Equality California is pleased to announce the first eight items in its 2015 legislative package which would improve and advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians and their families. Equality California will announce additional legislation in the coming weeks.
In September of 2014, Equality California adopted a new mission statement which is to achieve full and lasting equality, acceptance and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. A key focus of our expanded mission is to address disparities in the health and well-being of LGBT Californians. This expanded mission guides this year’s legislative package.
Reduce disparities in health and well-being for LGBT people through data collection | AB 959
AB 959, authored by Assemblymember David Chiu, would require government agencies to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity whenever additional demographic data is collected. Collecting this data is necessary to understand the extent to which LGBT people are experiencing disparities in health and well-being and whether government programs are reaching LGBT people in need of care and assistance.
Collect data about LGBT Californians through covered California and Medi-Cal
In tandem with AB 959, EQCA is leading a coalition advocating that the paper and online applications for Covered California and Medi-Cal, which together will ensure one-third of all Californians, includes voluntary questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. Collecting this information is critical in healthcare settings to ensure LGBT individuals get the culturally competent healthcare they need.
Ensure that private organizations that discriminate do not benefit from a state employee charitable giving program| AB 1050
AB 1050, authored by Assemblymember Evan Low, would require that all charities eligible for donations through a state employee giving program are screened to ensure that they do not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Help teachers combat bullying and support LGBT youth| AB 827
As proposed to be amended, AB 827, authored by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, would create a teacher training program that would aid teachers in identifying and assisting LGBT students who may need particular support in the coming out process or dealing with bias-based bullying. LGBT youth have a higher dropout rate than their straight peers and are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. Therefore, AB 827 will give teachers the training they need to help LGBT students.
End discrimination against transgender jurors | AB 87
AB 87, authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone, would prohibit discrimination against transgender jurors in the jury selection process in California courts. The bill also makes clear that jury selection discrimination based on ethnicity, age, genetic information, or disability is prohibited as well.
Equal Protection for all Families Act | AB 960
AB 960, authored by Assemblymember David Chiu, would modernize California’s assisted reproduction laws to protect families using assisted reproduction. Current law puts intended parents using this method of reproduction and their children at risk due to discrepancies in parental rights. EQCA is co-sponsoring AB 960 with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Our Family Coalition.
Require out-of-state companies who contract with the state of California to provide insurance benefits to transgender Employees| SB 703
SB 703, authored by Senator Mark Leno, prohibits state agencies from doing business with companies that fail to offer transgender employees the same healthcare coverage and benefits they offer all other workers. This would reduce disparities in healthcare coverage for transgender people. EQCA is co-sponsoring SB 703 with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Transgender Law Center.
Supporting Transgender Foster Youth| SB 731
SB 731, authored by Senator Mark Leno, would require that caregivers tasked with placing California foster youth in homes must take a young person's gender identity into consideration when making housing decisions. The bill is designed to ensure that all foster youth, including those who identify as transgender, are placed in appropriate homes where they feel safe and accepted.
CA Healthy Youth Act| AB 329
AB 329, authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber, would update and strengthen existing law to ensure that students receive sex education that is accurate, comprehensive, medically accurate, age-appropriate and inclusive. LGBT students are too often made to feel invisible, or worse, stigmatized in health classes. LGBT-inclusive education has been shown to have a positive effect on school climate overall and make LGBT youth feel safer in school. AB 329 will thus lead to greater understanding and acceptance of LGBT youth and families. Additionally, the bill will update curriculum on prevention of sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and pregnancy. EQCA is co-sponsoring AB 329 with American Civil Liberties Union of California, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, Forward Together, and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.
Successes from 1999 - 2014
Total pieces of pro-LGBT legislation passed: 102
Total pieces of pro-LGBT legislation that became law: 86
Total pieces of pro-LGBT legislation vetoed: 16
Total pieces of pro-LGBT legislation that died in committee: 4
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
Over the past fifteen years, EQCA has successfully passed 102 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