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Calif. Senate Passes Increased Protections for Gender Identity and Expression

Calif. Senate Passes Increased Protections for Gender Identity and Expression

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The California state Senate Tuesday passed the Gender Nondiscrimination Act to strengthen existing protections against discrimination based on gender identity and expression, with the bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown next for his signature.

The San Diego Gay and Lesbian Newsreports on the 25-13 Senate vote for the bill authored by Assembly member Toni Atkins (pictured) to strengthen antidiscrimination protections regarding employment, housing, and other areas, particularly on the basis of gender identity and expression. The Assembly approved the measure by a vote of 54-24 in May.

"While California anti-discrimination laws already define 'gender' to include a person's gender identity and gender expression, AB 887 explicitly enumerates gender identity and expression as protected categories in a number of state codes to provide clarity to those who are victims of unlawful discrimination as well as for business owners, employers and other entities required to comply with the anti-discrimination protections," according to SDGLN.

The Gender Nondiscrimination Act reflects ordinances in other California cities, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Oakland, and West Hollywood, which have clear nondiscrimination protections that list gender identity and gender expression. The bill was sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center, and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.

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