California: home to violent crime, a high unemployment rate, wildfires, drug addiction, earthquakes, homelessness, and illegal immigration.
Sure, they've got their problems, but one thing they don't have... is gendered toy aisles in large retailers.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Saturday a bill requiring large retailers to provide gender-neutral toy sections, per the Los Angeles Times.
Why it matters: California is the first state to adopt such a law. LGBTQ advocates have pointed out that marketing methods using pink and blue hues "pressure children to conform to gender stereotypes," AP notes.
The Consumer Federation of California supported the law, saying: "Keeping similar items that are traditionally marketed either 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," the Sacramento Bee reports.
Details: The bill, which will take effect in 2024, overcame opposition from Republicans and conservative groups, who said it was government overreach.
The law states that retail stores with 500 or more workers must sell toys and child care products (excluding clothes) in a gender-neutral section that's "labeled at the discretion of the retailer ... regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys."
Companies that fail to comply with the new law could face a civil penalty of $250 for a first violation and $500 for any subsequent violations.
What they're saying: Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low, who introduced the legislation, said "we need to stop stigmatizing what's acceptable for certain genders and just let kids be kids," per AP.