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(CNSNews.com) – The California Secretary of State’s press office confirmed on Wednesday that Secretary Debra Bowen has given all 58 counties in the state until Feb. 24 to count and verify every signature in a petition campaign to let voters decide whether a law that gives students the right to use facilities and take part in sports and other activities based on their “gender identity” and not their biological sex stands.Assembly Bill 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in August 2013.The law, which is designed to “protect” transgender students, states, in part, “a pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athlete teams and competition, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”This means that a male student, for example, can play the girls’ basketball team if he “identifies” as a female and vice versa – if they make said team.A coalition of parents, students, non-profits and faith groups who oppose the law launched a petition drive, which under California law allows voters to challenge a state law if the secretary of state certifies that the campaign has met or exceeded the 504,760-signature threshold.Karen England, a spokesperson for Privacy for All Students (PFAS), told CNSNews.com that the group has collected more than 600,000 signatures.A dispute between PFAS and the secretary of state as to whether the petitions met delivery deadlines was settled by the California Supreme Court last week when it ruled that the secretary had to accept the petitions.Following a rudimentary count, the secretary on Wednesday ordered a final signature count.“We believe [the law] is an invasion of privacy,” England told CNSNews.com. “We want to protect the privacy of all students at all times in the public schools.”“AB1266, the co-ed bathroom law, is a horrible attempt by activists to strip society of all gender roles and uses children as a weapon in their culture war,” National Organization of Marriage (NOM) President Brian Brown said in a statement.
This means that a male student, for example, can play the girls’ basketball team if he “identifies” as a female and vice versa – if they make said team.