Thursday, September 3, 2015

California Passes Transgender Bills

Two landmark transgender rights bills were passed by the California State Assembly Wednesday. They were authored by Senator Mark Leno & co-sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Equality California & Transgender Law Center. The bills protect transgender people who work for companies doing business with state agencies & transgender children in the foster care system. Geoff Kors NCLR Government Policy Director stated, “By ensuring that the state contracts only with companies that provide equal benefits to their transgender employees, California will save money & help reduce discrimination. Equal benefits laws for employees with same-gender partners have dramatically expanded the number of employees in gay & lesbian relationships who now receive equal benefits & this bill will do the same for transgender employees.” Kevin West, a Sacramento student & nanny who entered the foster care system as a toddler added, “As a former foster youth who was in the system for 16 years, I am living proof that a supportive environment helps nurture success. My caregivers fully embraced my gender identity as a teenager & helped create a situation where other foster kids also accepted me. Not all transgender foster youth have stories like mine, but with this change in law, I’m hopeful they will.” Shannan Wilber NCLR Youth Policy Director concluded, “SB 731 provides critical guidance to child welfare professionals by making clear that all children in foster care have the right to placements that are consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the sex listed in their court or child welfare records. By extending equal treatment to transgender children, California once again demonstrates its commitment to achieving safety, permanence & well-being for all children in the custody of its child welfare system.”
For More Info:
LISTEN: Cleary Wolters Tells Her Story In “Out of Orange”
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™


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