Equality California


EQCA works to secure protections for all youth, including those who identify as LGBT, so they can grow and learn in an environment that is free from harassment, bullying and discrimination. Since 1999, six EQCA-sponsored bills that protect youth have become law.



California Law

State law provides protections for youth based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender and gender identity. Young people are protected in public schools, publicly-funded educational activities, juvenile justice facilities and the foster care system.

Starting on January 1, 2012, California schools are required to teach about lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) people and issues in your social studies and history classes. Help monitor your teachers, administrators and school officials, and if they are not following the new state mandated guidelines, you can use these resources to make sure your class lessons are fair, accurate, inclusive and respectful. Visit www.gsanetwork.org/FAIR to fill out your school’s LGBTQ Report Card and tell us whether or not your school is following the law.

Download a LGBTQ-Inclusive Lesson and Activity Planner here >>


EQCA-Sponsored Legislation

  • Youth Equality Act
    SB 323 (Lara, 2013)
    Clarifies that nonprofit youth organizations will only be rewarded with special tax exemptions if they comply with California’s existing nondiscrimination laws.

  • Protecting LGBT Youth from Pyschological Abuse
    SB 1172 (Lieu, 2012)
    SB 1172 would prohibit a psychotherapist from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with a minor patient, regardless of a parent's willingness or desire to authorize such “treatments.

  • Providing Safe, Supportive Homes for LGBT Youth
    AB 1856 (Ammiano, 2012)
    AB 1856 will help to provide comfort, safety and support to LGBT foster youth by creating LGBT cultural competency standards that foster homes housing LGBT youth must meet. 

  • FAIR Education Act
    SB 48 (Leno, 2011)
    Amends the Education Code to include social sciences instruction on the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

  • Seth's Law
    AB 9 (Ammiano, 2011)
    Tightens anti-bullying policies in California schools by ensuring that all schools have clear policies and guidelines for teachers and administrators, and establishing shorter timelines for investigating claims of bullying.

  • Equality and Equal Access in Higher Education
    AB 620 (Block, 2011)
    Requires public colleges and universities to improve the campus climate for LGBT students by providing access to student services and by adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to campus anti-discrimination policies.

  • Harvey Milk Day Bill
    SB 572 (Leno, 2009)
    Proclaims May 22 of each year as Harvey Milk Day, and encourages schools and educational institutions to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date.

  • Foster Youth School Safety Education
    AB 3015 (Brownley, 2008)
    Require that existing training programs for foster youth, foster youth group homes, child welfare personnel, foster parents, and relative caregivers, include information on current school safety laws that protect students from bias-motivated harassment and discrimination.

  • Juvenile Justice Safety and Protection Act
    SB 518 (Migden, 2007)
    LGBT youth receive protections against discrimination and harassment in the state’s juvenile justice facilities.

  • Student Civil Rights Act
    SB 777 (Kuehl, 2007)
    Strengthens nondiscrimination protections for LGBT students in publicly-funded educational activities and instructional materials.

  • Safe Place to Learn Act
    AB 394 (Levine, 2007)
    Protects students from discrimination by requiring the state to monitor school compliance with current nondiscrimination laws.

  • Foster Youth Anti-Discrimination Act 
    AB 458 (Chu, 2003)
    Protects LGBT foster youth and others in the foster care community against discrimination and harassment.

  • California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act
    AB 537 (Kuehl, 1999)
    LGBT youth receive protections from discrimination in publicly-funded educational programs and activities. More info>>  

Know Your Rights