Assemblymember Bonilla and Equality California Introduce Bill to Ban "Panic Defense" Strategy as a Courtroom Tactic by Murder Defendants
(Sacramento) Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla and Equality California announced today that they are partnering to introduce legislation to end the use of the "gay panic" or "trans panic" defense strategy – a tactic used by defendants charged with murder to attempt to mitigate their crimes by claiming their violent acts were triggered by the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity.
Attempt to Repeal the School Success and Opportunity Act Fails
(San Francisco) Today, the effort to repeal the School Success and Opportunity Act — California’s new law ensuring that all children have opportunities to do well in school — failed to qualify for the ballot.
Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez and Equality California Introduce Bill to Modernize Birth Certificates
(Sacramento) Today, Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez introduced AB 1951, sponsored by Equality California, to modernize birth certificates to accurately reflect the gender of a child’s parent or parents. The new birth certificates would allow each parent to identify as mother, father or parent.
Equality California Endorses Speaker John A. Pérez for State Controller
(Los Angeles) Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization in California, today announced its endorsement of Speaker of the Assembly John A. Pérez for State Controller.
California Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins Introduces Bill Ensuring Accurate Gender Reflected on Transgender People’s Death Certificates
Today, Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins introduced a bill, sponsored by Transgender Law Center and Equality California, that will help ensure transgender people have their authentic gender identity reflected on their death certificates. Assembly Bill 1577, the Respect After Death Act, will require the authority responsible for completing a transgender person’s death certificate to do so in a manner that reflects the person’s gender identity if the authority is presented with documentation of that gender identity, such as written instructions from the deceased person confirming their wishes, an updated birth certificate or driver’s license, or evidence of medical treatment for gender transition. In the absence of these documents, the gender reported by the person’s legal next of kin will be used.
Maine Supreme Court Supports Opportunities for Transgender Youth
Today, transgender students, their parents and educators in California celebrated a Maine Supreme Court decision ensuring that all young people — including those who are transgender — should have the same opportunities to do well in school and graduate. The court held in a 5-1 ruling that a transgender student who lives her life as a girl can use the girls’ bathroom.
Federal Appeals Court Lets Stand California Law Protecting Youth from Dangerous Anti-Gay “Conversion” Therapies
Today, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit let stand an earlier decision by a three-judge panel of the same court upholding Senate Bill 1172, a California statute enacted in 2012 that protects minors from dangerous and ineffective mental health treatments that falsely claim to be able to change a young person’s sexual orientation.
Equality California Proud to Announce new Board Members
(Los Angeles) Equality California is proud to announce the election of seven new board members; four to the parent advocacy organization Equality California and three to the associated educational Equality California Institute. Each new board member will serve a three year term. The election also selected the officers for each board for the coming year.
Sacramento Good Neighbor Award Nominations Open
(Sacramento)Equality California has partnered with State Farm Insurance to honor a Sacramento-area grassroots activist who has made a difference in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians. The organization has officially launched a public "call for nominations" for this important award.
San Francisco State Farm Good Neighbor Award Nominations Open
(San Francisco) Equality California has partnered with State Farm Insurance to honor a San Francisco-area grassroots activist who has made a difference in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians. The organization has officially launched a public "call for nominations" for this important award.
Students and Families Optimistic That School Success and Opportunity Act (AB1266) Will Remain Law
Transgender students, parents, educators and friends today are both relieved and concerned that while the California’s School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266), which helps schools better understand how to provide a fair opportunity for transgender students to participate and succeed, failed to qualify for a referendum based on a random count of signatures but may still qualify depending on the outcome of a full count of the signatures. The law went into effect on January 1st and today the Secretary of State announced that a referendum has failed to qualify for the ballot on the first spot count of the signatures, though that finding will be confirmed by a full count.
Senator Lara Introduces Legislation to Improve Safety and Prevent Bullying in California Schools
(Sacramento) Prompted by the findings of the School Safety and Nondiscrimination Laws Audit released in 2013 which reported that school bullying prevention efforts are falling short, today State Senator Ricardo Lara and Equality California announced the introduction of new legislation, SB 840, that would improve the handling of bullying and discrimination incidents in public schools.
Students, Families and Supporters Celebrate Growing Support and Opportunities for Transgender Students
(San Francisco) Transgender students and their families are celebrating California’s new School Success and Opportunity Act, which ensures that schools across the state understand their obligation to provide a fair opportunity for transgender students to participate in all school programs and to graduate with their peers. The law went into effect on January 1st.
Bay Area Education Leaders Support the School Success and Opportunity Act
(San Francisco) Local school boards and communities this week continued their progress towards implementing the School Success and Opportunity Act, which Governor Brown signed earlier this year. The new law restates existing anti-discrimination law to ensure that all students, including transgender students, have the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in schools.
HRC Municipal Equality Index Highlights Two Californias
(WASHINGTON) A report on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality in America’s cities by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, rated 291 cities across the nation, including forty-two cities in California.
EQCA Releases 2013 Legislative Scorecard Rating Lawmakers on LGBT Votes
(Sacramento) Equality California today released its annual Legislative Scorecard,
rating lawmakers for their 2013 votes on legislation that advances equality for
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians.
Governor Signs Bill to Ensure LGBT Seniors Receive Respectful, Competent Elder Care
(SACRAMENTO) Assembly Bill 663, authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez and sponsored by Equality California and the California Senior Legislature, was signed by Governor Jerry Brown today. The bill will help ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors get respectful and competent elder care by integrating LGBT cultural competency instruction into the training received by residential care facility administrators.
Governor Signs Bill to Aid Transgender Californians with Name Changes, Identity Documents
(SACRAMENTO) Assembly Bill 1121, authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins and co-sponsored by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown today. The bill will help ensure people who are transgender have better access to legal name changes and identity documents that accurately reflect their gender identity.
High School Student Files Complaint Against Fringe Anti-LGBT Group for Operating Illegally
(Manteca, CA) Manteca high school student Ashton Lee and his mother, Catherine Lee, filed a complaint this week with the California Attorney General’s Office asking for an investigation into an anti-LGBT group that has been operating illegally and claiming to be a tax-exempt organization to receive donations, when in fact its tax-exempt status was revoked by the Internal Revenue Service months ago.
CA Attorney General Kamala Harris to Receive EQCA Vanguard in Leadership Award
(Los Angeles) Equality California today announced that California Attorney General Kamala Harris will be honored with the Vanguard in Leadership Award at the Los Angeles Equality Awards, taking place on October 5 at the JW Marriott at LA Live.