FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2008
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Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Bill Modernizing State’s Anti-Discrimination Laws
Laird Measure, Sponsored by EQCA and NAACP, Helps Ensure that Californians Have the Nation’s Most Comprehensive Civil Rights Protections
SACRAMENTO – The Senate Judiciary Committee 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 Senate Judiciary Committee with a 3-1 vote.
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. 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 advances our goal of protecting all Californians in every aspect of their lives," said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. “This bill clarifies state laws that were designed to protect all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, so that no one is singled out to be treated differently under law.”
"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