A bill that would make it illegal for landlords and employers to discriminate against people who have changed their gender or whose gender is not exclusively male or female passed the California state assembly Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports. If the bill, which was authored by openly gay assemblyman Mark Leno, passes the senate--as is expected--and is signed by the governor, California will be the fourth state to pass a gender rights law. According to a spokesman for Gov. Gray Davis, the governor has not yet taken a position on the bill.
The bill passed 41-34, with five assembly members not voting. It failed to win all 48 Democratic votes in the 80-member lower house of the legislature.
"Assembly member Leno has been an incredible advocate for the transgender community, and we are extremely grateful for that," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director for the California Alliance for Pride and Equality. "We sincerely appreciate the support of every assembly member who stood with us today in support of equality for all Californians. No one should have to face discrimination or harassment because of gender-related characteristics that have nothing to do with their qualifications as a tenant or employee. This bill simply codifies the already-established fact that every Californian has the basic right to a job and housing regardless of gender identity or expression."