Will Governor Jerry Brown protect transgender students from discrimination?

That's the big question now that the California state senate passed AB 1266 on July 3, with the bill heading to Brown's desk.

Called the “School Success and Opportunity Act,” AB 1266 will “allow transgender students to fully participate in all school activities, sports teams, programs, and facilities in accordance with their gender identity,” says Equality California, a statewide gay rights group, in a press release.

AB 1266 is backed by such organizations as the Transgender Law Center, the Gender Spectrum, Equality California, ACLU of California, and many others.

“I'm so happy the state is taking action to make sure I have the same opportunity as everyone else to go to school and graduate,” says Ashton Lee, a 16-year-old transgender boy who testified before the Senate Education Committee last week, in a press statement.

He adds, “I just want to be treated the same as all the other boys, but my school forces me to take P.E. in a class of all girls and live as someone I'm not. I can't learn and succeed when every day in that class leaves me feeling isolated and alone.”

John O'Connor, executive director of Equality California, says, “Ending discrimination and exclusion is important for everyone, including transgender youth, and AB

1266 moves us closer toward that goal.”

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