For Immediate Release


Alice Kessler, Government Affairs Director
PHONE: (916) 554-7681 EMAIL:

Equality California (EQCA)

Governor Signs Civil Rights Act of 2008

Laird Measure, Sponsored by EQCA and NAACP, Helps Ensure that Californians Have Nation’s Most Comprehensive Civil Rights Protections

SACRAMENTO - The governor on September 30 signed the Civil Rights Act of 2008, which continues an historic multi-year effort by Assemblymember John Laird and Equality California to modernize California's anti-discrimination laws. Assembly Bill 2654, the fifth nondiscrimination bill authored by the Santa Cruz Assemblymember, will help ensure that Californians have the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation.

The Civil Rights Act of 2008 will go into law on January 1, 2009.

AB 2654 strengthens existing law to ensure protections based on gender, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status and sexual orientation. The bill clarifies sections of law that prohibit discrimination in insurance and government services and activities. AB 2654 is co-sponsored by the California State Conference of the NAACP.

"We are pleased Gov. Schwarzenegger has signed the Civil Rights Act of 2008, ensuring that no one is singled out to be treated differently under state law," said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. "With the leadership of Assemblymember Laird, we have created anti-bias laws in California that set the standard for the entire nation. We applaud the governor and Assemblymember Laird for working to protect all Californians in every aspect of their lives."

"The Civil Rights Act of 2008, along with my four previous similar bills, corrects currently deficient anti-discrimination laws and ensures clear, consistent and comprehensive protections for all Californians," said Assemblymember Laird, D-Santa Cruz, chair of the LGBT Legislative Caucus.



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Founded in 1998, Equality California celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008, commemorating a decade of building a state of equality in California. EQCA is a nonprofit, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.

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