Equality California
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Equality California Announces Two New Senior Staff Hires

(Los Angeles) Equality California today announced two significant new staff hires: Gary Collis, who joins as the organization’s deputy director of programs and development, and Valecia Phillips, who joins the organization as director of finance and administration.

Equality California Updates Its Mission to Reflect Evolving Priorities
(Los Angeles) Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization in California, today announced that it has updated its mission statement to more fully reflect the organization’s current and future focus.

Equality California Announces Five Endorsements

(Los Angeles) Today, Equality California announced its endorsement of Senator Mark DeSaulnier for Congressional District 11, Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell for Assembly District 70 and three candidates from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community running for local office: Lori Droste for Berkeley City Council, Mario Guerrero for Sacramento Municipal Utility District Ward 3 and Shelley Kaplan for Cathedral City City Council.

Governor Brown Signs Three Pieces of Equality California-Sponsored Legislation

(Sacramento) Gov. Jerry Brown this weekend signed three pieces of legislation sponsored by Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization in California: AB 2501, authored by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, AB 1577, authored by Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins and AB 496, authored by Assemblymember Rich Gordon. Each of these bills will reduce discrimination and advance equality for LGBT people in the nation’s largest state.

Equality California Welcomes New Members to Its Board of Directors
(Los Angeles) Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization in California, announced today the election of 12 new members to its boards of directors.

Equality California PAC Endorses Three Candidates in Congressional Races

(Los Angeles) Equality California PAC today endorsed three officials in federal legislative races: Amanda Renteria for Congressional District 21, Ted Lieu for Congressional District 33 and Pete Aguilar for Congressional District 31.

Four Pieces of Equality California-Sponsored Legislation Go to Governor Brown’s Desk
(Sacramento) Four bills that Equality California sponsored during the 2014 legislative session are now before Gov. Jerry Brown, one of which was EQCA’s 100th piece of legislation to pass in the California Legislature. That bill, AB 2501 by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, would eliminate the so-called “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses, outrageous tactics used by defendants who claim their violent acts were triggered by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It is the first measure of its kind in the nation, as are the other three bills now awaiting Governor Brown’s consideration.

Equality California Welcomes Rick Zbur as New Executive Director
(Los Angeles) Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization in California, today welcomed Rick Zbur as its new executive director, during a period of evolution and planned growth for the organization.

Respect After Death Act Passes, Awaits Governor's Signature
(Sacramento) Yesterday, California’s Respect After Death Act (AB 1577) was sent to Governor Brown for his signature, having now passed in both the Assembly and Senate. The bill will provide guidance to help ensure that transgender people have their gender identity reflected on their death certificates. It was authored by Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins and sponsored by Equality California and Transgender Law Center.

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.

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