SACRAMENTO — A new voter initiative would significantly expand privacy protections in sensitive facilities such as public restrooms and locker rooms.
The measure is similar to but more protective than the referendum effort on AB 1266, the controversial legislation that allows students to use bathrooms and locker rooms based only on their self-perceived gender identity.
The new initiative, known as the Personal Privacy Protection Act, would reaffirm restroom use based on biological sex in all state and local government buildings, including schools. The PPPA would also allow businesses to protect the privacy of patrons and employees in restrooms and locker rooms.
The PPPA further includes a provision allowing proponents to defend the measure in court if state authorities refuse to do so.
The initiative was submitted to the office of Attorney Genral Kamala Harris on behalf of Privacy for All by attorney Kevin Snider of Pacific Justice Institute.
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, said, “The Personal Privacy Protection Act will allow Californians to reclaim essential privacy rights that have been trampled by our politicians. We can and we must be both compassionate toward those suffering from gender identity dysphoria, and exercise common sense in not casting aside crucial constitutional rights like privacy. This initiative strikes the appropriate balance.”
Once a title and summary are issued by the Attorney General, proponents will have 180 days to gather 365,880 valid signatures. The Privacy for All Students coalition gathered about 620,000 signatures in a shorter timeframe for the AB 1266 referendum, of which more than 487,000 were validated. Low voter turnout in California’s 2014 gubernatorial election has resulted in fewer signatures being required to place initiatives on the 2016 ballot.
Pacific Justice Institute will issue further releases when the initiative is ready for signature-gathering.