On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a mandate that says large retailers must have a gender-neutral aisle for children’s toys.
The law will require stores with 500 or more employees to keep a gender-neutral section with toys and children’s items, except clothes, regardless if they have been marketed for either girls or boys.
It was introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low and does not ban items made specifically for boys or girls.
Going into effect Jan. 1, 2024, the law says violators will face a fine up to $250 for the first violation and $500 for subsequent violations.
Gov. Newsom signed the bill into law on Saturday, and it is the first law of this kind in the entire country.
“We need to stop stigmatizing what’s acceptable for certain genders and just let kids be kids”, said Low to the Associated Press. He also said “My hope is this bill encourages more businesses across California and the U.S. to avoid reinforcing harmful and outdated stereotype”.
Stores have moved away from gender-based items in the past few years. Target stopped using some gender-based signs in its stores in 2015.
Many believe the law is unnecessary and argue that the government should not tell parents how to shop for their children.