Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Inga Sarda-Sorensen, Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

Press Release

California Governor Signs Two Bills to Advance Transgender Equality

Transgender rights measures modernize discrimination and birth certificate statutes
WASHINGTON -

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed two important transgender rights measures into law. The Gender Non-Discrimination Act clarifies existing California law by listing “gender identity or expression” alongside other protected characteristics throughout the various discrimination statutes. Previously, these protections were in the definition of “gender” and employers, landlords and others who are covered by these laws were not always clear whether transgender people were protected.

The Vital Statistics Modernization Act streamlines the existing process for making a petition for a court order recognizing a change of gender and obtaining an updated birth certificate, bringing state vital statistics law in line with federal standards. This bill is similar to one passed in Vermont earlier in 2011. These two states represent a small but growing trend by state governments to recognize contemporary medical standards relating to when a person has made a gender transition that should be legally recognized. Previously, California law required showing of some type of surgery before updating gender, a discriminatory and unnecessary requirement. The U.S. Department of State modernized its policy relating to birth certificates for citizens born abroad, as well as for passports, in 2009. The Transgender Law Center and Equality California, among others, advocated for passage of the legislation.

“Even though most forms of discrimination against transgender people have been illegal in California for many years, transgender people are still experiencing bias, discrimination and harassment,” says Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “Discrimination is often triggered by not having ID that matches one’s identity. Strengthening the discrimination law, and modernizing the birth certificate law, are two important steps toward eliminating discrimination. We congratulate the Transgender Law Center and Equality California on these successes and thank Assemblymembers Toni Atkins and Bonnie Lowenthal for being the lead sponsors of this legislation.”

Only 24 percent of transgender people have been able to update the gender on their birth certificate according to Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, a groundbreaking study of nearly 6,500 transgender people’s experiences of discrimination in the U.S. released by the Task Force, along with the National Center for Transgender Equality earlier this year. The study also showed that discrimination was connected to lower incomes, unemployment, homelessness, as well as health disparities.

Download a copy of Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.

###

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we’ve made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That’s why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you. Join us!

'Exactly Right': Progressives Back Arizona Dems Censure of Sinema

"If you are a Democrat and you can't uphold the fundamental right to vote for all citizens... then there's a problem," said Rep. Ro Khanna.

Brett Wilkins ·


Amid Existential Threat to Reproductive Rights, Congress Urged to Act

"It's the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and if we don't fight like hell it could very well be the last," said one campaigner, who called on U.S. lawmakers to pass the Women's Health Protection Act.

Brett Wilkins ·


Black Mississippi State Senators Stage Walkout as Critical Race Theory Ban Passed

"We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards," said one Black senator who taught for 33 years. "That's what this bill does."

Brett Wilkins ·


Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·


Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo