(Sacramento) All six of Equality California’s sponsored bills for 2013 have passed their house of origin, maintaining the momentum of 2012’s clean sweep, when all six EQCA-sponsored bills were signed into law. The 2013 bills include two first-in-the-nation measures: the Youth Equality Act (SB 323), by Senator Ricardo Lara, to close tax loopholes for youth organizations that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and the School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266), by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, to ensure that transgender students have equal access to programs and activities. The Youth Equality Act is the first LGBT bill in California ever to win a two-thirds majority.
“These bills are urgently needed as they will impact the LGBT community for years to come,” said John O’Connor, Equality California executive director. “Our advocacy efforts are imperative to ensure that LGBT youth, adults and seniors win the full freedoms and protections as all Californians, and nothing less.”
The bills are:
The Youth Equality Act (SB 323), by Senator Ricardo Lara, closing loopholes that allow youth organizations to exclude LGBT people and still get special tax breaks, passed 27-9.
The School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266), by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, making clear the obligation of California schools to allow transgender students to participate in all school activities, programs, and facilities, passed 46-25.
Transgender Name Changes, Birth and Death Certificates (AB 1121), by Assemblymember Toni Atkins, and co-sponsored by Transgender Law Center, simplifying the process required for name changes and ensuring that a transgender person’s gender identity is reflected accurately on important identity documents, passed 57-17.
LGBT Health Insurance Tax Parity (AB 362), by Assemblymember Phil Ting, removing a state tax penalty for same-sex couples who receive employer-sponsored health insurance, passed 56-19.
LGBT Cultural Competency Training for Administrators in Senior Care Facilities (AB 663), by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, ensuring that LGBT seniors receive dignified and sensitive care, passed 52-21.
LGBT Cultural Competency for Health Care Providers (AB 496), by Assemblymember Rich Gordon, ensuring that health care providers give their LGBT patients accurate information and compassionate treatment, passed 54-20.
Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to a state with some of the most comprehensive human rights protections in the nation. Equality California has partnered with legislators to successfully sponsor more than 90 pieces of pro-equality legislation. EQCA continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org