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Opponents of California Transgender Student Law Challenge End of Ballot Effort

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Opponents of a newly implemented California law for transgender students in public schools have sued to challenge a finding by the secretary of state's office that their petition effort fell short of the number of valid signatures required to put a repeal of the measure on the state's ballot.

The law, which went into effect Jan. 1, guarantees transgender students the right to bathrooms, sex-segregated facilities, classes, and sports teams that match their gender identity, even if it differs from the sex listed on their birth certificate.

A coalition of religious and other groups sought to put a measure on the ballot that would allow voters to overturn the law, but their efforts failed when state authorities ruled the number of valid signatures they'd collected through a petition drive fell about 17,000 valid signatures short of the 504,760 necessary to trigger a referendum. The Associated Press reported on the court challenge Tuesday.

"The Pacific Justice Institute, a Christian legal group, announced Tuesday that it has filed papers in Sacramento Superior Court seeking a court order that would compel Secretary of State Debra Bowen to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

Attorney Matthew McReynolds says the group is arguing that county election officers improperly invalidated more than 17,276 signatures from the petitions the referendum's supporters circulated.

McReynolds says his own signature was thrown out because it did not match the one on his original voter registration card, a discrepancy he attributed to the fact that he is now blind."

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