Bill to protect
gays in government programs advances in California

A bill to prevent
discrimination in state-operated or state-funded
programs on the basis of actual or perceived sexual
orientation or gender identity was approved by the
California senate judiciary committee on Wednesday.
The bill now moves to the senate floor.

applaud the senate judiciary for standing up for fairness
and equality under the law,” said Alice
Kessler, a legislative advocate for the gay rights
group Equality California who testified at the hearing.
"Private businesses must adhere to nondiscrimination laws
that include sexual orientation and gender identity.
We should hold state government to the same standard."

The measure would
also include protections for any person associated with
a person who has or is perceived to have any characteristic
covered by the bill. "I'm pleased with the committee's
vote affirming that people should be protected from
discrimination regardless of their sexual orientation
or gender identity," said Sheila Kuehl, a lesbian
senator. "The programs and services provided by our state
government are critical, and we must never deny equal
access." (The Advocate)

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