In a move that is being mocked by critics, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a law over the weekend prohibiting stores from segregating toys by gender.
According to the Washington Examiner, the legislation requires that retail outlets with in excess of 500 employees must offer a “gender-neutral” toy aisle by 2024.
Unsurprisingly, there are penalties for non-compliance, as businesses that fail to comply face fines of $250 for a first offense, and $500 for all subsequent violations.
The law states that keeping toys marketed “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.”
However, Republican state Sen. Melissa Melendez (CA) disputed that claim, arguing that instead of making life easier for parents it will only cause additional headaches.
“Unlike the author, I actually have children, five of them to be exact, and I can tell you it is very convenient for parents,” the Examiner quoted Melendez as saying.
“I don’t think parents need the government to step in and tell them how they should shop for their children,” the California lawmaker insisted.
Republican State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (CA) spoke up as well, arguing that the bill was yet another example of Democrats attempting to distract voters from real problems.
“The big problems facing California are now solved,” Kiley tweeted on Sunday. “Gov. Newsom has signed bills to ban gas-powered leaf blowers and require ‘gender neutral’ toy aisles.”
California does indeed have some “big problems,” with the Los Angeles Times reporting in July that the state’s murder rate went up by 31% last year alone, in the wake of an aggressive “defund the police” push by radical progressive activists.
What’s more, CBS 2 in Los Angeles reported in December that California has the third-highest rate of homelessness in the country.
The state also recorded an unemployment rate of 7.5% last month, a full 1.4% higher than the rate recorded by Texas. Meanwhile, Business Insider reports that California has a higher percentage of people living in poverty than any other state.