2nd April 01:07
CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS GENDER IDENTIY NON-DISCRIMINATION BILL
EQUALITY CALIFORNIA | eqca.org
(formerly CAPE - California Alliance for Pride and Equality)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (August 3, 2003)
Contact: Geoffrey Kors, 415-816-4717
CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS EQUALITY CALIFORNIA'S HISTORIC GENDER IDENTIY
Landmark Measure by San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno is first of three
LGBT Bills to Reach Davis' Desk
SACRAMENTO - Equality California, California's largest *******, ***,
bi***ual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy and lobbying organization,
today announced that Governor Gray Davis has signed a landmark bill to
prohibit housing and workplace discrimination based on gender
characteristics. The measure, Assembly Bill (AB) 196, is sponsored by
Equality California, and authored by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San
"We applaud Governor Davis for his continued leadership on civil rights
issues," stated Geoffrey Kors, Executive Director of Equality
California. "By signing this bill Governor Davis has made it clear that
efforts by anti-*** extremists to remove him from office will not cause
him to waiver in his strong commitment to ending discrimination against
LGBT Californians. His actions in signing this legislation will help
ensure that individuals are judged on their merit, not their gender
AB 196 adds gender to the list of categories protected by California's
Fair Employment and Housing Act. This measure prohibits discrimination
based on gender-related characteristics, including transgender status.
California will now the fourth state to ban such discrimination,
following New Mexico's passage of such a measure earlier this year.
Numerous court decisions from across the nation have concluded that
existing laws protecting against *** discrimination should already be
interpreted to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or
expression. The state's own Department of Fair Employment and Housing
already accepts and investigates such cases based on the strong case
law precedent. The bill is supported by a broad coalition of over 50
business, civil rights, and religious organizations, including
California NOW, California Labor Federation, National Center for
******* Rights, SEIU, AFSCME, Anti-Defamation League, Lambda Legal,
Lambda Letter's, California Church IMPACT, ACLU, Transgender Law
Center, the Greater San Diego Business Association and the California
"Californians overwhelming support equal opportunity," said Kors.
"This bill will help ensure that individuals are considered for
employment based on whether they are qualified, not on whether they
conform to gender stereotypes." Kors noted that California law already
protects against hate crimes based on gender stereotyping, and protects
students and teachers from discrimination or harassment on this basis.
He also noted that California already prohibits discrimination based on
***ual orientation in employment and housing under a law signed by
Governor Davis in 1999, his first year in office. "At a time when
President Bush is working to bring out the worst in people by dividing
us for his own political gain, Governor Davis is continuing his efforts
to bring out the best in people by uniting us," Kors said.
Kors concluded, "Equality California is extremely grateful to
Assemblyman Leno for his outstanding work on this important bill. We
also want to thank the legislators who voted for it and Governor Davis
for standing with the vast majority of Californians who support
equality and fairness."
Equality California's two remaining bills, AB 17 (Equal Benefits) and
AB 205 (Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities) have passed the
Assembly and are expected to be considered by the Senate later this
Founded in 1998, Equality California (formerly CAPE) is a nonprofit,
nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose
mission is to ensure the dignity, safety, equality and civil rights of
all *******, ***, bi***ual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.
Equality California is one of the largest and fastest growing statewide
LGBT organizations in the country. We can be contacted through our
website at http://www.eqca.org.