California stores that do not feature a gender-neutral toy selection for kids risk incurring a fine of up to $500, according to a law that will be enforceable in January seeking to reduce what proponents say are harmful stereotypes about boys and girls.

Under AB 1084, retail stores that sell childcare items or toys must maintain a “gender-neutral” section and display what the bill describes as a “reasonable selection” of toys, regardless of whether the products have traditionally been marketed towards boys or girls.

The law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021 gives stores a Jan. 1, 2024 deadline to comply. The legislation defines “childcare items” as any product designed or intended to facilitate sleep, relaxation or the feeding of children or to help children with sucking or teething. The bill defines children as minors 12 years of age or less.

Retail stores with more than 500 employees across the state that fail to create a gender-neutral toy area face a $250 fine for a first infraction and a $500 fine for subsequent violations.

“Unjustified differences in similar products that are traditionally marketed either for girls or for boys can be more easily identified by the consumer if similar items are displayed closer to one another in one, undivided area of the retail sales floor,” the bill reads….

Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low, who sponsored the bill, said in October 2021 that he was “incredibly grateful” to Newsom for signing it.

As The Associated Press reported, Democrats in the state legislature previously attempted to pass similar legislation without success in 2019 and 2020.

Low said that his 10-year-old daughter inspired him. (Politico)[/caption] after she reportedly asked her mom why certain parts of a store were “off limits” because she was a girl, as AP reported.

“We need to stop stigmatizing what’s acceptable for certain genders and just let kids be kids,” Low said. “My hope is this bill encourages more businesses across California and the U.S. to avoid reinforcing harmful and outdated stereotypes….”

From the Christian Post