A new state law in California will force toy retailers to have a section of toys designated as “gender neutral.” Starting in 2024, they will no longer be able to offer only “boy” and “girl” sections, and those that fail to implement it will be fined.
The controversial bill, introduced by California Governor Gavin Newsom, was pushed by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), who said the daughter of one of his staff members inspired him to develop the bill when she asked why she had to go to the boys’ section to find certain toys, the LA Times reported.
“I think it’s important that we as a state are demonstrating our values of diversity and inclusion,” Low said.
The law, which will apply to California retailers with at least 500 workers, will begin to be enforced in 2024. Retailers who fail to comply will be subject to minimum penalties of $250 for a first offense and $500 for additional violations.
Supporters of the law promoted by the progressive agenda say the law will help combat gender stereotypes, as pink is for girls and blue for boys can be harmful to children. While those who oppose the idea see the law as government overreach.
One supporter is the Consumer Federation of California, who said: “Keeping similar items that are traditionally marketed either for girls or for boys separated makes it more difficult for the consumer to compare the products and incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate.”
California is the first state to require this, although some department stores had already adopted changes in how they display their products. For example, according to LA Times, Target Corp, which has 1914 stores in the United States, eliminated toy sections for boys and girls in 2015.
Meanwhile, some manufacturers also bowed to pressure and have proposed making changes to accommodate the “gender agenda.”
In February, toymaker Hasbro Inc. said it was dropping the “Mr.” from the brand Mr. Potato Head and introduced a boxed set with enough plastic potatoes and accessories for children to create all types of families, Fox Business said.
Regarding this, Arizona Republican Congresswoman Debbie Lesko tweeted, “Cancellation culture strikes again!”
Senate candidate Bernie Moreno has also been critical of the California governor’s progressive policies, saying, “Of the challenges facing California, Gavin Newsom is fulfilling the wishes of the woke.”
Meanwhile, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott harshly criticized Newsom’s bill, assuring that his government will never force private entities to do so.
Through a message posted on Twitter, Governor Abbott said:
“California mandates gender-neutral toy aisles for large retailers. Not in Texas. In Texas, it is businesses—NOT government—that decide how they display their merchandise.”