California Proposes Penalties for Stores Refusing to Offer “Gender-Neutral” Toy Sections for Children

California Retailers Facing Financial Penalties for Not Having Gender-Neutral Toy Sections

Some California retailers are bracing themselves for a financial hit as they face penalties for not complying with a recent law. Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill in 2021 that will impose fines on stores with more than 500 employees if they do not provide “gender-neutral” toy sections for children 12 years and under by January 1, 2024.

According to a report by Fox News, the legislative text defines childcare items as products designed to facilitate sleep, relaxation, feeding, or teething for children. This means that retailers will be required to adjust their toy sections to meet these criteria in order to avoid the financial penalty.

Greg Burt, Vice President of the California Family Research Council, expressed concerns about the law, stating that it violates the First Amendment. He argued that the government should not dictate the signage in stores and force businesses to use specific words to advertise products, especially if it goes against their religious or belief systems.

The controversial legislation was introduced by State Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), who aims to eliminate stereotypes and stigmas associated with certain genders. Low explained that the bill is designed to encourage businesses to avoid reinforcing harmful and outdated gender stereotypes, both in California and across the United States.

Critics of the law have condemned it as an overreach of government authority and a violation of freedom of speech. The law has sparked debates about the role of government in dictating social and cultural norms, particularly in the context of influencing children’s development and perceptions of gender.

Some have even compared the law to a prediction made by the satire website The Babylon Bee in 2020, which humorously “predicted” that California would take steps to confuse and brainwash children. This comparison has sparked discussions about the blurred lines between satire and reality in contemporary American society.

Overall, the new law has sparked controversy and raised questions about the government’s role in regulating social and cultural norms, particularly in the context of children’s products and gender identity. As the deadline for compliance approaches, many California retailers are evaluating their options and considering the implications of the law on their businesses.


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