Equality California
2012 Legislation

2012 Legislation

Each year, Equality California sets out to change the face of our state through legislative advocacy. When we began 12 years ago, protections for LGBT Californians were limited, at best. Since then, Equality California has joined with our allies in Sacramento and with you to successfully sponsor more pro-equality legislation in California than in all other states combined. Our collective work to pass these 80 bills has transformed California into a state with some of the most advanced civil rights protections for LGBT people in the nation.

It is incredible how far we have come and yet, as we embark on a new legislative season, we know we still have so much work to do to create a world in which we all have the freedom to marry the person we love and where LGBT families are treated with dignity, respect and equality. Until marriage equality is restored, we must continue to close every equality gap that leaves same-sex couples and their families vulnerable in ways that married opposite-sex couples are not--from starting a family to the loss of a partner.

We won't get there in one legislative session, but over the next several months we will pursue a series of bills that will move us a little closer to the state of equality in which we all want to live.  

Protecting LGBT Youth

LGBT young people are growing up in an era unlike any other.

There is more awareness about and acceptance of LGBT people than at any time in our history. There are greater resources and support for LGBT youth, better legal protections, and LGBT youth are coming out at an increasingly younger age.

Our work for 2012 recognizes that LGBT youth today also face challenges that we have a responsibility to address. Better visibility has also made LGBT young people more visible targets for bullying and harassment. And schools, social service agencies, healthcare providers and parents are still ill-equipped to ensure the emotional and psychological well-being and development of LGBT youth.

Protecting LGBT Youth From Psychological Abuse | SB 1172
For decades, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people—particularly youth—have suffered psychological abuse by those who are entrusted to care for their emotional and psychological well-being. It's long past time to do everything in our power to put an end to the use of tactics that have no sound scientific basis and that cause lifelong damage.

Providing Safe, Supportive Homes for LGBT Youth  | AB 1856
Few things are more devastating to a child than being removed from his or her parents. Yet, for LGBT youth in foster care, this devastation is often compounded by placements in foster homes that are at best ill-equipped to care for LGBT kids or at worst hostile to LGBT people. 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.

Holding Schools Accountable for Keeping LGBT Youth Safe at School
For years, EQCA and our partners have worked to advance policies to make LGBT youth safer and better supported at school. Some schools have done a laudable job implementing these policies and protecting LGBT youth. Others have failed to do the job. This request to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee asks the state auditor to conduct a review of all school districts across the state and evaluate the degree to which they are complying with existing laws that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students from discrimination and harassment.

Relationship Recognition & Family Protections

Same-sex couples ought to be treated with dignity, respect and equality. Until marriage equality is restored, we must continue to close every equality gap that leaves same-sex couples and their families vulnerable in ways that married opposite-sex couples are not—from starting a family to the loss of a partner.

Supporting LGBT Veterans and Military Families | AB 1505
Under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, LGB service members and their families made tremendous sacrifices, but without the support and recognition afforded to the families of other service members. AB 1505 (Pan) will  guarantee that all California service members  who were discharged from the military for no reason other than their sexual orientation are eligible for all state benefits for veterans and their families such as home loans, college tuition fee waivers and preference for civil service examinations.

Keeping LGBT People in Their Homes | AB 1700
The death of a lifelong partner is traumatic. But under current law, that trauma can be worsened by property tax penalties that apply unequally to same-sex partners, especially impacting LGBT seniors. AB 1700 (Butler) will ensure that no LGBT person is put at risk of losing the home that he or she has built over a lifetime with a loved one. 

Removing Barriers to Family-Building | AB 2356
For many loving, committed couples, having a child and building a family is one of the most important and fundamental keys to happiness. Unfortunately, same-sex couples face many barriers in forming families—including unequal access to fertility health care. AB 2356 (Skinner) will ensure that women in same-sex relationships can access fertility services on the same terms as women in opposite-sex relationships. 

Protect Religious Freedom in Marriage | SB 1140
As we continue our efforts to achieve full equality, we must remove every possible barrier to securing the freedom to marry, including the false claim made by anti-equality advocates in California and elsewhere that allowing loving same-sex couples to marry will force clergy or places of worship to compromise their religious beliefs. As we anticipate the restoration of the freedom to marry in our state, SB 1140 (Leno) reaffirms the principles of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution with respect to the freedom of clergy to make faith-based decisions regarding which marriages they solemnize.

Successes from 1999 - 2011

Total pieces of pro-LGBT legislation passed: 85
Total pieces of pro-LGBT legislation that became law: 72
Total pieces of pro-LGBT legislation vetoed: 15
Total pieces of pro-LGBT legislation that died in committee: 2

Total pieces of anti-LGBT legislation passed: 0
Total pieces of anti-LGBT legislation that became law: 0
Total pieces of anti-LGBT legislation defeated: 37

Past Legislation

Over the past fifteen years, EQCA has successfully passed 105 pieces of civil rights legislation for the LGBT community – more than any other statewide LGBT organization in the nation.

2014 :: 2013 :: 2012 :: 2011 :: 2010 :: 2009 :: 2008 ::  2007 :: 2006 :: 2005 :: 2004 :: 2003


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