FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2009
CONTACT: Vaishalee Raja, Communications Director
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Assemblymember John A. Pérez Introduces Legislation to Expand Domestic Violence Services
Equality California-sponsored bill would provide additional resources for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender survivors of violence
SACRAMENTO -- In hopes of expanding domestic violence services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community members, Assembly Member John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), today introduced AB 1003. Sponsored by Equality California, the bill would expand access for LGBT service providers to a state fund within the California Emergency Management Agency (CALEMA), which supports LGBT-specific domestic violence programs across the state and is subsidized by a $23 fee on new domestic partner registrations. The fund was originally established through EQCA-sponsored legislation, AB 2051 (Cohn) in 2006.
"This bill would help support innovative program models that are proven most effective in serving LGBT survivors of violence, such as those being pioneered by LGBT centers and organizations across the state," said Assembly Member John A. Pérez.
The bill would expand the number of providers who can apply for grants through CALEMA and eliminate the requirement to provide shelter services in order to qualify for funding. Studies have shown that most LGBT domestic violence survivors do not typically access services through shelters.
"We must take whatever steps we can to ensure that LGBT survivors of domestic violence have access to culturally competent care and resources," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California.
EQCA works to achieve equality and secure legal protections for LGBT people. To improve the lives of LGBT Californians, EQCA sponsors legislation and coordinates efforts to ensure its passage, lobbies legislators and other policy makers, builds coalitions, develops community strength and empowers individuals and other organizations to engage in the political process. www.eqca.org