This Saturday, California Governor Gavin Newsom inked his name on a new law, making CA the first country to ask the large retailers to have gender-neutral product zones.
The New York Post reported that this law was pushed by LGBT advocates who expressed their beliefs that pink and blue marketing promotes gender stereotypes and harms kids. Newsom signed the law mandating the stores to have a gender-neutral area to display a reasonable section of items “regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girl or boys.”
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The places that have at least 500 employees are subject to this legislation.
Evan Low, a Dem state assemblyman, authored the bill and stated that he was grateful to Newsom for introducing this bill.
“We need to stop stigmatizing what’s acceptable for certain genders and just let kids be kids,” Low said. “My hope is this bill encourages more businesses across California and the U.S. to avoid reinforcing harmful and outdated stereotypes.”
Low stated that he was inspired to draw up this law by a 10-year-old girl Britten. Her mother worked in his legislative office.
“Britten asked her mom while shopping why certain things in a store were ‘off-limits to her because she was a girl, but would be fine if she was a boy,” Low said. “Thankfully, my colleagues recognized the pure intentions of this bill and the need to let kids be kids.”
The Associated Press said that some Republicans and conservative groups rejected this bill, and they stated that the government doesn’t have anything to do with telling parents how to shop for the children.
State Sen. Melissa Melendez, a Republican who voted against this law, stated that she would “recommend we let parents be parents.”
“Unlike the author, I have children, five of them to be exact, and I can tell you it is very convenient for parents,” she said. “I don’t think parents need the government to step in and tell them how they should shop for their children.”
Sen. Scott Wiener, a Dem from San Francisco, stated that he and Low are childless gay men, and he feels that they can have opinions about children and families.
“We know what it was like to grow up not conforming to the way that your gender is supposed to be,” he said, adding: “This is about making safe spaces for all children in today’s society and not pushing, sometimes forcing children to conform.”