Governor Signs Bill Expanding Resources for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Survivors of Domestic Violence

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Vaishalee Raja
(916) 284-9187 vaishalee@eqca.org

Darci Sears, Assemblymember Pérez
916-319-2046 darci.sears@asm.ca.gov

Governor Signs Bill Expanding Resources for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Survivors of Domestic Violence

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Yesterday
Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill that will increase and expand
services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) survivors of
domestic violence. Authored by Assemblymember John A. Pérez (D-Los
Angeles) and sponsored by Equality California (EQCA), the LGBT Domestic
Violence Programs Expansion bill will go into effect on January 1,
2010.

"Equality
California appreciates Governor Schwarzenegger's support for this bill,
which will provide a much needed increase in resources and support for
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender survivors of domestic violence,"
said Geoff Kors, executive director of EQCA.

While
rates of domestic violence in same-sex relationships are equivalent to
those in heterosexual relationships, support for LGBT survivors
continues to lag far behind those available to non-LGBT couples.

Designed
to correct this inequity, the bill expands access for LGBT service
providers to a state fund within the California Emergency Management
Agency, which supports LGBT-specific domestic violence programs across
the state. The fund, originally established as part of another
EQCA-sponsored bill in 2006, is subsidized by a $23 fee on domestic
partner registrations. The new bill would also allow for more than four
organizations to apply for programmatic funding each fiscal cycle and
eliminates the requirement for providers to offer shelter - impediments
to many smaller LGBT organizations that inadvertently keep several
California communities from providing any services for LGBT survivors
of domestic violence.

"Given
the shortage of adequate care for our community, I am thrilled that
this legislation will help ensure that all LGBT survivors of domestic
violence will have increased access to culturally competent care and
resources," said Assemblymember Pérez.

For more information about EQCA's legislation, visit http://www.eqca.org/legislation.

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Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.

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