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Newly proposed bill in California would require stores' toy aisles to be gender-neutral

Businesses that fail to comply could face civil penalties

Xinhua/Wang Ying via Getty Images

As California faces a major homeless crisis, skyrocketing taxes, and serious affordable housing issues, a California state legislator is focused on issues that truly matter: gender-neutral toy aisles.

According to KRON-TV in San Francisco, a new California law would require retailers to have gender-neutral sections inside of their stores.

Proposed by Assemblyman Evan Low (D), Assembly Bill 2826 would apply to retail department stores with over 500 employees. If passed, the law would eliminate boys and girls aisles, and require that children's toys be offered in one, gender-neutral section inside the store.

"A retail department store shall maintain one, undivided area of its sales floor where, if it sells childcare articles, all childcare articles, regardless of whether a particular item has traditionally been marketed for either girls or for boys, shall be displayed," reads the text of the bill.

Low's proposed legislation adds: "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."

The bill specifies that it extends to toys, clothing, and other children's products:

(f) For purposes of this section: (1) "Childcare articles" means any product designed or intended by the manufacturer to facilitate sleep, relaxation, or the feeding of children, or to help children with sucking or teething.(2) "Clothing" means any wearing apparel, worn for any purpose, including under and outer garments, shoes, and accessories composed primarily of woven material, natural or synthetic yarn, fiber, or leather or similar fabric.(3) "Toys" means all products designed or intended by the manufacturer to be used by children when they play.

Though the law would not go into effect for a couple years, if approved by the California state assembly, retailers that do not comply could face a civil fine of $1,000 beginning Jan. 1, 2023.

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