California lawmakers have introduced a new bill that, if passed, would fine retailers $1,000 for having separate sections for boys and girls instead of putting all of their products together, Faithwire reports.
The legislation, which was introduced by Democrat Assembly members Evan Low and Cristina Garcia last week, seeks to push for inclusivity by having all toys, clothing, and other kid-oriented products arranged in a “gender-neutral” manner.
Despite the requirement, retailers will still be able to sell their current products, but they would have to put all of the gender-based products together instead of separate sections because of sex.
Likewise, online products sold by California-based stores must have their products in a collective “ids,” “unisex,” or “gender-neutral” format on their webpage.
Any retailer who violates the rules and “fails to correct a violation” within 30 days of written notice from California’s attorney general will be subject to a $1,000 fine.
Low, who serves as chair of the Legislative LGBT Caucus, explained to Politico that his goal in proposing the bill was to establish a “more inclusive” shopping experience for children.
He added that he got the idea from one of his staffers whose young daughter wondered why one of the toys she wanted was in the boy’s section.
“This is an issue of children being able to express themselves without bias,” Low contended.
The text of the bill states that “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.”
Retailers are mandated to hold “one, undivided area of its sales floor” where consumers can find toys, childcare supplies, and clothing in one place.
If approved, the bill will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
Several big-name retailers have previously incorporated “gender-neutral” shopping options in recent years.
In 2015, Target announced that separate sections for bedding and toys would be eliminated.
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