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Sweeping
nondiscrimination bill passes in California

Sweeping
nondiscrimination bill passes in California

Authored by gay assemblyman John Laird, the bill strengthens and standardizes 17 housing-related nondiscrimination provisions.

California state lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill that could give the state the strongest housing nondiscrimination law in the country. The bill, authored by gay assemblyman John Laird and passed by the full assembly, strengthens and standardizes 17 housing-related nondiscrimination provisions in California law to make them consistent with the Fair Employment and Housing Act. FEHA prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex (including gender identity), marital status, sexual orientation, familial status, and source of income.

"Today's vote marks an important milestone toward achieving the most comprehensive housing nondiscrimination laws of any state in the nation," said Laird. "I look forward to working with my legislative colleagues as well as the broad coalition of key organizations supporting the bill as it moves to the senate."

This is the third bill in a succession of nondiscrimination bills authored by Laird. In 2004 Laird authored AB2900, which amended over 30 labor- and employment-related nondiscrimination provisions to reflect FEHA categories for employment. And in 2005 Laird authored AB1400, which amended the Unruh Civil Rights Act and related provisions to clarify that people are protected from discrimination regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. Both bills were signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

AB2800 is expected to be heard in policy committees in the senate next month. (The Advocate)

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