

Advocates of placing the Act on the ballot in the fall like Fox News psychiatrist Keith Ablow say that the new law is merely a liberal plot to disenfranchise Christians and straight men.

Making cisgender boys shower with a trans boy will damage their minds and “steal their ability to trust adults, shake their faith in any form of reality, traumatize them by shaming them and kindle waves of completely unnecessary anxiety,” Ablow wrote in a column for

Christian organizations made multiple attempts to spread stories of students menaced or traumatized by the new law, but all of them were ultimately debunked.