Equality California is proud of its legislative package for 2018.
The proposed legislation focuses on the most vulnerable among the LGBTQ community, addressing disparities in health and well-being that stem from longstanding discrimination and lack of acceptance towards the LGBTQ community.
Equality California is sponsoring the following legislation in 2018 with additional bills anticipated to be announced in coming weeks:
Author(s): Asm. Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley)
For far too long, LGBTQ people have suffered psychological abuse by those who are entrusted to care for their emotional and psychological well-being. These dangerous practices, often referred to as “conversion therapy,” have no sound scientific basis and can cause lifelong damage. AB 2943, authored by Asm. Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), would make clear that claiming to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is a fraudulent business practice that misleads consumers and exposes LGBTQ people to damaging psychological abuse.
Author(s): Asm. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego)
Child welfare agencies are required to assess the health needs of all young people in foster care, and to ensure they receive appropriate and timely care to address the needs identified by qualified professionals. AB 2119, authored by Asm. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), makes clear that, to meet this obligation for transgender and gender nonconforming youth, child welfare agencies must ensure access to clinicians who provide gender-affirming treatment consistent with established standards of care. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill along with the ACLU of California, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Author(s): Asm. Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond)
AB 2151, authored by Asm. Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), will provide California schools with resources to support LGBTQ students and create safer school environments. LGBTQ students have higher dropout rates than their non-LGBTQ peers and continue to report missing school because of safety concerns at higher rates than non-LGBTQ students. This legislation will give teachers and school staff the training they need to provide culturally competent support for students who may be facing harassment or lack of acceptance at school, rejection at home, or discrimination in the broader community. Schools are on the front line of providing a safety net against the effects of discrimination and lack of acceptance for the LGBTQ community, which can result in higher dropout rates, lower economic success, higher rates of homelessness, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and all the disparities in health and well-being that LGBTQ people face. If LGBTQ students have support in school, their likelihood of overcoming these disparities and succeeding later in life increases significantly.
Author(s): Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Asm. Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park)
Four out of ten young people experiencing homelessness in California’s major cities identify as LGBTQ. SB 918 will establish $60 million in grants for housing, services and supports for youth experiencing homelessness and create the Office of Homeless Youth within the California Department of Housing and Community Development to oversee them. SB 918, authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Asm. Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), will invest in low-barrier and diverse housing opportunities so each county can have an array of options for youth to escape homelessness. SB 918 also requires that participating programs be safe, inclusive, non-stigmatizing, and culturally competent to address the epidemic of LGBTQ youth homelessness. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with California Coalition for Youth, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Housing California, John Burton Advocates for Youth, and Tipping Point.
Author(s): Asm. Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks)
AB 2179, authored by Asm. Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), will ensure that LGBTQ older adults are recognized as a population in need of special attention, and that they can access the services and support they need to maintain their health and live their lives with dignity.
Author(s): Asm. Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and Asm. Patrick O’Donnell
AB 2639, authored by Asm. Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and Asm. Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach), will establish standards for online training on suicide prevention for teachers and school staff to prepare them to assist young people when they need support most. The training must include a focus on high-risk populations, including LGBTQ youth.
Author(s): Asm. Laura Friedman (D-Glendale)
AB 2663, authored by Asm. Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), closes a loophole that could put domestic partners at risk of losing their homes due to untenable property tax increases. If they are not married and only registered as domestic partners at the local level and not with the state, couples could face escalating property taxes that could make their home unaffordable. AB 2663 will close the loophole that results in these tax escalations, which do not affect couples who are married or registered with the state, and ensure that all registered domestic partners in California can afford their homes.
Author(s): Asm. Phil Ting (D-San Francisco)
AB 1985, authored by Asm. Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), will help empower local communities to reduce rates of hate crimes. This bill provides guidance for local law enforcement agencies to update and strengthen their policies on hate crimes, focusing on recognizing hate crimes when they have occurred, engaging in appropriate response given the targeted community and the broader community, and fostering a community environment that prevents future hate crimes and incidents from occurring. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy in California.