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Equality California Celebrates 100 Pieces of LGBT Rights Legislation with Passage of the "Panic Defense" Bill

(Sacramento) Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization in California, celebrated its 100th piece of passed legislation today when the California Assembly — by a preliminary bipartisan vote of 58-14 — approved AB 2501, which would prohibit the use of the “panic defense” to support a finding of sudden quarrel or heat of passion, which is necessary to reduce a charge of murder to manslaughter. This bill, the first of its kind in the nation, now moves on to Governor Jerry Brown's desk.



Equality California Announces First Endorsements in Federal Races for November Election
(Los Angeles) Equality California — the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization in California — today announced its first round of endorsements at the federal level for the November 2014 election. Having focused on state races in recent years, EQCA has expanded its scope to include federal endorsements and more will follow in the coming weeks.

Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Discrimination in Blood Donor Procedures
(Sacramento) Equality California announced that it has partnered with Assemblymember Richard Bloom to advance an assembly joint resolution that has passed the Assembly Floor today with a final bipartisan vote count of 58 to 15. AJR 50 urges President Barack Obama to compel the Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration to adopt modernized blood donor policies that do not discriminate against men who have had sex with other men.

Bill to Modernize California Birth Certificate Passes Assembly and Moves to Governor’s Desk

(Sacramento) Today, AB 1951, authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez and sponsored by Equality California, passed the California Assembly by a preliminary bipartisan vote of 50-8 and now moves on to the Governor for a signature. The bill will modernize California’s birth certificate to reflect accurately the gender of a child’s parent or parents. The updated birth certificates will allow each parent to identify as mother, father or parent.



Copy of Equality California Endorses Seven Additional Candidates for November Election
(Sacramento) Equality California is proud to add endorsements of Connie Leyva, Bob Wieckowski, Matt Dababneh, Bill Dodd, Kansen Chu, Chris Parker and Eduardo Garcia to the previous slate of over 50 endorsed candidates with 100-percent pro-equality ratings.

Governor Brown Signs Bill Enshrining the Freedom to Marry in State Statutes

(Sacramento) Today, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1306, authored by Sen. Mark Leno and co-sponsored by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The bill will bring California statutory law into line with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision restoring the freedom to marry in California.



Streamlined Process for Transgender Birth Certificate Changes Takes Effect
(Sacramento) As of yesterday, California will no longer require a court hearing or newspaper publication for transgender people to change their birth certificate to reflect their authentic, lived gender identity. The change comes as part of the implementation of Assembly Bill 1121, authored in 2013 by Speaker Toni Atkins and cosponsored by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center.

Equality California and NCLR Applaud U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision Allowing Enforcement of California Law Prohibiting Dangerous Psychological Practices to Change Minors’ Sexual Orientation or Gender Expression
(Los Angeles)—Today, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to review a 2013 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholding California’s Senate Bill 1172, a law that prohibits licensed counselors and therapists from engaging in dangerous practices to try to change the sexual orientation or gender expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children. Known as “conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts,” the practices have been condemned by medical and mental health organizations across the country because they are known to lead to extreme depression and suicide.

Equality California Congratulates Senator Kevin de León on Election as Senate President Pro Tem

Equality California congratulates Sen. Kevin de León on his unanimous, bipartisan election to serve as the next president pro tem of the California Senate, succeeding Sen. Darrell Steinberg. Since his election to the Assembly in 2006, Sen. de León has received a 100-percent pro-equality rating from EQCA every year.



Equality California Opposes Broad Religious Exemption to Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Equality California believes in an America free from employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. For that reason, EQCA supports the passage of the federal Employee Non-Discrimination Act, but we strongly oppose the broad religious exemption that has been attached to it.



Equality California Celebrates Statewide Victories for 57 EQCA Endorsed Candidates in Yesterday's Primary
(Sacramento) Equality California congratulates the EQCA-endorsed winners in Tuesday's statewide primary election. Of the 61 candidates endorsed by EQCA, 57 are guaranteed to advance to November's general election. In addition, two EQCA-endorsed candidates appear to be likely to advance to the general election, but the races are still too close to call. Overall, as many as 59 of EQCA's 61 endorsed candidates are likely to progress to the general election.

Bill to Curb “Panic Defense” Passes Assembly

(Sacramento) The California Assembly passed AB 2501, a bill authored by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla that is designed to curb the so-called "panic defense" by making it clear that a defendant’s discovery of a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity is not sufficient provocation to reduce a charge of murder to manslaughter. The bill, which is co-sponsored by Equality California and Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, passed by a bipartisan vote of 50-18.



Equality California Announces Final Endorsements for 2014 June Primary
(Sacramento) Today, Equality California is proud to announce its endorsement of incumbents Gov. Jerry Brown for governor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom for lieutenant governor, Attorney General Kamala Harris for attorney general, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones for insurance commissioner and Superintendent Tom Torlakson for superintendent of public instruction. In addition, EQCA has endorsed former Speaker of the Assembly Bob Hertzberg for Senate District 18. They join a group of over 50 other candidates already endorsed by Equality California in the 2014 election cycle.

Equality California Applauds CalPERS Divestment from Russian Companies Tied to Anti-LGBT Violence and Neo-Nazi Website

Equality California applauds CalPERS, the country’s largest public pension fund, for divesting from the Russian companies MegaFon and Mail.ru due to the companies’ links to the neo-Nazi “Occupy Pedophilia” vigilante group, which has posted videos of torture and assault of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Russians on a company-owned social media network.



Equality California Endorses Candidates in Seven Legislative Races

(Sacramento) Today, Equality California is proud to announce its endorsement of Mike Gipson for Assembly District 64, Karalee Hargrove for Assembly District 42, Joe Krovoza for Assembly District 4, Dr. Suja Lowenthal for Assembly District 70, Mike McGuire for Senate District 2, Tim Sbranti for Assembly District 16 and Jim Wood for Assembly District 2. They join a group of over 40 other candidates already endorsed by Equality California in the 2014 election cycle.



Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Signs on as Co-sponsor for Bill to Curb “Panic Defense”
(Sacramento) Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has become an official co-sponsor for AB 2501, a bill authored by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla and designed to curb the so-called "panic defense" by making it clear that a defendant’s discovery of a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity is not sufficient provocation to reduce a charge of murder to manslaughter. Equality California is a sponsor of the bill.

Equality California Endorses Alex Padilla, Glenn Miller and Miguel Santiago
(Sacramento) Equality California is proud to announce its endorsement of Sen. Alex Padilla for Secretary of State, Glenn Miller for the 28th Senate District, and Miguel Santiago for Assembly District 53. They join a group of more than 40 other candidates already endorsed by Equality California in the 2014 election cycle.

EQCA-Sponsored Bill to Curb "Panic Defense" Moves Forward on Committee Vote
(Sacramento) AB 2501, authored by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla and sponsored by Equality California, has passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee with a vote of 5-1. AB 2501 would curb the so-called "panic defense" by making it clear that a defendant’s discovery of a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity is not sufficient provocation to reduce a charge of murder to manslaughter.

Equality California Salutes the Department of Education for New Guidance Clarifying Protections for Transgender Students
Equality California salutes the new Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education for releasing guidance that explicitly places gender identity and expression under Title IX protection. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program that receives federal funds.

Equality California Announces State Farm Good Neighbor Honoree for 2014 San Diego Equality Awards
(San Diego) Equality California announced that it will honor Patrick Loose with the State Farm Good Neighbor Award at its 2014 San Diego Equality Awards on Saturday, May 3.

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