Objective in Calif.: 'Reclaim essential privacy rights'

Friday, May 1, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

A constitutional law expert says it's apparent Californians are going to have to take the initiative to protect their privacy – because those in public office won't do it.

"This new initiative is about respecting and protecting the privacy of boys and girls in the restrooms, locker rooms, and showers in public schools," says attorney Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute. "But it's also about protecting adults who are using public restrooms in not wanting someone from the opposite biological sex to prance in and visually violate them."

Dacus is referring to the Personal Privacy Protection Act, an initiative launched by traditional values groups via a second petition drive to amend the state constitution. With sufficient signatures on the petition, the initiative would appear on the November 2016 ballot – and if approved by voters, would overturn the state's anti-discrimination law (AB 1266) dealing with transgendered people.

Specifically, the measure would require people to "use facilities in accordance with their biological sex in all government buildings" – including schools. It would also allow private businesses to protect the privacy of patrons and employees in restrooms and locker rooms.

Dacus, Brad (PJI)The attorney believes the initiative strikes an appropriate balance between "compassion toward those suffering from gender-identity dysphoria" and "common sense in not casting aside crucial constitutional rights like privacy."

The first petition drive for such an initiative was disqualified after a court ruled many signatures were invalid. Dacus tells OneNewsNow he is still fighting that ruling through the legal process.

"... The legislature has let us down [and] the courts have let us down," he expresses. "So at the end of the day we have to preserve and protect the ability and rights for the people to have the final say by deciding this at the ballot box."

Dacus adds that with the up-to-now failure of the first initiative, organizers have had more time to educate the public on the dangers of the current transgender policy, plus fewer signatures are required on the second petition drive.

Once the PPPA initiative is appropriately issued by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, supporters will have 180 days to gather 365,880 signatures. Dacus believes that goal is achievable in the time allotted - and then, he says, "the voters of California - the moms, the dads, and others - will have the final say" via the ballot.

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