Herman Rowland Sr.
Jelly Belly Chairman Donates to Anti-Trans Campaign

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com October 25 2013 4:22 PM ET

Those Jelly Belly candies everyone loves around the holidays apparently have a connection to an anti-trans campaign in California.

The chairman of the board of Jelly Belly, Herman Rowland Sr., is on record as having donated $5,000 in September to Privacy for All Students, a group dedicated solely to repealing Assembly Bill 1266. The legislature passed the law — which guarantees transgender students have equal access to bathrooms, locker rooms, sport teams and other gender-segregated facilities at school — and it was signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown in August. But Privacy for All Students is trying to get enough signatures to have it eventually overturned.

The group is run by none other than Frank Schubert, who is well known as a political message maker for the National Organization for Marriage in its quest to stop same-sex marriage from being legalized. NOM is also actively campaigning to repeal the law, arguing most recently that "forcing boys and girls to share bathrooms is bullying."

Frontiers' Karen Ocamb was first to report the donation on the Secretary of State's website. And it's already triggered a Change.org petition from the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

"Jelly Belly Chair Herman Rowland Sr. is using some of his fortune to fund an effort to overturn California’s new School Success and Opportunity Act. This law ensures that transgender students are allowed to participate in school programs and activities just like every other boy and girl," it says. It asks petitioners to tell Rowland and his California-based company that "all students should be treated equally and have the same opportunities to be successful in school."