Newsom-signed bill penalizing toy retailers without “gender-neutral” sections will be enacted at the start of 2024

Newsom-signed bill penalizing toy retailers without “gender-neutral” sections will be enacted at the start of 2024

Pro-LGBTQ Assembly Bill No. 1084, signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021, will be enacted on January 1, 2024. The said legislation will require stores that sell “childcare items or toys” for children aged 12 years or younger to display a gender-neutral section, or they will be fined up to $500.

The law provides that stores must have designated gender-neutral toys “regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or boys. It will apply to retailers with 500 or more employees. Offenders will be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $250 for a first violation or $500 for a subsequent violation.”

Assemblyman Evan Low, a Democrat from San Jose who authored the bill and is now a representative in the U.S. Congress, said at the time the bill was signed that he was incredibly grateful to Newsom. “We need to stop stigmatizing what’s acceptable for certain genders and just let kids be kids,” he said. “My hope is this bill encourages more businesses across California and the U.S. to avoid reinforcing harmful and outdated stereotypes.”

While California is the first state to require this, some large department stores have already changed how they display their products. Target Corp., with 1,915 stores across the U.S., announced in 2015 that it would stop using some gender-based signs in its stores. Moreover, toy giant Lego released a statement saying that the company was working to make its products more inclusive for girls. “The company is committed to making Lego play more inclusive and ensuring that children’s creative ambitions – both now [sic] in the future – are not limited by gender stereotypes,” it said.

Meanwhile, other lawmakers and retailers decried the bill for being useless and for creating a law in which it set the rules for something the vast majority of stores already did organically. “I would recommend we let parents be parents,” said Senator Melissa Melendez (R-Ca) in a statement in 2021. “Unlike the author, I have children, five of them to be exact, and I can tell you it is very convenient for parents. I don’t think parents need the government to step in and tell them how they should shop for their children.”

The legislation has also received backlash on social media, with some X users pointing out the irony of the situation by highlighting the lengths California retailers have had to go to reduce the out-of-control crime while lawmakers worry about “gender-neutral toy aisles.” Kevin Dalton posted a made-up conversation in his mind to make a point: “Target: We pay exorbitant taxes and must cover every square inch of our store with plexiglass or get ravaged by looters. California: That’s a bummer, I see you don’t have gender-neutral toy aisles. That’s gonna be fine.” (Related: They’re coming for your CHILDREN: California Governor Gavin Newsom signs “anti-parent” law.)

Retailers: We do not need to label “gender-neutral” displays

Some retailers claimed that no changes have been made since the bill was passed because they were already doing it. “Genders aren’t a thing in dividing up toys or games or anything like that,” said Alan Morgen, a toy store owner in Riverside County. “Some can claim that you divide toys up by gender by putting, say, all the dolls together. But that makes sense when structuring aisles. You want everything of that type in the same area, so yeah, a bunch of toys marketed that way are going to be put together for the sake of organization and convenience.”

Eileen Ruiz-Tosh, who helps run several children’s aisles at a big box store in Bakersfield, added: “We were all pretty much set up this way and have been for years. No store labels things ‘boys’ and ‘girls.’ There are things they gravitate to, but corporations found out years ago during the second Star Wars craze that splitting things up by gender hurt sales… People from up top would visit these stores right after making the kids’ sections more fluid when it comes to that and would be pleasantly surprised to see little girls carrying out Darth Vader figures and things like that. Sales went up too.”

Ruiz-Tosh stood firm that they’ll leave their display as is. “You know what’s better than not labeling an aisle gender-neutral? Not doing that. That way kids can just be kids and choose what they want.”

A baby store co-owner also said they were already putting a “gender-neutral” aisle but for an entirely unrelated reason. “That’s because it is for parents and loved ones and even people going to showers wanting to get a baby something when the gender isn’t known. You know, parents want to be surprised, so everyone doesn’t know what to get them. So we have dedicated areas to them. Luckily, baby toys are pretty versatile anyway, but sometimes they want to get something a bit more personal. But since the gender isn’t known, we found that offering a selection of things helped people out.” has more stories similar to this.

Watch the video below that talks about Newsom focusing on AB 1084 implementation rather than solving other issues in the Golden State.

This video is from the True Conservative Minutes channel on

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