FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2008
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Bill Modernizing State’s Anti-Discrimination Laws Passes Assembly
Laird Measure, Sponsored by EQCA and NAACP, Ensures that Californians Have the Nation’s Most Comprehensive Civil Rights Protections
SACRAMENTO – The Assembly on Tuesday approved legislation that continues an historic multi-year effort by Assemblymember John Laird and Equality California to modernize California's anti-discrimination laws. The Civil Rights Act of 2008, the fifth nondiscrimination bill authored by the Santa Cruz Assemblymember, would help ensure that Californians have the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation.
Assembly Bill 2654 passed the Assembly with a 43-21 vote. The measure will be heard next in Senate policy committees.
The Civil Rights Act of 2008 strengthens the state’s anti-bias policies by making sure each section of law includes already-existing protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. The bill clarifies sections of law that prohibit discrimination in insurance and government services and activities. AB 2654 is co-sponsored by the California State Conference of the NAACP.
“The Civil Rights Act of 2008 continues our mission to ensure that LGBT people are protected from discrimination in all aspects of their lives," said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. “For five years, we have been working with Assemblymember Laird and the California NAACP to give Californians the most comprehensive civil rights protections in our country. The Assembly vote today moves us one step closer to our final goal, which is equality for all Californians.”
The Civil Rights Act of 2008 strengthens existing law to ensure protections based on gender, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status and sexual orientation.
"Every Californian should benefit from the strongest possible non-discrimination laws. AB 2654 does exactly that in the important areas of insurance and government services," said Assemblymember Laird, D-Santa Cruz, chair of the LGBT Legislative Caucus.
Founded in 1998, Equality California celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008, commemorating a decade of building a state of equality in California. EQCA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. www.eqca.org