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 YouthLGBT 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
Keeping LGBT People in Their Homes | AB 1700
Removing Barriers to Family-Building | AB 2356
Protect Religious Freedom in Marriage | SB 1140
Successes from 1999 - 2011
Total pieces of pro-LGBT legislation passed: 85
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.