Transgender rights advocates are taking aim at the Chairman of the Jelly Belly company after learning that he donated thousands of dollars to the campaign to repeal California’s landmarktransgender student rights law.
In September, Herman G. Rowland Sr., chairman of the board of Jelly Belly Candy Company, Inc., donated $5,000 to Privacy for All Students, a coalition fighting for a referendum effort to repeal the transgender rights legislation, reported Frontiers LA.
The statute — known as School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266) — was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in August, requires public schools to allow students to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities based on self-perception of gender instead of birth gender or transition status.
The law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2014, is the first of its kind in the country to spell out the rights of transgender K-12 students.
Last week, the leaders of four prominent LGBT rights organizations signed on to a letter initiated by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), asking Rowland to “reconsider support of the campaign by joining leaders from the transgender equality movement in a conversation about the real harms facing transgender kids.”
The letter is signed by NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling; Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center; Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights; and John O’Connor, Executive Director of Equality California.