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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.

LGBTQ Youth Rally in Sacramento for Opportunity to Stay in School
(Sacramento) More than 50 high school students from across California are in Sacramento today to advocate for three bills that would help ensure all youth, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, have the opportunity to be themselves at school, do well and graduate. The youth are gathered for the 9th annual Queer Youth Advocacy Day, which unites LGBT and straight ally youth activists from Gay-Straight Alliance clubs across state.

Executive Director John O’Connor and Equality California Board Announce Comprehensive Leadership Transition; Board Elects Rick Zbur as New Executive Director
(Los Angeles) Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization in California, announced today that its executive director, John O’Connor, will step down in July following a successful, 18-month tenure leading EQCA through a period of extensive organizational transition. EQCA also announced that board member Rick Zbur, a senior partner with the law firm of Latham & Watkins and an LGBT and environmental advocate, has been unanimously elected as the organization’s new executive director.

Bill to Ensure Accurate Gender Reflected on Transgender People’s Death Certificates Moves Forward on Bipartisan Committee Vote
(Sacramento) The Respect After Death Act (AB 1577), authored by Assembly Speaker-elect Toni Atkins and sponsored by Transgender Law Center and Equality California, passed the Assembly Health Committee today by a bipartisan provisional vote of 17-1. The bill is designed to help ensure transgender people have their authentic gender identity reflected on their death certificates.

EQCA-Sponsored Bill to Improve Safety and Prevent Bullying in California Schools Clears Committee with Bipartisan Support
(Sacramento) A bill – authored by Senator Ricardo Lara and co-sponsored by Equality California and GSA Network – that would improve the handling of bullying and discrimination incidents in public schools, has passed the Senate Education Committee by a bipartisan vote of 7-0-2.

Equality California PAC Endorses 37 Additional Candidates
(Sacramento) In a big election year, Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization in California, today rolled out a list of 100 percent pro-equality candidates, including 35 incumbents and a new endorsement for Autumn Burke in AD 62.

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