California has become the first state to require large retailers to have gender-neutral sections for products like toys and toothbrushes — a law pushed by LGBT advocates who say that pink and blue marketing reinforces gender stereotypes and is harmful to children.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the new law Saturday that mandates large stores offer a gender-neutral section to display “a reasonable selection” of items “regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys.”
The legislation only pertains to toys and “childcare items,” including hygiene and teething products.
Only stores with at least 500 employees will be subject to the new legislation, which does not outlaw traditional boys and girls sections.
Evan Low, a Democrat state assemblyman who authored the bill, said he was “incredibly grateful” Newsom signed the bill this year.
“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 “My hope is this bill encourages more businesses across California and the U.S. to avoid reinforcing harmful and outdated stereotypes.”
The initiative was the third time that Democrats in the state Legislature have tried to pass this law, with similar bills failing in 2019 and 2020.
Republicans and some conservative groups fought against the legislation, arguing that the government should not tell parents how to shop for their children.
With Post wires
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