Landmark

Legislation

AB 2218

Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund.

SB 932

COVID-19 Data Collection for LGBTQ+ Community

SB 145

LGBTQ+ Young People Nondiscrimination

SB 132

Transgender Respect, Agency, and Dignity Act

SB 741

Affirming Records

SB 961

Equal Insurance HIV Act

SB 201

Intersex Autonomy

AB 1145

Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act

SB 179

California's Gender Recognition Act

Existing law establishes an Office of Health Equity in the State Department of Public Health for purposes of aligning state resources, decision making, and programs to accomplish certain goals related to health equity and protecting vulnerable communities. Existing law requires the office to develop department-wide plans to close the gaps in health status and access to care among the state’s diverse racial and ethnic communities, women, persons with disabilities, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning communities, as specified.

This bill would establish the Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund, under the administration of the office, for the purpose of funding grants, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to organizations serving people that identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, or intersex (TGI), to create or fund TGI-specific housing programs and partnerships with hospitals, health care clinics, and other medical providers to provide TGI-focused health care, as defined, and related education programs for health care providers.

SB 932 will mandate the collection and reporting of sexual orientation and gender identity data for all COVID-19 patients in the State of California. The bill was introduced in early May 2020 in response to the state’s failure to collect data about the crisis’s impacts on the LGBTQ+ community — depriving both the government and LGBTQ+ community leaders of invaluable information needed to protect LGBTQ+ Californians. Because rates of respiratory issues (from smoking), HIV/AIDS, cancer, and homelessness are higher in the LGBTQ community, LGBTQ+ people are likely experiencing greater health impacts from COVID-19. Additionally, LGBTQ+ people are more likely to work in the service industry and in front-line jobs. SB 932 will allow healthcare providers and public health officials to understand rates of COVID-19 in the LGTBQ+ community, and help LGBTQ+ people get the resources and support they need. The bill is co-authored by all members of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, as well as Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). Equality California is the co-sponsor.

SB 145 will address the state’s discriminatory practice of treating LGBTQ+ young people differently than their non-LGBTQ+ peers when engaging in voluntary sexual activity. Currently, for example, if an 18-year-old boy has voluntary sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend, he isn’t automatically required to register as a sex offender. But if an 18-year-old boy has voluntary sex with his 17-year-old boyfriend or an 18-year-old girl has voluntary sex with her 17-year-old girlfriend, they’re automatically required to register as sex offenders, no matter the circumstances. SB 145 only applies when a teenager age 14 or older has consensual sex with a partner who is within 10 years of age. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 145 along with Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

SB 132 addresses a very real problem facing incarcerated transgender individuals, namely, transgender people being housed according to their birth-assigned gender, not their gender identity or perception of safety, resulting in significant risk of violence. Transgender women housed in male facilities face particular risk of rape and assault. SB 132 will change state law to require incarcerated transgender people in the custody of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation be classified and housed based on their gender identity, unless the incarcerated person’s evaluation of their own safety is that another housing placement is safest. SB 132 also requires that the preferred first name, gender pronoun and honorific of the incarcerated individual be used by facility staff in all written and verbal communications. By housing incarcerated transgender people based on their gender identity or perception of health and safety, transgender people will be housed in institutions that decrease their likelihood of experiencing targeting and violence, and they will have access to the programming and work opportunities that will best promote and support their health and safety.

SB 741 will update the law to allow transgender Californians to update their marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children to accurately reflect their legal name and gender, while still protecting their privacy. Current state law allows transgender people to petition courts to change their legal name and gender to conform with their gender identity. The law then allows such a person’s old birth certificate to be sealed and a new one issued as an original to protect the person’s privacy and respect their identity. This legislation would simply align the process for updating transgender people’s marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children with the process for updating their own birth certificate. This will help to prevent discrimination when a transgender person enrolls their child in school, applies for a loan or seeks to make medical decisions on behalf of an incapacitated spouse.

 

Status: Vetoed by Governor Newsom on September 29, 2020, due to an inadvertent drafting error that did not allow sufficient time for implementation. Gov. Newsom supports the policy goal and will work with Equality California to pass this legislation in 2021.

The Equal Insurance HIV Act would stop insurance companies from denying life and disability income insurance coverage based solely on a customer’s HIV status. The bill would enact anti-discrimination protections in life and disability income insurance products for those living with HIV by banning HIV discrimination to ensure they have equal access to the coverage they deserve. Today, with the access to health care, advancement in HIV testing, and more effective treatment, a person who is HIV positive and undergoes and remains on treatment can live a long healthy life. HIV status is treated by medical professionals like any other treatable chronic condition. But California’s outdated insurance laws haven’t been updated. This bill would help to eliminate stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV, a key step toward ending the HIV epidemic.

SB 201 will protect the rights of intersex Californians — “intersex” being a term used for people born with variations in their sex characteristics — by ensuring they can provide informed consent before medically unnecessary, often irreversible and potentially harmful procedures are performed on them. SB 201, at its core, is about giving people born with variations in their sex characteristics autonomy over their own bodies. The bill does not prohibit treatment or surgery when it is medically necessary; it will simply delay elective surgeries often performed on babies in an attempt to “normalize” their bodies until they have the ability to make their own informed decision. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 201 along with interACT and the ACLU of California.

The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires a mandated reporter, as defined, to make a report to a specified agency whenever the mandated reporter, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, has knowledge of or observes a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. This bill would provide that “sexual assault” for these purposes does not include voluntary sodomy, oral copulation, or sexual penetration, if there are no indicators of abuse, unless that conduct is between a person who is 21 years of age or older and a minor who is under 16 years of age.

California's Gender Recognition Act (SB 179), signed into law on October 15, 2017, makes it significantly easier for all transgender people who are living in or were born in California to obtain identity documents that reflect their genders and makes California the second state in the county to offer a standard path..