August 14, 2013 at 11:42 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Calif. governor signs transgender students bill
Jerry Brown, California, gay news, Washington Blade, transgender students

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill that requires public schools to guarantee transgender students have equal access to on-campus facilities and programs. (Photo via Wikipedia)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill into law that requires public schools to provide transgender students with equal access to restrooms, athletic teams and other on-campus programs.

LGBT rights groups described the measure as “historic” as they applauded Brown for signing it.

“We commend Gov. Brown for standing up for transgender equality,” Equality California Executive Director John O’Connor said.

The measure – Assembly Bill 1266 – passed in the California Assembly in June, but Brown faced mounting pressure from LGBT advocacy groups to sign it.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality California, the Transgender Law Center, GSA Network and Gender Spectrum on July 8 sent a letter to Brown that urged him to sign Assembly Bill 1266 or the School Success and Opportunity Act.

“Transgender youth deserve a safe, non-discriminatory school environment that encourages them to learn and participate fully, just like everyone else,” the advocacy groups’ letter states.

“There should be certainty that every kid has the chance to go to school and be treated equally and fairly,” said bill sponsor Sen. Mark Leno in June.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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