California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a law requiring large toy retailers to provide gender-neutral toy sections in their stores. Critics say it’s government overreach, and that Newsom has bigger issues to fix.
The bill, signed into law by Newsom on Saturday, will require toy retailers and chains with more than 500 employees to display toys traditionally marketed at girls or boys together in a special area of floor space. This area can be “labeled at the discretion of the retailer,” according to the bill’s text.
The bill describes the traditional labeling of toys, for example dolls for girls, trucks and guns for boys, as making “it more difficult for the consumer to compare the products and incorrectly impl[ying] that their use by one gender is inappropriate.”
The new law requires the state to apply the new rule by Jan. 1, 2024, or as soon as regulators determine is “feasible,” whichever date is later, according to the bill.
The bill served as one step in the governor’s California Comeback Plan that includes a strong focus on climate change initiatives.
“In a time when the state and country are more divided than ever, this legislative session reminds us what we can accomplish together. I am thankful for our partners in the state Legislature who furthered our efforts to tackle the state’s most persistent challenges – together, we took action to address those challenges head-on, implementing historic legislation and the California Comeback Plan to hit fast forward on our state’s recovery,” Newsom said in a press release on Saturday.
How could these things have happened?