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California bans transgender discrimination

California bans transgender discrimination

Gov. Gray Davis has signed a bill banning housing and job discrimination against transgendered people, making California the fourth state to extend such protections. The new law has long been a goal of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activists in the state, said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The measure, signed Saturday, will take effect January 1. California already prohibits housing and job discrimination against gay men and lesbians. The state now joins Minnesota, Rhode Island, and New Mexico in extending that protection to the transgendered. The new California law will prohibit discrimination against people whose "perceived gender characteristics are different from those traditionally associated with the individual's sex at birth." The bill was opposed by some business organizations, who said it might result in more lawsuits, and by conservative religious groups. But supporters said the transgendered often face discrimination and as a result suffer a high unemployment rate.

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