EQCA
Equality California
RECORD NUMBER OF LGBT BILLS ADVANCE IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

2006 Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 19, 2006

 

CONTACT: Dannie Tillman, Director of Communications & Coalitions

PHONE:    (323) 217-8875                   EMAIL: media@eqca.org

 

RECORD NUMBER OF LGBT BILLS ADVANCE IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

 

Nine Equality California Sponsored Bills Pass First Chamber

 

Sacramento, CA - As the California Legislature gets ready for its annual summer recess, a record number of affirmative lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) bills are moving forward through the legislative process.  Each of the nine bills that encompass Equality California’s (EQCA) 2006 legislative package passed the legislative chamber where they were introduced.  All of the bills are now being considered by policy committees in the other chamber and will likely be voted on by the entire Assembly or Senate when the legislature reconvenes in August. 

 

Two of the most followed bills deal with ensuring a safe environment in schools for LGBT students.  Housing discrimination, equal tax treatment for domestic partners, LGBT elders services, same-sex domestic violence and the “panic strategy” used by those who commit hate crimes are the focus of the other bills.

 

“Equality California is thrilled that all nine of our sponsored bills have already been approved by one of the two legislative bodies,” said EQCA executive director Geoffrey Kors.  “These bills will provide greater protections for all LGBT Californians, including our youth and our elders and we will be working hard this summer to ensure that these bill pass the second chamber and are signed by the governor.”

 

The following are the nine EQCA-sponsored bills that are moving forward in the legislature and their status:

 

AB 606 ¦ Levine (D-Van Nuys), Safe Place to Learn Act – This bill provides clarification and guidance to districts on what steps should be taken to ensure compliance with the California Student Safety and Violence Act of 2000 (AB 537). AB 606 will ensure that the protections against harassment and violence that students are entitled to are fully implemented.

Status: Passed the Assembly by a 45-32 vote. Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Committee on Education on June 21, 2006.

SB 1437 ¦ Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), Bias-Free Curriculum Act – This bill will amend existing legislation prohibiting instruction or school-sponsored activities that reflect adversely upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin or ancestry by including ethnicity, gender (including gender identity), disability, nationality, sexual orientation and religion. This bill will shield youth from negative portrayals of themselves in their schools or textbooks while empowering them, giving them role models, by including the positive effects.

Status: Passed the Senate by a 22-15 vote. The bill recently passed the Assembly Education Committee on June 14, 2006 by a 7-3 vote. Scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on June 27, 2006.

SB 1827 ¦ Migden (D-San Francisco), State Income Tax Equity Act – This bill amends California’s tax and family codes to allow registered domestic partners to file joint state income tax returns.  Separate filing can result in partners with large income differentials having to pay thousands of dollars more than married couples. The State Income Tax Equity Act would remove this unfair burden while allowing domestic partners’ income to be treated as community property.

Status: Passed the Senate by a 25-13 vote. Scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation on June 19, 2006.

AB 2800 ¦ Laird (D-Santa Cruz), Civil Rights Housing Act – This bill will standardize various housing-related non-discrimination provisions in California law to include sexual orientation and gender identity by making them consistent with the non-discrimination provisions in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). 

Status: Passed the Assembly by a 48-31 vote. Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 20, 2006.

AB 2920 ¦ Leno (D-San Francisco), Older Californian’s Equality and Protection Act – This bill will amend the Welfare Act, which sets forth the state’s commitment to its elder population, to include LGBT seniors – disadvantaged by a lifetime of discrimination – in the list of groups that must be considered and planned for when creating senior services.

Status: Passed the Assembly by 48-32 vote. Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Committee on Human Services on June 27, 2006.

SB 1441 | Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), Nondiscrimination in State Programs and Activities – This bill will prohibit discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity in state operated or funded services, activities and programs by adding these categories to the list of already protected groups.

Status: Passed the Senate by a 22-13 vote. Scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on June 20, 2006.

AB 2051 ¦ Cohn (D-Saratoga), Equality in Prevention and Services for Domestic Abuse Act – This bill establishes a continuously appropriated fund, similar to the one levied on marriage licenses, to support education and services to address the problem of domestic abuse among same sex partners by funding and creating culturally appropriate programs for survivors.

Status: Passed the Assembly by a 49-29 vote. Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health Committee on June 21, 2006.

AB 1160 ¦ Lieber (D-San Jose), Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act – This bill will seek to curtail the use of so-called “panic strategies” which uses bias based on gender and sexual orientation to influence criminal trials.  It will state that the use of bias to influence the proceedings of a criminal trial is inconsistent with the public policy of California.

Status: Passed the Assembly by a 45-32 vote. Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 27, 2006.

AB 1207 ¦ Yee (D-San Francisco), Code of Fair Campaign Practices – This bill amends the voluntary pledge signed by candidates and campaign committees to prevent negative appeals to prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity. AB 1207 would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of categories covered by the pledge.

Status:  Passed the Assembly by a 43-29 vote. Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Committee on Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments on June 21, 2006.

Individuals can register with EQCA’s advocacy center to take action on specific legislation at www.eqca.org/takeaction.

 

In addition, EQCA helped to defeat four anti-LGBT bills this year:

 

AB 2311 (lead author Assemblymember Mountjoy, R-Monrovia) would have prohibited the promotion of homosexuality in public education. This bill would have silenced any discussion about an important part of our diverse society and would promote fear and ignorance that make schools unsafe for LGBT students.

Status: Defeated in committee.

AB 2130 (lead author Assemblymember DeVore, R-Irvine) would have required a court to consider the religious, cultural, moral and ethnic values of a dependent child's birth parents before placing the child for adoption or appointing a legal guardian. The bill would have shifted the legal standard away from the best interests of the child and potentially threatened the ability of loving parents to adopt or act as guardians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Status: Defeated in committee.

AB 1218: The William J. “Pete” Knight Memorial Act (lead author Assemblymember Wyland, R-Vista) would have required that the Pledge of Allegiance be recited daily at elementary and secondary schools. This bill honored the memory of the State Senator who was a staunch opponent of the principles of liberty and justice for LGBT Californians.

Status: Defeated in committee.

AB 2891: (lead author Assemblymember LaMalfa, R-Redding) would have prohibited questions related to gender or sexual orientation on school health surveys without first obtaining a parent’s permission.

Status: Defeated in committee.

Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. Please visit our website at www.eqca.org.

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