|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
SEPTEMBER 12, 2013
CONTACT: Jesse Melgar, Equality California
PHONE: 323-848-9801 ext. 207 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT: Lizette Mata, Senator Lara's office
PHONE: 916-651-4033 EMAIL: Lizette.Mata@sen.ca.gov
Youth Equality Act Becomes Two-Year Bill(SACRAMENTO) Today, Senate Bill 323 authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara, was placed on the inactive file. In response to questions from the media, please see the statements below from Senator Lara and Equality California.
“Let me be very clear, SB 323 is alive and well,” stated Senator Lara. “As this is the first year to a two year legislative session, we will be taking the next few months to work closely with all parties involved to address and refine this legislation. As session reconvenes in January, the passage of this bill will be my number one priority.”
In the last few weeks, conversations with youth organizations that have inclusive policies have prompted further analysis of the bill to ensure effective implementation.
"The Youth Equality Act represents a critical step in the journey toward full equality, especially ending exclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and adults in youth organizations," said John O'Connor executive director of EQCA. "We are gratified that this bill has already spurred constructive discussion and that some youth organizations have examined and changed portions of their own policies as a result. However, there is still work to be done and that is why EQCA remains committed to working with Senator Lara to ensure this bill's passage next year."
The bill, authored by Sen. Lara and sponsored by EQCA passed the Assembly Tax and Revenue Committee with a vote of 6-3, and the Judiciary by a vote of 6-3. In June, the Youth Equality Act received a two-thirds vote in the Senate — the first time an LGBT bill received a two-thirds vote in the state’s history.
The bill has passed through the Assembly policy committees and is currently on the Assembly Floor. Session reconvenes January 2014.
The Youth Equality Act will eliminate a sales and corporate tax exemption for youth groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation.
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 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