FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2010
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Equality California Sponsors Bill to Strip Denigrating Language from Welfare and Institutions Code
Legislation would remove dehumanizing references to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community
Sacramento -- Equality California is sponsoring a new bill, AB2199, introduced Wednesday by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), that would repeal a particularly offensive section of the California Welfare and Institutions code, which instructs the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the "causes and cures of homosexuality" with the implication that LGBT Californians are sexual deviants, potential sex offenders and a threat to children.
"This section of the code is deplorable -- it propagates blatantly false, harmful and outdated mischaracterizations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and it should have been repealed long ago," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California.
The bill will be heard in policy committee in the coming weeks.
"This is something like race restrictions on deeds," said Assemblymember Lowenthal. "It's not enough to ignore them, you have to blot them out and make it clear we're never going back there."
Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender-rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed over 60 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org