California became the first state in the nation Saturday to adopt a law requiring large retail stores to provide gender-neutral toy sections under a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The new law, which takes effect in 2024, says that retail stores with 500 or more employees must sell some toys and child-care products outside of areas specifically labeled by gender. Retailers can continue to offer other toys and child-care goods in traditional boys and girls sections if they choose to.
Assembly Bill 1084 continues a gradual shift in the retail industry away from strictly marketing children’s products under traditional gender stereotypes, said Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), who introduced the legislation. Target dropped boys and girls toy sections in 2015, and other retailers have since moved away from gender-specific labels.
“Part of it is to make sure if you’re a young girl that you can find a police car, fire truck, a periodic table or a dinosaur,” Low said. “And then similarly, if you’re a boy, if you’re more artistic and want to play with glitter, why not? Why should you feel the stigma of saying, ‘Oh, this should be shamed’ and going to a different location?”
Retailers that fail to comply with the new law will be subject to minimal civil penalties of $250 for a first violation and $500 for additional violations.
Source: LA Times