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.
Equality California to Honor Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom at Sacramento Equality Awards
(Sacramento) Equality California, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization, will honor Gov. Jerry Brown with the Leadership Award at the Sacramento Equality Awards on Monday, March 10. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will also be honored, with the Vanguard Award, which will be presented by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins. Sen. Ricardo Lara will host the event.
Equality California Announces State Farm Good Neighbor Honoree for 2014 Sacramento Equality Awards
(Sacramento) Equality California announced that it will honor Dr. Swati Rao with the State Farm Good Neighbor Award at its 2014 Sacramento Equality Awards on Monday, March 10.
Equality California Announces 2014 Legislative Package Ensuring Equality Throughout Life
(Sacramento) Equality California is pleased to announce its sponsorship of seven bills for the 2014 legislative session that would improve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians from cradle to grave.
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.