Proposed California bill requires majority of children's sections in department stores to be gender-neutral

Proposed California bill requires majority of children's sections in department stores to be gender-neutral
© ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

A proposed California bill would require the majority of items offered for children in state department stores to be organized in a gender-neutral section.

Clothes, toys and childcare articles would be subject to the law, which was introduced by Assembly member Evan Low (D-Campbell), should it pass.

"Rather than having a separate boy’s or girl’s section, let’s just have a kid’s section," Low said, according to Bay Area outlet KPIX. "And that’s what the conversation is about."

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He added, "Let’s make sure that we remove the kind of stigma, the type of bullying that we still see, especially in this day and age."

Stores that have over 500 employees, such as Target or Macy's, would be subject to Low's bill, AB 108, starting on January 1, 2024. Stores that fail to adhere to the requirements of non-gendered sections could be fined $1,000.

The bill doesn't require the items themselves to be gender-neutral, rather, the proposal targets the categorization of those items, banning signage that stipulates which sex or gender they are designed for.

Gabrielle Antolovich, president of the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center in San Jose, Calif., praised the bill.

"The children will be saying, 'Why can’t I have that?' And it’s not in the category that the parents think it should be," she told KPIX. "And that’s where parenting sometimes goes awry."