Current Legislative Bills

SB239 Modernizing Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws

Modernizes  California laws criminalizing and stigmatizing people living with HIV to  reflect current understanding of HIV prevention and treatment. It  eliminates HIV-specific criminal laws that impose harsh and draconian  penalties, including for activities that pose no risk of transmitting  HIV. This bill is supported by public health officials because laws that  criminalize HIV discourage people from getting tested and from seeking  treatment, which impedes public health objectives of eliminating  transmission of HIV. SB 239 would make HIV subject to the laws that  apply to other serious communicable diseases, removing discrimination  and stigma for people living with HIV and furthering public health. The  bill is cosponsored by the Equality California, ACLU of California, APLA  Health, Black AIDS Institute, Lambda Legal and Positive Women’s Network  – USA. 

SB 179 Gender Recognition Act of 2017

 Will enable  transgender, intersex and nonbinary people to obtain state-issued  identity documents that accurately reflect their gender identity, making  California the first state to not require people to officially identify  as “male” or “female.” The bill creates a third, nonbinary gender  marker on California birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, identity  cards and gender-change court orders, in addition to streamlining the  processes for a person to change their gender marker and name on these  identifying documents. The Gender Recognition Act of 2017 is cosponsored  by Equality California and Transgender Law Center. 

SB 219 Seniors Long Term Care Bill of Rights

Strengthens protections for LGBT seniors living in  long-term care facilities against discrimination, such as refusing to  use a resident’s preferred name or pronoun, denying admission to a  long-term care facility, transferring a resident within a facility or to  another facility based on anti-LGBT attitudes of other residents, or  evicting or involuntarily discharging a resident from a facility on the  basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity,  gender expression or HIV status. 

SB 421 Tiered System for CA Sex Offender Registry

Would replace California’s existing universal  lifetime registration requirement for sex offenses with a tiered system  based on the seriousness of the crime, the risk of reoffending and  criminal history. There are over 100,000 registrants in California, far  more than any other state, and California is one of only four states  with a universal lifetime registry. Equality California is cosponsoring  this bill to address the unfair circumstance of LGBT people who were  targeted and often entrapped on charges that required registration when  their actual actions hurt no one, including for simply engaging in  same-sex contact when that action was criminalized in the past. These  members of the LGBT community were required to register as sex offenders  for life even though their convictions are now decades old and the law  and its enforcement have changed, and the basis for many of these  arrests was due to anti-LGBT discrimination and police entrapment. This  bill would remove these people from the registry along with others in  similar circumstances and put a new, efficient, risk-based system in  place. This bill is cosponsored by Equality California, the Los Angeles  District Attorney’s Office, the California Sex Offender Management Board  (CASOMB) and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA).

SB310 Name and Dignity Act

Helps to ensure that transgender people will be  legally recognized for who they are while incarcerated and increases the  likelihood of their successful reentry into society upon release from  custody. The current belabored process that an incarcerated transgender  person must complete before petitioning the court to change their legal  name or gender marker often results in improper denials or no resolution  to requests. SB 310 establishes the right of transgender people  incarcerated in state prisons or county jails to petition the court  directly to change their legal name or gender marker. The bill requires  corrections officials to use the new name of a person who obtains a name  change, and to list the prior name only as an alias. SB 310 is  cosponsored by Equality California, St. James Infirmary, the Transgender  Gender-Variant Intersex Justice Project, Transgender Law Center, the  Western Regional Advocacy Project, the Women’s Foundation of California  and the Women’s Policy Institute. 

AB 677 Reducing LGBT Disparities in Education and Employment

Directs ten agencies focusing on education and  employment to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity  whenever additional demographic data is collected. Collecting this data  helps to reduce disparities, ensure that educational programs are  responsive to the needs of LGBT youth, and improve access to employment  for LGBT workers. 

SB488 Diversity in the Insurance Industry

This bill expands existing law to include LGBT-owned  and veteran-owned businesses on the list of diverse product and service  suppliers for insurers, codifies the governing board diversity survey,  and extends the supplier diversity survey to January 1, 2025. Current  law does not capture LGBT-owned and veteran-owned businesses on the  supplier diversity survey. SB 488 adds both categories to make this  successful initiative more inclusive of California’s diverse businesses  and further increase awareness about the importance of diversity in the  insurance industry. 

AB1556 Fair Employment and Housing Act Clarification

This bill will clarify the Fair Employment and  Housing Act, removing gendered terms such as “female,” “she,” and “her”  from statutory provisions for pregnancy-related employment protections  and replaces them with gender- neutral terms such as “person” or  “employee.” These changes ensure that transgender, nonbinary, and gender  non-conforming people are reflected in these protections and know that  they can rely on them to meet their health needs if they become pregnant  or have related medical conditions during the course of their  employment.  

For more infomation visit http://www.eqca.org/legislation/2017-legislation

To learn who your State Senator and Assemblyperson is visit

http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts.html

Call, write, email, and fax your representative to express support for any or all of these bills.