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Equality California Thanks Lt. Gov. Newsom

Sacramento – Yesterday Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom submitted letters to the state legislature in support of three Equality California-sponsored bills designed to secure greater protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians.

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“I am proud to strongly support the FAIR Education Act, Seth’s Law and the Gender Nondiscrimination Act,” said Lieutenant Governor Newsom. “This package of legislation is an obvious and necessary step in protecting those vulnerable to discrimination, abuse and bullying. I applaud Equality California and the bill’s authors, Senator Mark Leno, Assemblymembers Toni Atkins and Tom Ammiano, for their work in advancing equality in California.”

“Lieutenant Governor Newsom has long been one of our staunchest allies supporting full equality for LGBT Californians, and we are truly grateful that he has once again stepped up to advocate for legislation that will advance groundbreaking protections and equality,” said Jim Carroll, Interim Executive Director of Equality California.

Lt. Governor Newsom expressed support for the following bills:

The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, SB 48
SB 48 would require schools to fairly and accurately portray the historic contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in social science instruction and would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s existing anti-discrimination protections that prohibit bias in school activities, instruction and instructional materials.
Author: Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco)
Sponsors: Equality California and Gay-Straight Alliance Network

Seth’s law, AB 9
AB 9 would require that every school in California implements updated anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies that include actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, and religion or association with one or more of these groups. It would also inform students and parents of their rights and how to address incidents of bullying. The bill is named in memory of Seth Walsh, a 13 year-old gay student from Tehachapi, California, who took his life in September 2010, after facing years of relentless anti-gay harassment at school.
Author: Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco)
Sponsors: Equality California, the ACLU of California, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, and the Trevor Project

Gender Nondiscrimination Act, AB 887
AB 887 will strengthen employment, housing, and other civil rights protections for all Californians, especially those who face discrimination based on gender identity and expression. AB 887 takes existing protections based on gender identity and expression and enumerates them as protected categories in non-discrimination laws. In addition, while California non-discrimination laws already define “gender” to include a person’s gender identity and gender expression, the bill clarifies that gender identity and expression are included in the definition of gender and sex in all California codes.
Author: Assemblymember Toni Atkins (D-San Diego)
Sponsors: Equality California and the Transgender Law Center

For more information on Equality California-sponsored legislation, please visit: www.eqca.org/legislation .

Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed more than 70 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org

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