A pioneering bill has been introduced in California that, if passed, would make kids’ sections in department store gender neutral.
“Let kids be kids,” tweeted State Assembly member Evan Low, who chairs the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. He’s co-sponsoring Assembly Bill 2826 with colleague Cristina Garcia, who chairs the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.
“Rather than having a separate boy’s or girl’s section, let’s just have a kid’s section,” Low KPIX-TV in the San Francisco Bay Area. “And that’s what the conversation is about.” (Check out the video above.)
If the bill passes, clothing, toys and childcare items would be in a gender neutral sections of large stores beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
The bill would require retailers with 500 or more employees “to maintain undivided areas of its sales floor where the majority of those items being offered are displayed, regardless of whether an item has traditionally been marketed for either girls or for boys,” according to the Legislative Counsel’s digest of the bill.
The measure would also prohibit signs that indicate whether a particular product is for boys or girls.
Online retailers with a physical presence in California would also be required to label their toy and child care sections in a unisex or gender neutral way.
Stores that violate the policy would face fines up to $1,000.
Low said he was inspired in part by Target’s decision to eliminate gendered kids sections.
He’d like to think of the bill as a “watershed” move, but in reality, the industry is already doing it, and “we’re just trying to play catch up,” he told the Sacramento Bee.
Another source of inspiration was from the 9-year-daughter of one of his staff members who couldn’t understand why she had to go to the “boys’” section to find science-related toys.
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