Equality California (99 Articles with 184,220 total views)

Equality California is California’s premier statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization focused on creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals.

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December, 2017

California's Attorney General Seeks to Join Equality California in Suit Defending Transgender Members in the Military

California's Attorney General Seeks to Join Equality California in Suit Defending Transgender Members in the Military
LOS ANGELES - November 9, 2017 – Attorney General Xavier Becerra yesterday filed a motion to intervene as a party plaintiff in Stockman v. Trump, the suit fighting the transgender military ban. Filed on behalf of Equality California members and seven individual plaintiffs being harmed by the ban, Stockman v. Trump challenges the constitutionality of President Donald Trump's August 25 directive banning transgender people from enlisting or serving openly in the military.
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Lisa Middleton Wins Election to Palm Springs City Council

Lisa Middleton Wins Election to Palm Springs City Council
Los Angeles - November 8, 2017 – Palm Springs City Council Candidate Lisa Middleton will become the first out transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California with her commanding first place win in today's election. Additionally, Palm Springs City Council Candidate Christy Holstege will become another LGBTQ voice on the Palm Springs City Council as the winner of the second open seat. Equality California endorsed both candidates and spent thousands of dollars in direct contributions, independent expenditures and member-to-member communications to help elect them.
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State of California is Now a Plaintiff in Lawsuit Against Trump's Transgender Military Ban, as Court Grants Attorney Gen

State of California is Now a Plaintiff in Lawsuit Against Trump's Transgender Military Ban, as Court Grants Attorney Gen

November, 2017

Equality California's 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up: Seven Sponsored Bills Signed by Governor

Equality California's 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up: Seven Sponsored Bills Signed by Governor
Sacramento - October 17, 2017 - With his signature on Sunday of Senate Bill (SB) 179, authored by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), and SB 310 (Atkins), California Governor Jerry Brown has signed seven Equality California-sponsored bills, ending the 2017 legislative session and bringing the total number of resolutions and bills successfully sponsored by Equality California over the organization's history to 127. In addition, lawmakers this session approved two resolutions sponsored by Equality California
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Gov. Brown Signs "Bill of Rights" for LGBTQ Seniors in Long-Term Care

Gov. Brown Signs
Sacramento - October 4, 2017 –California Governor Jerry Brown today signed a bill that creates a "bill of rights" for LGBTQ seniors in long-term care.  Senate Bill (SB) 219, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California, will help protect seniors from discrimination or mistreatment in long-term care facilities.
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Governor Brown Signs Equality California-Sponsored Bill to Reform California's Sex Offender Registry

Governor Brown Signs Equality California-Sponsored Bill to Reform California's Sex Offender Registry
Sacramento, Calif. - October 6, 2017 –California Gov. Jerry Brown today signed a bill to reform California's sex offender registry, creating a tiered system that will make the registry a more effective tool for law enforcement and bring California's system in line with the rest of the United States. SB 384 was authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and co-authored by Senators Joel Anderson (R- Alpine), Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley). The bill was sponsored by Equality California, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the California Sex Offender Management Board and was endorsed by the California Police Chiefs Association and various county sheriffs.
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Governor Signs Bill Modernizing California HIV Laws

Governor Signs Bill Modernizing California HIV Laws
Sacramento, Calif. - October 6, 2017 - - Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law landmark legislation to reform outdated laws that unfairly criminalized and stigmatized people living with HIV. Senate Bill (SB) 239 was authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Asm. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) and cosponsored by Equality California, the ACLU of California, APLA Health, Black AIDS Institute, Lambda Legal and Positive Women's Network – USA. These organizations are part of Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform (CHCR), a broad coalition of people living with HIV, HIV and health service providers, civil rights organizations and public health professionals dedicated to ending the criminalization of people living with HIV in California.
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NCLR, GLAD, and Equality California Slam the Government’s Response in Stockman v. Trump

NCLR, GLAD, and Equality California Slam the Government’s Response in Stockman v. Trump
Los Angeles, CA - October 23, 2017 – Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion to dismiss and a motion opposing emergency relief in Stockman v. Trump, the transgender military ban suit filed on behalf of Equality California (EQCA) members and seven individual plaintiffs being harmed by the ban. EQCA along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), co-counsel in the case and the LGBT legal organizations leading the fight against the ban, slammed the government's response for ignoring the harms this dangerous policy is inflicting on our nation's service members and transgender individuals who want to enlist but can't.
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October, 2017

California Legislature Passes "Bill of Rights" for LGBTQ Seniors in Long-Term Care

California Legislature Passes
Sacramento CA - September 13, 2017–The California Legislature today approved a bill that would create a "bill of rights" for LGBTQ seniors in long-term care.  Senate Bill (SB) 219, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California, would help protect seniors from discrimination or mistreatment in long-term care facilities and provide standards for culturally-competent care.
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California Legislature Passes Bill Creating Non-Binary Gender for State Identification Documents

California Legislature Passes Bill Creating Non-Binary Gender for State Identification Documents
Sacramento, CA, September 15, 2017 –The California Legislature last night approved a bill that would make it easier to change gender markers on state-issued identification documents as well as create a gender-neutral, non-binary category in addition to "male" and "female." Senate Bill (SB) 179, authored by Sens. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center, would make California the second state in the country, after Oregon, to legally recognize a nonbinary gender.
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California Legislature Passes Bill Facilitating Name Changes for Transgender Inmates

California Legislature Passes Bill Facilitating Name Changes for Transgender Inmates
Sacramento, CA - September 14, 2017 - The California Legislature today approved a bill that would help ensure that transgender people are recognized for who they are while incarcerated and would increase their likelihood of successful reentry into society on release. Senate Bill (SB) 310, by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), would require corrections officials to use the new name of a transgender person who obtains a name change, and to list the prior name only as an alias.
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California Legislature Passes Equality California-Sponsored Bill to Reform Sex Offender Registry

California Legislature Passes Equality California-Sponsored Bill to Reform Sex Offender Registry
Sacramento, CA - September 16, 2017 –  The California Legislature early Saturday morning approved a bill to reform California's sex offender registry, creating a tiered system that will make the registry a more effective tool for law enforcement and bring California's system in line with the rest of the United States. SB 384 was authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and co-authored by Senators Joel Anderson (R- Alpine), Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley). The bill was sponsored by Equality California, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the California Sex Offender Management Board and was endorsed by the California Police Chiefs Association and various county sheriffs.
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Commission Approves LGBTQ-Inclusive Textbooks for Adoption by CA State Board of Education

Commission Approves LGBTQ-Inclusive Textbooks for Adoption by CA State Board of Education
SAN FRANCISCO - On Thursday, Sept. 29, the California Department of Education's Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) voted to approve 10 History-Social Science K-8 textbooks which were inclusive of the LGBTQ content mandated by the state's 2016 History-Social Science Framework. Most were approved conditional upon edits provided by the FAIR Education Act Implementation Coalition, a group of LGBTQ advocacy and educational organizations formed to ensure implementation of the state's 2012 FAIR Education Act, which requires the inclusion of the political, economic, and social contributions of LGBTQ people and people with disabilities in California textbooks.
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Equality California Files Suit Against Trump Administration to Block Transgender Military Ban

Equality California Files Suit Against Trump Administration to Block Transgender Military Ban
Los Angeles, CA - September 5, 2017 - Equality California filed a lawsuit today in United States District Court for the Central District of California challenging the constitutionality of President Donald Trump's August 25 directive banning transgender people from enlisting or serving openly in the military, and denying them medically necessary healthcare.
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Equality California's 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up: Two Resolutions Pass, Seven Bills to Governor's Desk

Equality California's 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up: Two Resolutions Pass, Seven Bills to Governor's Desk
Sacramento, CA - September 22, 2017- The California Legislature has sent seven Equality California-sponsored bills to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. In addition, lawmakers approved two resolutions sponsored by Equality California. If the bills are signed into law, it will bring to 127 the number of pieces of legislation advanced by Equality California to advance the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ people.
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Equality California: LGBTQ Americans Must Stand with Immigrants Following President's 'Inhumane' Order

Equality California: LGBTQ Americans Must Stand with Immigrants Following President's 'Inhumane' Order
Los Angeles - September 5, 2017 -Today, President Donald Trump issued an executive order revoking the temporary legal immigration status of hundreds of thousands of young people raised in the United States. The directive effectively voids an Obama-era program granting temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants under 30 who arrived in the United States as children. Enacted in 2012, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allows those young people, often called DREAMers, to live and work in the United States for a renewable period of two years. Enforcement of the order will be delayed for six months to give Congress time to give Congress time to consider and pass legislation.
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Equality California: U.S. Death Penalty Vote Highlights "abdication of any role advancing" Civil Rights

Equality California: U.S. Death Penalty Vote Highlights
Los Angeles - October 3, 2017 –  In response to today's "no" vote by the United States on a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution condemning discriminatory use of the death penalty, including in countries where it is directed at LGBTQ people, Equality California executive director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "We are disappointed but not surprised that our country today once again chose to stand, not with other industrialized democracies, but with Iraq, Saudi Arabia and China in supporting a resolution that simply calls upon U.N. member states to not apply the death penalty in a discriminatory manner. As the resolution recognizes, the death penalty has been used disproporationately around the world to target the poor, foreign nationals, political dissidents, women, ethnic and religious minorities and LGBTQ people.
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GLAD & NCLR Join as Co-Counsel in Equality CA Lawsuit Against Pres Trump's Transgender Military Ban

GLAD & NCLR Join as Co-Counsel in Equality CA Lawsuit Against Pres Trump's Transgender Military Ban
LOS ANGELES (October 2, 2017) – Equality California announced today that the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)the LGBT legal organizations leading the fight against the Trump Administration's transgender military ban, have joined as co-counsel in its lawsuit challenging the ban, Stockman v. Trump. Equality California is a plaintiff in the suit together with seven individual plaintiffs who are currently serving or have taken steps to enlist.
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Resolution Condemning Chechnya Violence Against Gay Men Clears California Legislature

Resolution Condemning Chechnya Violence Against Gay Men    Clears California Legislature
Sacramento - September 11, 2017–The California Legislature has passed a resolution calling on Congress and the president to condemn violence against gay men in Chechnya. Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR 16), by Assemblymembers Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) and Jordan Cunningham (R-Templeton) and sponsored by Equality California, also calls on the president to encourage immigration authorities to grant asylum and refugee status to LGBTQ people and others fleeing persecution.
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Resolution Condemning Transgender Military Ban Clears California Legislature

Resolution Condemning Transgender Military Ban Clears California Legislature
Sacramento, CA - September 15, 2017 –The California Legislature has passed a resolution condemning the Trump Administration's ban on service in the military by transgender people and calling on the governor of California to direct the California National Guard to take no action that discriminates against transgender service members on the basis of their gender identity or expression, unless superseded by federal law. Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 22 was authored by Asm. Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) and sponsored by Equality California.
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September, 2017

Civil Rights Groups Ask Comprehensive Review of Law Enforcement Efforts on Hate Crimes

Civil Rights Groups Ask Comprehensive Review of Law Enforcement Efforts on Hate Crimes
Sacramento - August 29, 2017 -Citing escalating hate crimes by both organized hate groups and individuals, Equality California joined eight other major civil rights organizations to call on the California Legislature to order a comprehensive evaluation of law enforcement agencies' efforts to protect Californians from hate crimes.
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Equality California Calls for Pledge from Fresno School Superintendent Finalist to Protect LGBTQ Students

Equality California Calls for Pledge from Fresno School Superintendent Finalist to Protect LGBTQ Students
Fresno, Calif. - August 18, 2017 -Equality California has sent a letter to members of the Fresno Unified School District Board of Trustees urging them to obtain a pledge from interim Fresno Superintendent Bob Nelson, announced as the "finalist" in the district's search for a new superintendent, to participate in Equality California's Safe and Supportive Schools Index if confirmed for the position. The district hopes to announce its new leader next week. The Index is currently being developed by Equality California and its partners to provide an in-depth look at how well California schools are meeting their responsibility to protect LGBTQ students.
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Equality California Commends Rocklin School for Supporting Transgender Student

Equality California Commends Rocklin School for Supporting Transgender Student
Rocklin, Calif. - August 29, 2017 - Equality California has sent a letter to Rocklin Academy officials applauding the school for its support of a transgender kindergarten student following the reading of a book geared toward that age group by transgender teen and reality TV star Jazz Jennings. As a result of activities by right-wing advocacy groups, a number of parents complained after a transgender student brought the book "I am Jazz" to share with students in her kindergarten class. The book discusses Jennings' childhood, what it is to be transgender and a message of respect and inclusion for everyone.
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Equality California: Purge of Transgender Service Members Has No Place in Democratic America

Equality California: Purge of Transgender Service Members Has No Place in Democratic America
Los Angeles - August 25, 2017 – In response to a memo issued today by the White House on the expulsion of transgender service members from the U.S. military, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "This purge of heroic servicemembers by a man who himself avoided military service is unfair, cruel and un-American. The proposed expulsions violate the very values that make us American, including equal opportunity and protection under the law and the ability of each of us to rise to the levels of our own talents. Trump has joined the ranks of Tayyip Recep Erdogan, Kim Jong-un and other modern autocrats who resort to purges and targeting of vulnerable communities to distract the public and to maintain their hold on power. He also has sent a clear message to LGBTQ people that his government does not consider our community to be worthy of equal treatment under the law but instead to be second class citizens. The guidance issued by the White House, if implemented, would represent a significant step backwards in the movement for LGBTQ civil rights which Equality California will fight with all its resources.
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Equality California: Trump's Response to Charlottesville White Supremacist Violence "Tepid" and "Shameful"

Equality California: Trump's Response to Charlottesville White Supremacist Violence
Los Angeles - August 14, 2017 -In response to the weekend's ongoing violence at the hands of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia and today's statement by President Donald Trump, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Equality California joins people of good conscience across the country in expressing our shock and disbelief at this weekend's expression of raw hatred and bigotry on display in Charlottesville, and we extend our sincere sympathies to the families of the victims of violence at the hands of white supremacists.
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August, 2017

Equality California: Healthcare Repeal Bill's Defeat Saves LGBTQ Lives

Equality California: Healthcare Repeal Bill's Defeat Saves LGBTQ Lives
Washington, D.C. - July 28, 2017 – In response to the dramatic Senate vote which ended attempts by Republican leadership to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act collapsed late last night thanks to the hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ and other Americans who attended town hall meetings and rallies, made phone calls to their elected officials, sent emails, wrote letters and kept the pressure on senators. Passage of the bill would have cost thousands of LGBTQ lives and we're profoundly grateful to all who took a courageous stand.
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Equality California: Nomination of Eric Dreiband to Key Civil Rights Post a 'Terrible Signal'

Equality California: Nomination of Eric Dreiband to Key Civil Rights Post a 'Terrible Signal'
Los Angeles – July 7, 2017  Equality California today expressed its opposition to President Donald Trump's nomination of Eric Dreiband, a lawyer who recently represented the University of North Carolina in its decision to implement provisions of that state's odious "bathroom bill", to serve as the Department of Justice's head of Civil Rights Enforcement.
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July, 2017

Eight Equality California Bills Clear Houses of Origin

Eight Equality California Bills Clear Houses of Origin
Sacramento - June 8, 2017 -Eight bills sponsored by Equality California cleared their houses of origin last week in the California Legislature.
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Equality California Marks First Anniversary of Pulse Shootings

Equality California Marks First Anniversary of Pulse Shootings
Los Angeles - June 12, 2017 -  In honor of the June 12 anniversary of the deaths of 49 LGBTQ people and allies at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "One year ago, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history forced our community to confront the fact that the sickeningly repetitive cycle of American gun violence is itself an LGBTQ issue. In response, Equality California launched its #SafeAndEqual initiative to support stricter gun safety laws in California, resulting in the passage of six bills and Proposition 63 that give our state the nation's strictest gun protections. Nationally, progress has been far slower – as evidenced by last week's shootings in Orlando almost exactly a year after our community's loss. We will honor the memory of those murdered a year ago at Pulse by continuing to fight in California and in Washington, D.C. until our community and all Americans are safe from gun violence."
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Equality California: New Healthcare Repeal Bill is 'Immoral'

Equality California: New Healthcare Repeal Bill is 'Immoral'
Los Angeles – In response to the Senate's just-released bill that would repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "The bill unveiled today by the Senate isn't just mean, as Donald Trump himself admits about the House version, it's immoral. If passed, it will have a devastating impact on the health and lives of millions of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV, who will  lose health insurance under the Senate bill.
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Resolution Condemning Chechnya Violence Against Gay Men Clears California Assembly

Resolution Condemning Chechnya Violence Against Gay Men Clears California Assembly
Sacramento - June 26, 2017 – By a unanimous vote, the California Assembly has approved a resolution calling on Congress and the president to condemn violence against gay men in Chechnya. Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR 16), by Assemblymembers Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) and Jordan Cunningham (R-Templeton) and sponsored by Equality California, also calls on the president to encourage immigration authorities to grant asylum and refugee status to LGBTQ people and others fleeing persecution.
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June, 2017

Equality California: Resistance is part of our heritage as LGBTQ Californians

Equality California: Resistance is part of our heritage as LGBTQ Californians
Los Angeles -  In honor of June Pride month, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Last November's election of Donald Trump dispelled any illusion that our battle for full equality is over, and this year's Pride marches will represent an expression of resistance and grim determination from a community that has been the target of discrimination, lack of acceptance and hostility.
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TLC Applauds Senate Passage of SB 179, to Enable Accurate Identity Documents

TLC Applauds Senate Passage of SB 179, to Enable Accurate Identity Documents
May 31, 2017 - SB 179, the Gender Recognition Act advanced out of the California state senate today. Transgender Law Center (TLC)  is proud to have drafted and sponsored the legislation which will empower more transgender, intersex and nonbinary people to more easily obtain state-issued identity documents that accurately reflect their gender. The bill is being authored by Senators Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and is sponsored by TLC and Equality California.
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May, 2017

Equality Act of 2017 Introduced in Congress

Equality Act of 2017 Introduced in Congress
Washington, D.C - May 2, 2017 - A bill that would ban discrimination against LGBT people under federal law was reintroduced today in both houses of Congress. 
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Equality California: 'Today's executive order offers the LGBT community no reason to feel relief.'

Equality California: 'Today's executive order offers the LGBT community no reason to feel relief.'
Los Angeles - May 4, 2017 – In response to Donald Trump's executive order today greatly expanding the ability of tax-exempt religious organizations to engage in political activity, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Our government was designed to respect everyone's right to follow the dictates of their faith while not favoring one religion over another. The precious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment were never intended as a cudgel for use against anyone of whom followers of one religion or another don't approve.
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Equality California: House Healthcare Vote 'an enormous step backwards'

Equality California: House Healthcare Vote 'an enormous step backwards'
Los Angeles - May 4, 2017 – In response to today's vote by the U.S. House of Representatives repealing portions of the Affordable Healthcare Act, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Today, the GOP-led House voted to gut healthcare coverage for millions of Americans, a move with devastating consequences for millions of LGBTQ people who depend on the Affordable Care Act for quality, affordable healthcare. The Republican plan raises taxes on vulnerable seniors, eviscerates Medicaid, strips coverage for essential healthcare services and eliminates the ACA's mandate to cover preexisting conditions.  That move alone endangers the health and lives of people living with HIV and imperils vital coverage for transgender people.
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Equality California: SCOTUS Rejection of Conversion Therapy Case is Good News

Equality California: SCOTUS Rejection of Conversion Therapy Case is Good News
Los Angeles – May 1, 2017 In response to today's announcement from the U.S. Supreme Court that it will not hear Welch v. Brown, a case challenging California's ban on so-called "conversion therapy" on the grounds that it violates constitutional religious freedom protections, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Today's announcement is good news for thousands of LGBT youth nationwide, especially in states that do not yet ban so-called 'conversion therapy.' Homosexuality is not a condition that needs curing. However, we do know that the practice of trying to change sexual orientation not only doesn't work, but puts vulnerable LGBT young people at risk of depression, substance abuse, homelessness and suicide. It flies in the face of a consensus of respected health organizations – including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other groups – that efforts to change a young person's sexual orientation are harmful. Even so, thousands of LGBT youth are forced to submit to such programs across the country every year and thousands of 'therapists' are more than willing to take their money."
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April, 2017

Bill to Modernize Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws Passes First Major Hurdle

Bill to Modernize Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws Passes First Major Hurdle
Sacramento  - March 28, 2017 – A bill that would modernize California's laws that criminalize and stigmatize people living with HIV today cleared its first major legislative hurdle. The Senate Public Safety Committee approved Senate Bill (SB) 239 by a vote of 5-2. The bill is authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Asm. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) and cosponsored by the ACLU of California, APLA Health, Black AIDS Institute, Equality California, Lambda Legal and Positive Women's Network - USA. The organizations are part of Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform (CHCR), a broad coalition of people living with HIV, HIV and health service providers, civil rights organizations and public health professionals dedicated to ending the criminalization of HIV in California. SB 239 is also co-authored by Senators Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkley) and Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Susan Eggman (D-Stockton.)
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Equality California Legislative Scorecard Hold Legislators Accountable for 2016 LGBT Votes

Equality California Legislative Scorecard Hold Legislators Accountable for 2016 LGBT Votes
Sacramento - March 27, 2017 -- Equality California today released its Annual Report and Legislative Scorecard for 2016, giving a snapshot of the organization's programs and achievements in 2016 and rating lawmakers on how they voted on Equality California's highest priority legislation.
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March, 2017

EQCA Statement on DOJ Failure to Defend Transgender Student Guidelines

EQCA Statement on DOJ Failure to Defend Transgender Student Guidelines
Los Angeles February 12, 2017 –In response to a Justice Department announcement that it is withdrawing its request for a stay of an injunction on enforcement of Obama-era guidelines protecting transgender students, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Two weeks after pulling back on an on-again, off-again executive order that would have allowed sweeping religious exemptions to requirements protecting LGBT people from discrimination, the Trump Administration has reminded us that rollbacks of LGBT civil rights do not have to be thunderous or accompanied by great fanfare. They can happen quietly, incrementally, while the nation is otherwise distracted.
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Equality California Announces 2017 Legislative Package

Equality California Announces 2017 Legislative Package
Sacramento - February 28, 2017 - Equality California today announced the initial 10 sponsored bills of its 2017 legislative package. "The LGBT community faces significant challenges in Washington and across the country with attempts to roll back LGBT civil rights along with programs that LGBT people depend on, such as the Affordable Care Act," said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. "At the same time, California must not just hold the line, but continue to make progress in our goal of achieving full equality and social justice for LGBT people. In the coming years, our state can serve as a beacon of hope for the rest of the nation. This year's legislative package is part of our continuing effort to address the disparities that LGBT people face as a result of longstanding discrimination and lack of acceptance."
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Equality California Condemns Backdoor Effort to Strip Planned Parenthood of Federal Funding

Equality California Condemns Backdoor Effort to Strip Planned Parenthood of Federal Funding
Los Angeles - February 17, 2017 -In response to yesterday's vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to overturn an Obama-era rule prohibiting states from denying federal family planning funding to Planned Parenthood or other organizations because they also offer abortion care, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "While the House did not vote outright to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood, yesterday's vote is still an assault on vital health services for women and for hundreds of thousands of LGBT people across the country. Federal rules already prohibit federal funds from supporting abortion services. If also approved by the Senate, the vote would allow states to remove federal funding for basic healthcare services provided by Planned Parenthood if they choose to do so.
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Equality California: Immigration Memos are 'Cruel and Draconian'

Equality California: Immigration Memos are 'Cruel and Draconian'
Washington, D.C. - February 22, 2017 -Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued dual memos on Tuesday detailing how his department will implement executive orders on immigration issued in the first week of Donald Trump's presidency. The memos outline an aggressive augmentation of the nation's immigration enforcement, including the hiring of 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and 5,000 Border Patrol agents to carry out deportations.
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Equality California: Rescinding of Federal Transgender Student Guidelines 'A Dangerous Message'

Equality California: Rescinding of Federal Transgender Student Guidelines 'A Dangerous Message'
Los Angeles - February 22, 2017 - In response to an announcement expected from the Trump Adminstration that it plans to rescind Obama-era guidelines protecting the right of transgender students nationwide to use restrooms and other facilities corresponding to their gender identity, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "The guidelines in question protect the basic dignity and safety that transgender students not only deserve, but to which they are legally entitled. They were based on over a decade of case law and proven best practices from schools around the country. The nation's education leaders--including the leading associations of teachers, principals, pediatricians, and school counselors and psychologists--support treating all students equally and consistent with their gender identity. The Administration is sending a dangerous message to school administrators and to students themselves that the wellbeing and safety of transgender students is not worthy of protection.
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Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Gloria Announce Bill to Modernize Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws

Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Gloria Announce Bill to Modernize Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws
San Francisco - February 6, 2017 –  Today, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) introduced a bill to modernize laws that criminalize and stigmatize people living with HIV. Assemblymember David Chiu is also a co-author of the bill. SB 239 would amend California's HIV criminalization laws, enacted in the 1980s and '90s at a time of fear and ignorance about HIV and its transmission, to make them consistent with laws involving other serious communicable diseases. The bill is cosponsored by the ACLU of California, APLA Health, Black AIDS Institute, Equality California, Lambda Legal and Positive Women's Network - USA. The organizations are part of Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform (CHCR), a broad coalition of people living with HIV, HIV and health service providers, civil rights organizations and public health professionals dedicated to ending the criminalization of HIV in California. San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy also attended the announcement.
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February, 2017

Atkins, Wiener Announce Bill to Create New Gender Marker and Ease Process for Gender Change in Court Orders and on State

Atkins, Wiener Announce Bill to Create New Gender Marker and Ease Process for Gender Change in Court Orders and on State
Sacramento - January 26, 2017 -Senators Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) today announced legislation to enable more transgender, intersex and nonbinary people to obtain state-issued identity documents that accurately reflect their gender. The bill is sponsored by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center.
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Equality California Calls on the LGBT Community and Allies to Support Planned Parenthood

Equality California Calls on the LGBT Community and Allies to Support Planned Parenthood
Los Angeles - January 5, 2017 - In response to today's announcement by House Speaker Paul Ryan that he intends to target Planned Parenthood funding in his attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Equality California is calling on all members of the LGBT community and our allies to contact their members of Congress today to protect healthcare for LGBT people and all Americans provided through Planned Parenthood. Federal law already prohibits Planned Parenthood from using federal funds for abortion services. But Speaker Ryan's plan endangers a vital health lifeline not only for women, but for tens of thousands of LGBT Californians and for hundreds of thousands of LGBT people across the country. Planned Parenthood offers transgender health services, lifesaving cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and sexual healthcare  information and education, among other things.  Planned Parenthood is a strong ally in the fight for full LGBT equality--including supporting the recently introduced federal Equality Act and other legislative priorities.  Planned Parenthood also has joined Equality California in strongly advocating for comprehensive, LGBT-inclusive sex education for our nation's young people.
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Equality California Opposes Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to U.S. Supreme Court

Equality California Opposes Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to U.S. Supreme Court
January 31, 2017 - In response to today's nomination by Donald Trump of 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Judge Gorsuch gained national attention for his opinions in two federal cases supporting an employer's right to refuse to pay for contraception as part of employee health coverage if doing so violates the employer's religious beliefs. That bodes ill for LGBT people who are facing an onslaught of laws sanctioning discrimination in the name of religious liberty.
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Equality California Pledges Vigilance as Trump Takes Power

Equality California Pledges Vigilance as Trump Takes Power
Los Angeles - January 20, 2017 - In connection with today's inauguration of Donald Trump, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement "After a campaign that targeted women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color and LGBT people and was more divisive than any in living memory, the LGBT community has reason for great concern today. Since his election, Donald Trump has demonstrated a troubling lack of respect for many of the laws and traditions that are at the heart of our democracy-including freedom of the press and governmental transparency and ethics requirements. President Trump's attacks on critics, vilification of reporters and his threats to deny press access to the White House signal surprising hostility to institutions that are vital to a free people. In addition, he has appointed to his cabinet a line-up of nominees that reads like a who's-who of the anti-LGBT right, a cabinet more hostile to LGBT people than any in the past two decades.
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Equality California Requests Senators to Probe Secretary of State Nominee Tillerson on LGBT Human Rights

Equality California Requests Senators to Probe Secretary of State Nominee Tillerson on LGBT Human Rights
Washington, D.C. - January 11, 2017 - In connection with ongoing confirmation hearings, Equality California has requested that senators question Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson on whether he would continue the State Department's existing broad commitment to global LGBT human rights if he is confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
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Equality California Requests Senators to Question HUD Secretary Nominee Ben Carson on LGBT Housing Issues

Equality California Requests Senators to Question HUD Secretary Nominee Ben Carson on LGBT Housing Issues
Washington, D.C. - January 12, 2017 - In connection with Thursday's confirmation hearings, Equality California has requested that senators thoroughly address the record of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development nominee Dr. Ben Carson on LGBT civil rights, and, if confirmed, whether he would continue existing HUD policies and programs protecting LGBT people and their families from discrimination in housing.
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Equality California Urges Congress to Preserve the Affordable Care Act

Equality California Urges Congress to Preserve the Affordable Care Act
Washington, D.C. - January 13, 2017 - Equality California has sent a letter to members of the California congressional delegation urging them not to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement that provides better healthcare for the American people. 
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Equality California Urges Senators to Question DeVos on Anti-LGBT Ties

Equality California Urges Senators to Question DeVos on Anti-LGBT Ties
Washington, D.C. - January 16, 2017 - Ahead of Tuesday's confirmation hearing of Betsy DeVos, nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education, Equality California requested that U.S. senators carefully examine her views on challenges facing LGBT students, including bullying, access to school bathrooms, other facilities and programs for transgender students, and the application of Title IX to sexual assault in K-12 schools and on college campuses.
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Equality California Urges Senators to Question HHS Nominee Tom Price on LGBT Record

Equality California Urges Senators to Question HHS Nominee Tom Price on LGBT Record
Washington, D.C. - January 17, 2017 - Equality California has requested that members of the United States Senate probe the views and record of Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia), Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), regarding challenges facing LGBT people. Price's confirmation hearing is currently scheduled for 10:00 am Eastern time tomorrow.
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Equality California: Confirmation of Jeff Sessions Presents a 'Grave Threat' to LGBT Community

Equality California: Confirmation of Jeff Sessions Presents a 'Grave Threat' to LGBT Community
Los Angeles–In advance of U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) as U.S. attorney general, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Sen. Jeff Sessions' long record of disinterest in, at best, or outright hostility to protecting the civil rights of LGBT people, women and communities of color disqualifies him from serving as U.S. attorney general. His record has demonstrated that he is incapable of performing one of the chief duties of the office: ensuring that our nation's civil and voting rights laws are enforced fairly and thoroughly.
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Equality California: Trump Immigration Executive Orders Are 'Appalling'

Equality California: Trump Immigration Executive Orders Are 'Appalling'
Washington, D.C. - January 26, 2017 -- President Donald Trump issued twin executive orders on Wednesday directing the Department of Homeland Security to begin constructing a $20 billion wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and to hire 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and 5,000 Border Patrol agents to carry out deportations. The executive actions also block "sanctuary cities" from receiving federal funding.
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Senator Wiener Announces EQCA-Sponsored Bill Requiring Insurance Coverage of Medical Procedures for Long-Term HIV Surviv

Senator Wiener Announces EQCA-Sponsored Bill Requiring Insurance Coverage of Medical Procedures for Long-Term HIV Surviv
Sacramento January 31, 2017–  Today, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) will introduce the HEAL (Help End Antiretroviral-related Lipodystrophy) Act, requiring insurance companies and government programs to cover medical treatment for lipodystrophy. The condition, causing changes in body fat distribution, impacts many HIV-positive people who took life-saving early, highly toxic HIV medication. Equality California is sponsoring the bill.
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Senator Wiener Introduces EQCA-Sponsored LGBT Seniors Long-Term Care Bill of Rights

Senator Wiener Introduces EQCA-Sponsored LGBT Seniors Long-Term Care Bill of Rights
Sacramento - February 2, 2017 –  Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) today announced the introduction of SB 219, the California LGBT Seniors Long-Term Care Bill of Rights, which will strengthen protections for LGBT seniors living in long-term care facilities against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status. The bill would protect all seniors living in skilled nursing facilities, immediate care facilities, and residential care facilities. The bill is co-authored by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California. It is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
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December, 2016

EQCA Remembers Transgender Victims of Violence

EQCA Remembers Transgender Victims of Violence
Los Angeles - November 18, 2016 - In recognition of the 18th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "The last year saw the killings of at least two transgender people in California, and at least 27 across the country. Outside the United States, more than 85 transgender men and women have been murdered in hate crimes or by domestic partners. In spite of the rapid progress we have made together as a community, one thing has not changed: transgender members of our community – especially transgender women of color – continue to suffer from an epidemic of violence.
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Equality California Congratulates Kamala Harris on Senate Victory

Equality California Congratulates Kamala Harris on Senate Victory
Los Angeles - November 9, 2016 - Equality California applauded the election of its endorsed candidate California Attorney General Kamala Harris to represent the state of California in the United States Senate. Equality California endorsed Harris' candidacy in May of this year.
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Equality California Marks World AIDS Day: 'We must remain vigilant.'

Equality California Marks World AIDS Day: 'We must remain vigilant.'
Los Angeles - December 1, 2016 - Today, on the 29th annual observance of World AIDS Day, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Today we mourn the millions lost during the more than three decades of the AIDS epidemic, celebrate the enormous strides the scientific community has made in treating and preventing transmission of HIV and remember that even now we must remain vigilant. HIV still threatens the LGBT community, particularly people of color, and the progress we have made is itself under threat as a result of the recent presidential election.
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November, 2016

Governor Signs Bill to Protect LGBT Students Against Discrimination at Private Universitie

Governor Signs Bill to Protect LGBT Students Against Discrimination at Private Universitie
Sacramento - September 20, 2016 –California Governor Jerry Brown today signed Senate Bill (SB) 1146, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and sponsored by Equality California. The bill requires private universities receiving public funds to publicly disclose if they discriminate against students with respect to gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Senate Bill 1146 requires universities that are granted a Title IX exemption to notify the California Student Aid Commission and disseminate the information to students and staff.
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October, 2016

CA Governor Signs 'All-Gender' Restroom Bill

CA Governor Signs 'All-Gender' Restroom Bill
(Sacramento, CA - September 30, 2016)-California Governor Jerry Brown today signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1732, authored by Asm. Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center and California National Organization of Women (NOW).  AB 1732 establishes the nation's most progressive restroom access law, requiring that single-occupancy restrooms in California businesses, government buildings, and places of public accommodation be universally accessible to all genders.
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Equality California Withdraws Endorsement from Six Candidates Following Key Vote

Equality California Withdraws Endorsement from Six Candidates Following Key Vote
Los Angeles - September 20, 2016  - Equality California announced today that it has withdrawn endorsements from six state assemblymembers following their "no" votes or abstentions on a bill that would require religious colleges and universities to disclose policies that discriminate against LGBT people.  Senate Bill (SB) 1146, authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and sponsored by Equality California, passed the California Assembly by a vote of 45-28 and the Senate by a vote of 25-13 on August 30. The bill now awaits the governor's signature.
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Equality California's Legislative Wrap-Up: Eight Wins for LGBT Equality

Equality California's Legislative Wrap-Up: Eight Wins for LGBT Equality
Sacramento—Before adjourning last week, the California Legislature passed the final bill of Equality California's 2016 legislative package, a total of eight bills and resolutions sponsored by the organization to win approval since the beginning of the 2016 legislative session. Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 26 passed August 31 with a final, unanimous vote by the Senate.
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Governor Signs Bill Banning California State-Funded Travel to States with New Anti-LGBT Laws

Governor Signs Bill Banning California State-Funded Travel to States with New Anti-LGBT Laws
Sacramento - September 27, 2016 – California Governor Jerry Brown today signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1887, authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) and sponsored by Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. AB 1887 bans non-essential, state-funded travel by California state employees to North Carolina, Mississippi and other states that enact discriminatory laws after June, 2015.  It is similar to executive orders and local ordinances already in place in New York State, Baltimore, San Francisco and elsewhere. However, it expands on these executive orders because it applies to states that enact new anti-LGBT laws in the future.
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Governor Signs Law Requiring School Youth Suicide Prevention Plans

Governor Signs Law Requiring School Youth Suicide Prevention Plans
Sacramento - Setpember 26, 2016 - California Governor Jerry Brown today signed Assembly Bill (AB) 2246, authored by Asm. Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach). The bill requires school districts across the state to adopt formal suicide prevention, intervention, and follow-up plans for all middle and high school students. AB 2246 is sponsored by Equality California and The Trevor Project.
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September, 2016

California Legislature Approves Bill to Protect LGBT Students Against Discrimination at Private Universities

California Legislature Approves Bill to Protect LGBT Students Against Discrimination at Private Universities
Sacramento - August 31, 2016 –The California Legislature has approved a bill, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and sponsored by Equality California, that would require private universities to publicly disclose if they discriminate against students and staff based on their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Senate Bill 1146 would require universities that are granted a Title IX exemption to notify the California Student Aid Commission and disseminate the information to students and staff.
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California Legislature Approves EQCA-Sponsored Travel Ban

California Legislature Approves EQCA-Sponsored Travel Ban
Sacramento - August 23, 2016 – The California Legislature today passed AB 1887, a bill authored by Assemblymember Evan Low and sponsored by Equality California, that would ban state-funded travel to states that discriminate against LGBT people. The bill also is sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
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California Legislature Approves Youth Suicide Prevention Bill

California Legislature Approves Youth Suicide Prevention Bill
Sacramento - August 30, 2016 --The California Assembly today approved a bill that would require the adoption of comprehensive suicide prevention plans by local California school districts for students attending grades 7-12.  Assembly Bill (AB) 2246 was authored by Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach) and sponsored by Equality California and The Trevor Project.
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California Legislature Passes Equality California-Sponsored 'All-Gender' Restroom Bill

California Legislature Passes Equality California-Sponsored 'All-Gender' Restroom Bill
Sacramento- August 22, 2016 -The California Legislature passed a bill today that would establish the nation's most inclusive restroom access law. Assembly Bill (AB) 1732 was authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center and California National Organization of Women (NOW).  If signed into law, the bill would require single-occupancy restrooms in California businesses, government buildings, and places of public accommodation to be universally accessible to all genders starting March 1, 2017. It cleared the Assembly this afternoon by a bipartisan vote of 55-15 after clearing the Senate on August 18.
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California Legislature Passes Resolution Calling for Federal Equality Act

California Legislature Passes Resolution Calling for Federal Equality Act
Sacramento - August 24, 2016 --The California Legislature has passed AJR 45, a resolution authored by Asm. David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California, calling on Congress to pass the federal Equality Act. The Equality Act updates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system. With bipartisan support, the resolution was approved in the Senate yesterday and approved in the Assembly today on concurrence. AJR 45 is now adopted.
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Equality California Endorses Proposition 63, 'Safety for All' Gun Safety Initiative

Equality California Endorses Proposition 63, 'Safety for All' Gun Safety Initiative
Los Angeles - August 16, 2016 – Equality California announced today that it has endorsed Proposition 63, the "Safety for All" ballot initiative backed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Following the shootings in June at an Orlando LGBT nightclub, a spike in homicides of LGBT people and an ongoing worldwide epidemic of murders of transgender women, Equality California has made enacting gun safety measures a key part of its program and advocacy work.
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Equality California-Sponsored Blood Ban Resolution Clears California Senate

Equality California-Sponsored Blood Ban Resolution Clears California Senate
Sacramento - August 10, 2016 -The California Senate today passed a bipartisan resolution by California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) calling for an end to federal blood donation policies that discriminate against men who have sex with men (MSM). Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 26 calls upon President Barack Obama to compel the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to repeal current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) blood donor policies that discriminate against LGBT people and instead direct the agency to develop science-based policies that utilize individual behavioral risk. SJR 26 is sponsored by Equality California.
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August, 2016

Equality California Applauds Choice of Kaine as Clinton Running Mate

Equality California Applauds Choice of Kaine as Clinton Running Mate
Los Angeles - July 22, 2016  - In response to today's announcement from Hillary Clinton that she has chosen Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "With her selection of Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton has highlighted the stark differences between her ticket and her opponent's. In contrast to the extremes of racism, xenophobia, sexism, and homo- and transphobia on vivid display by Donald Trump and his running mate, Kaine presents an alternative: a pragmatist who works across ideologies and across the aisle to get things done.
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Equality California Condemns Police Shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota

Equality California Condemns Police Shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota
Los Angeles - July 7, 2016 - In response to this week's police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile in Louisiana and Minnesota, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Along with people of conscience across the country, we are heartbroken and sickened by the brutal shooting deaths by police of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. We extend our deepest sympathy to their families and loved ones. While a thousand miles separated them, like the 123 black people shot by police this year across the country, they were guilty of the same offense: being black in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
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July, 2016

109 Equality California-Endorsed Candidates Celebrate Primary Election Victories

109 Equality California-Endorsed Candidates Celebrate Primary Election Victories
Los Angeles - June 9, 2016 -- Equality California today announced that 109 of its 116 endorsed candidates won enough votes in their individual races in the California primary election to advance to the November 8 general election or to win their race outright.
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Equality California Announces Initiative to End Gun Violence, Calls for Comprehensive Gun Safety Legislation

Equality California Announces Initiative to End Gun Violence, Calls for Comprehensive Gun Safety Legislation
Los Angeles- June 17, 2016 – At a news conference today at Los Angeles City Hall together with state and local leaders, Equality California announced the launch of "Safe and Equal, " a campaign to end gun violence by advocating for tougher common sense gun safety laws at the federal and state levels, among other things. Equality California is making adoption of laws to reduce gun violence and mass shootings one of its highest organizational priorities.
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Equality California Applauds Court Refusal to Hear Assault Weapons Ban Cases

Equality California Applauds Court Refusal to Hear Assault Weapons Ban Cases
Los Angeles - June 21, 2016 – In response to the U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear challenges to assault weapons bans in Connecticut and New York, allowing a ruling from the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals to stand, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Assault weapons are the weapon of choice for attacks on law enforcement and in mass shootings, including the shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.  On the same day the U.S. Senate lacked the courage to pass two tough, commonsense gun safety measures, it was heartening that the Supreme Court has again declined to hear challenges to bans on assault weapons that represent a threat to the basic safety of every American.
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Equality California Condemns Senate Gun Safety Vote, Calls for Reforms

Equality California Condemns Senate Gun Safety Vote, Calls for Reforms
Los Angeles = June 20, 2016 – In response to today's defeat in the U.S. Senate of four gun control measures addressing gun violence, two of which were supported by Equality California, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Slightly more than a week has elapsed since the worst mass shooting in history, in a country where the regularity of mass shootings horrifies the world.  The U.S. Senate has followed the now-predictable pattern of proclaiming that their "thoughts and prayers" are with the victims, while denying those same victims any meaningful action on their behalf.  They did not act on behalf of the six year olds gunned downed in Newtown.  They did not act on behalf of social workers gunned down in San Bernardino.  And once again, they have refused to act when 102 young, mostly Latino mostly LGBT people were gunned down in Orlando.
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Equality California Disappointed by Split Supreme Court Immigration Ruling

Equality California Disappointed by Split Supreme Court Immigration Ruling
Los Angeles - June 23 - Today, in a 4-4 split decision in United States v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked on the question of whether President Barack Obama's use of executive action to suspend deportations and grant work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants was constitutional. The deadlock lets stand an order by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals blocking the actions, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), from takng effect.
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Equality California Endorses Tobacco Tax Initiative

Equality California Endorses Tobacco Tax Initiative
Los Angeles - June 20, 2016 Equality California has endorsed the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, an initiative to raise California's cigarette tax by $2 on tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which are taking a disproportionately large toll on lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.
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Equality California Statement on Orlando LGBT Nightclub Shooting

Equality California Statement on Orlando LGBT Nightclub Shooting
Los Angeles - June 12, 2016 – In response to last night's shooting which killed an estimated 50 people at Pulse, a popular Orlando LGBT nightclub, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "There will be much to say as we all learn more about last night's horrible events in the hours and days to come, and whether last night's victims were targeted because they were LGBT, because they were American or because they were concentrated in one place.  For now, our hearts are with the victims, their families and Orlando's LGBT community.  Whatever the motive, this is a terrible tragedy for LGBT people in Orlando and nationwide, especially as our community celebrates LGBT Pride Month."
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Equality California Statement on Orlando Shootings and Federal LGBT Blood Ban

Equality California Statement on Orlando Shootings and Federal LGBT Blood Ban
Los Angeles - June 18, 2016 – In response to reports nationwide of gay and bisexual men being turned away from donating blood in response to the more than 50 injured in last weekend's shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "It should not have taken the tragedy in Orlando to spotlight the idiocy of FDA regulations that bar all gay and bisexual men from donating blood.  Thousands turned out to help members of our own community, but were told that their blood donations were not needed, thanks to archaic and unnecessary rules that do not reflect modern detection methods of HIV.
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Equality California-Supported Gun Safety Bills Clear California Legislature

Equality California-Supported Gun Safety Bills Clear California Legislature
Sacramento - June 30, 2016 – California legislators today passed 13 bills, part of a body of legislation supported by Equality California's "Safe and Equal" campaign, that would strengthen the state's gun safety laws. Equality California launched the campaign two weeks ago, following the shootings in Orlando, to advocate for tougher, commonsense gun safety laws at the federal and state levels, among other things. Equality California is making adoption of laws to reduce gun violence and mass shootings one of its highest organizational priorities.
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Governor Signs Six Equality California-Supported Gun Safety Bills

Governor Signs Six Equality California-Supported Gun Safety Bills
Sacramento - July 1, 2016 - California Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law six gun safety bills that ban possession of high capacity assault rifle magazines, regulate the sale and possession of ammunition, expand background checks, limit loans of firearms and ban the resale of a gun to someone legally barred from purchasing it. The new laws were supported by Equality California and 19 other LGBT and HIV organizations as part of Equality California's Safe and Equal campaign against gun violence.
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June, 2016

California Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Donation of HIV-Positive Organs

California Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Donation of HIV-Positive Organs
Sacramento - May 27, 2016 - The California legislature today passed a bill that would allow organ transplants between HIV-positive donors and HIV-positive recipients. Senate Bill (SB) 1408, authored by Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and co-sponsored by Equality California, AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and Positive Women's Network-USA, would bring state law in line with federal law. The bill passed both the Assembly and the Senate unanimously.
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Equality California Condemns U.S. House Vote Reinstating Federal LGBT Discrimination

Equality California Condemns U.S. House Vote Reinstating Federal LGBT Discrimination
Los Angeles - May 20, 2016 – In response to yesterday's narrow vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to reject an amendment that would have removed anti-LGBT provisions from a defense spending bill, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement:
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Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Equality California-Sponsored HIV+ Organ Donation Bill

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Equality California-Sponsored HIV+ Organ Donation Bill
Sacramento - May 27, 2016 - California Governor Jerry Brown today signed a bill that allows organ transplants between HIV-positive donors and HIV-positive recipients.  Senate Bill (SB) 1408 was authored by Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and co-sponsored by Equality California, AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and Positive Women's Network-USA.  The four organizations are part of the coalition Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform (CHCR), itself a supporter of the bill. SB 1408 brings state law in line with federal law and passed both the Assembly and Senate unanimously earlier in the day.
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Representative Mike Honda Encourages California State Leaders to Support the Transgender Community

Representative Mike Honda Encourages California State Leaders to Support the Transgender Community
San Jose, CA May 14, 2016 - – U.S. Representative Mike Honda (Silicon Valley, Calif.) today joined individuals from the transgender community, statewide LGBT organizations, businesses, faith-based leaders and community members to promote Transform California – a statewide campaign founded by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center to promote respect, understanding and safety for the transgender community. As part of the effort, coalition members signed a Transform California pledge – opposing discrimination against transgender people.
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Senate Approves Bill to Protect LGBT Students Against Discrimination at Private Universities

Senate Approves Bill to Protect LGBT Students Against Discrimination at Private Universities
Sacramento, Calif. - May 26, 2016 - The California State Senate has approved a bill, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and sponsored by Equality California, to close a loophole that allows private universities to discriminate against students and staff based on their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Senate Bill 1146 would require universities that are granted a Title IX exemption to disclose that information to the California Student Aid Commission and disseminate the information to students and staff. The bill would also allow an individual who has encountered discrimination at a school claiming a Title IX exemption to pursue a remedy through a civil action. SB 1146 cleared the Senate Education Committee this morning and passed the Senate floor by a vote of 25-13.
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Travel Ban and All-Gender Restroom Bills Clear California Assembly

Travel Ban and All-Gender Restroom Bills Clear California Assembly
Sacramento - May 9, 2016 – Two Equality California-sponsored bills advancing the civil rights of LGBT people in California and across the country were approved by the California Assembly today.  Assembly Bill (AB) 1887 was approved by a vote of 54-21 and AB 1732 passed by 55-19.
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Youth Suicide Prevention Bill Clears California Assembly

Youth Suicide Prevention Bill Clears California Assembly
Sacramento, Calif. - June 2, 2016 – The California Assembly has approved a bill that would require the adoption of comprehensive suicide prevention plans by local California school districts with students attending grades 7-12.  Assembly Bill (AB) 2246 was authored by Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach) and sponsored by Equality California and The Trevor Project.
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May, 2016

EQCA-Sponsored Travel Ban Clears Assembly Judiciary Committee

EQCA-Sponsored Travel Ban Clears Assembly Judiciary Committee
Sacramento, Calif. - April 7, 2016 – A bill sponsored by Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights that would ban state-funded travel to Mississippi, North Carolina, and other states that enact laws that permit discrimination against LGBT people has cleared the California Assembly Judiciary Committee this week.  Assembly Bill 1887, authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell), would ban non-essential, state-funded travel to those states by California state employees.
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Equality California Endorses 33 Pro-Equality Incumbents in Congressional Races

Equality California Endorses 33 Pro-Equality Incumbents in Congressional Races
Los Angeles - Equality California today announced the endorsements of 33 incumbent candidates for reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives.
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Launch of Coalition to Support the Transgender Community and Encourage Others to Follow

Launch of Coalition to Support the Transgender Community and Encourage Others to Follow
Los Angeles, CA - April 18, 2016- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today joined individuals from the transgender community, statewide LGBT organizations, local officials, civil rights groups, businesses, faith-based leaders and community members to launch Transform California - a statewide movement founded by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center to promote respect, understanding and safety for the transgender community. As part of the effort, coalition members signed a Transform California pledge - opposing discrimination against transgender people.
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April, 2016

Equality California Joins Amicus Brief Urging Supreme Court to Restore Immigration Programs

Equality California Joins Amicus Brief Urging Supreme Court to Restore Immigration Programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 9, 2016 - Equality California has joined a diverse coalition of 326 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups that filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Texas.  The brief urges the court to lift an injunction that blocks executive actions on immigration that President Obama announced in November 2014.
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March, 2016

Equality California and Transgender Law Center Commend California Democratic Party for Supporting Transgender California

Equality California and Transgender Law Center Commend California Democratic Party for Supporting Transgender California
San Jose - February 29, 2016 - Equality California (EQCA) and the Transgender Law Center (TLC) applaud the California Democratic Party for its vote to incorporate a plank in the party platform affirming the rights and dignity of transgender people.
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Equality California Sponsors Two Bills Combating Anti-LGBT Discrimination

Equality California Sponsors Two Bills Combating Anti-LGBT Discrimination
Sacramento - February 17, 2016 - Equality California is sponsoring two bills authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) that would prohibit the use of state funds to support entities that allow discrimination by creating exemptions based on religious beliefs.
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