Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Equality California on Introduction of the SAFETY ACT
Bill would protect LGBTQ+ students from being forcibly outed, protect educators who create safe and inclusive learning environments.
May 22, 2024 at 10:48 am

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2024

CONTACT: Jorge Reyes Salinas, Equality California
PHONE: (213) 355-3057/MOBILE: (213) 355-3057/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, issued the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang in response to the introduction of AB 1955, the Support Academic Futures & Educators for Today’s Youth Act (SAFETY Act), by Vice Chair of the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, Assemblymember Chris Ward:

“Across the country and here in California, LGBTQ+ young people are under attack from extremist politicians and school boards seeking to ban books, terrorize teachers, and make transgender youth afraid to be themselves at school.

This critical legislation will provide resources for parents and families of LGBTQ+ students to support them as they have conversations on their own terms, protect LGBTQ+ students from isolation and bullying, and provide critical safeguards to prevent retaliation against teachers and school staff who foster a safe and supportive school environment for all students.

Forced outing policies remove opportunities for LGBTQ+ students to build trust and seek out resources that best fit their coming out experience. LGBTQ+ youth and their families deserve to have these conversations at home and in a way that makes sure that students are safe and supported.

California law requires schools to create a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students, including respecting their privacy. However, the recent forced outing policies passed by local school boards targeting LGBTQ+ students and the school staff who support them makes the SAFETY Act a necessary guardrail to these already existing protections.

We are thankful to Assemblymember Ward and the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus for spearheading this legislation and to the diverse coalition of partners that has supported this effort. Equality California remains committed to protecting the rights of all LGBTQ+ students and will continue prioritizing their safety until the work is done.”

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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


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