Equality California is committed to creating a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people — and sometimes that fight takes us to court. We’ve sued the Trump-Pence Administration (twice!) and the State of California on behalf of our members — even taking our cases as far as the Supreme Courts of the United States and California.
And we’ll keep fighting for LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice in the courtroom — until the work is done.
In July 2020, Equality California filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Trump-Pence Administration officials challenging the administration’s rule (the Rollback Rule) undermining LGBTQ+ healthcare nondiscrimination protections in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, known as the Health Care Rights Law. Equality California and Equality California member Darren Lazor, a transgender man who has faced healthcare discrimination because of his gender identity, are plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit — Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (BAGLY), et. al v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et. al (BAGLY v. HHS) — along with two LGBTQ+ healthcare clinics and three other LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice organizations.
In September 2017, Equality California and seven transgender servicemembers and enlistees filed a lawsuit against President Trump and his administration challenging the president’s directive prohibiting transgender people from joining the military and banning military healthcare plans from providing vital services to transgender servicemembers. In November 2017, the State of California successfully joined the lawsuit as a co-plaintiff, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Equality California, along with Our Family Coalition and a group of gay and lesbian couples, sued the State of California in 2004 after the California Supreme Court ordered San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Equality California’s case, which was consolidated with other cases into In re Marriage Cases, argued that the state law denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry violated the California Constitution. On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court agreed that same-sex couples are entitled to the same fundamental right to marry as opposite-sex couples under the privacy, due process and equal protection clauses of the California Constitution.