SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and co-sponsored by Equality California on Saturday:
Senate Bill 932 mandates that healthcare providers in California report sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data, if known, for all reportable communicable diseases. It is the first law of its kind in the country that requires healthcare providers to collect LGBTQ health data for all reportable communicable diseases. Senator Wiener originally introduced SB 932 because of California’s failure to collect LGBTQ+ specific data on COVID-19, then broadened the legislation to include all reportable communicable diseases. SB 932 is co-sponsored by Equality California and the California LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network.
Senate Bill 132 requires that incarcerated transgender, nonbinary, and intersex individuals in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) be classified by their gender identity and housed based on their stated health and safety needs and searched according to the policy for their gender identity or the facility where they are housed, based on their search preference. Currently, incarcerated transgender, nonbinary, and intersex individuals are automatically housed by sex assigned at birth, which can lead to increased violence and harassment. SB 132 is co-sponsored by Equality California, TransLatin@ Coalition, TGI Justice Project, Transgender Law Center, ACLU of California, Lambda Legal and Medina Orthwein LLP.
Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur released the following statement:
“Thanks to Governor Newsom and Senator Wiener’s leadership, California is a beacon of hope to LGBTQ+ people everywhere. Nearly four decades after I watched the government look the other way as our community was devastated by the AIDS crisis, I am proud to say California has become the first state to mandate the collection of voluntary LGBTQ+ data for all reportable communicable diseases. And while President Trump unleashes endless attacks against the transgender community, California is ensuring incarcerated transgender people are afforded the respect, agency and dignity that every person deserves. I recently had the chance to hear from currently incarcerated transgender people about their experiences and need for SB 132 — this bill is going to save lives. We are so grateful to our coalition partners — many of whom are trans and currently or formerly incarcerated — who led this fight from the beginning. Today is a monumental victory for them and for all LGBTQ+ people.”
Senator Wiener released the following statement:
“Today, California took a big step toward LGBTQ equality and inclusion. LGBTQ Californians are no longer invisible in our healthcare system, and we will now have health data so that we can advance health equity for our community. And, transgender people in prison will have a much greater opportunity to be safe in prison and to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. I’m proud to be an LGBTQ Californian and proud to be a part of the coalition working toward a fairer society. Thank you, Governor Newsom, for once again getting it and stepping up to support the LGBTQ community.”
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org