Equality California’s 2018 legislative package focuses on the most vulnerable in our community and is part of our continuing effort to address the disparities in health and well-being that LGBTQ people face as a result of longstanding discrimination and lack of acceptance.
Equality California is sponsoring the following legislation in 2018 with additional bills anticipated to be announced in coming weeks:
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. This bill would make clear in California statute 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. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the Trevor Project.
Status: Passed by the Assembly and Senate. Held in the Assembly prior to concurrence vote.
For more information about AB 2943 — including a list of supporters and frequently asked questions — please visit eqca.org/AB2943.
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. This bill 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.
Status: Passed by the Assembly and Senate. Awaiting Governor Brown’s action.
This bill 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.
LGBTQ people face higher rates of hate crimes and incidents, bias-based violence, harassment at the hands of law enforcement, and discrimination within the criminal justice system compared to the general population. AB 2504 requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (CPOST) to develop LGBTQ-specific training for peace officers and dispatchers. Improving peace officers’ ability to communicate with and serve members of the LGBTQ community will assist them in responding appropriately to situations that involve LGBTQ people, with understanding and acceptance. AB 2504 will not only educate peace officers about the LGBTQ community and build more inclusive working environments, it will create new opportunities for dialog between law enforcement officers and the marginalized communities they serve.
Four out of ten young people experiencing homelessness in California’s major cities identify as LGBTQ. SB 918 will establish a grant program for housing, services and supports for youth experiencing homelessness and task the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (Council) to oversee them. This bill 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.
AB 2490 eliminates fees charged to people experiencing homelessness seeking to obtain certified birth certificates directly from the state. Many Californians experiencing homelessness live in counties that are not the county of their birth, and some may be unsure of their county of birth. LGBTQ young people experiencing homelessness in particular often travel to major California cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles to find acceptance, which could be a long distance from their county of birth. For some of these individuals, communicating with or even locating their county of birth to request a birth certificate is a significant hurdle. LGBTQ young people are particularly likely to be experiencing homelessness as a result of family rejection, which can make it unsafe for them to return to their former homes to gain access to their identifying documents.
This bill requires jail and prison employees to refer to transgender individuals by their preferred gender pronouns and names, and ensures that transgender people placed in solitary confinement for their own protection have access to programming, services, and work opportunities despite being in solitary confinement or otherwise separated from the general population. Transgender women, in particular, are often housed in male prison facilities and thus at great risk of victimization. They are frequently placed in solitary confinement, not for any transgression but rather for their own safety, and thus deprived of access to various prison services and work opportunities. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the ACLU of California and Lambda Legal.
Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee.
This bill 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. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with SAGE.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on August 24, 2018.
This bill requires schools to review and, if necessary, update their student suicide prevention policies at a minimum of every five years. These policies already need to include a focus on high-risk populations, including LGBTQ youth, under existing law. AB 2639 will ensure that these policies are reviewed regularly and kept up-to-date. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the Trevor Project.
A previous version of this bill would have established standards for online training on suicide prevention for teachers and school staff to prepare them to assist young people when they need support most. That legislative language was successfully incorporated into California’s 2018-19 budget, which Governor Brown signed on June 27, 2018
AB 2291 requires public schools to provide online training annually on the dynamics of bullying and cyberbullying to teachers and school staff. It would also require the California Department of Education to post this online training module along with other available online trainings to its internet website. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the Advancement Project California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California, and Council on American-Islamic Relations, California.
The LGBTQ Family Law Modernization Act of 2018 would modernize and eliminate significant inequalities in California family law to ensure that LGBTQ parents and their children have access to the same protections as any other families. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
This bill would provide retroactive relief to individuals who were registered as domestic partners in municipal jurisdictions and may have had their property taxes increased due to the death of a partner. AB 2663 seeks to bring equity to locally registered domestic partners who may not have registered with the state during a certain time period and ensure they can continue to afford their homes.
AB 1985 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.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on June 13, 2018.
Private professional fiduciaries provide critical services to older adults and people with disabilities, including daily care, housing and medical needs, and financial management services ranging from basic bill payments to estate and investment management. This bill will give professional fiduciaries the training they need to provide culturally competent services for their LGBTQ clients.
This resolution calls upon the medical community to discontinue medically unnecessary, nonconsensual, and often irreparably harmful sex assignment and genital “normalization” surgeries on intersex infants at birth. Instead, an intersex individual should decide for themselves whether to pursue surgery at all, at an age when informed consent is possible. Equality California is cosponsoring this resolution with interACT.
Status: Adopted by the Legislature on August 28, 2018.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an antiretroviral medication that has been shown to be safe and effective in reducing the risk of acquiring HIV among people who are at high risk of acquiring the virus. PrEP is estimated to be over 90 percent effective at preventing HIV infection, but only about 12 percent of the 1.2 million Americans at high risk for HIV exposure are using PrEP. This resolution recognizes August 16, 2018, as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Awareness Day in California to enhance public awareness of PrEP and PEP.
Status: Adopted by the Legislature on August 23, 2018.
This resolution designates the month of May as National Foster Care Month in the State of California and calls on all Californians to observe the month by recognizing the extraordinary role that LGBTQ parents play in the foster care system, as well as the unique challenges confronting LGBTQ foster youth. Equality California is cosponsoring SCR 137 with Family Equality Council.
Status: Adopted by the Legislature on May 29, 2018.