Karen Ocamb

Brown Signs Slew of Pro-Equality, Two Needle Exchange Bills

Filed By Karen Ocamb | October 11, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: California, California Dream Act, gay rights, HIV/AIDS, Jerry Brown, needle exchange, trans rights

While Gov. Jerry Brown's signing of the California Dream Act and a bill that moves all ballot measures to November are getting most of the political attention - there are a slew of bills the governor signed (and two vetoed) that impact the lives of LGBT people and people with HIV/AIDS. Also of note – over the year, Brown has signed 10 of 12 bills sponsored by Equality California.

Gov. Jerry Brown (Photo by Karen Ocamb)

Also impacting many people are bills Brown signed that make it easier for the unemployed to seek a job - including AB 22, a bill that prevents prospective employers from checking an applicant's credit record - which often goes out of whack during long periods of unemployment.

In addition to signing EQCA-sponsored AB 620, an education bill by Assemblymember Marty Block (D- San Diego), and Seth's Law (AB 9 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) , Brown also signed the AB 1156 anti-bullying bill by Assemblymember Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park) who notes in this video that he, too, was bullied:

In alignment with his reputation to sometimes flaunt conventional thinking, Brown also signed two bills - SB 41 by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and AB 604 by Assem blymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) that support and expand needle exchange programs. Brown's signing message is here.

Also of great importance are two bills that help the transgender community: AB 433 by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) dealing with birth certificates and AB 887 by Assemblymember Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) clarifying gender identity.

However, Brown vetoed two significant bills by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) – SB 416, a health survey data inclusion bill (see his veto message here) and SB 747, a Cultural Competency Training bill (see his veto message here.)

San Diego-based transgender blogger Autumn Sandeen has reaction from the Transgender Law Center, which reads in part:

WE DID IT!

Governor Brown just signed two important transgender rights bills into law. The first, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, brings transgender rights out of the closet in California - making "gender identity and expression" its own protected category at work, at school, in housing, at public accommodations and in other settings. The second, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act, makes it easier for transgender people to get a court-ordered gender change and updated birth certificate. It's a big day for transgender folks in California!

(Crossposted at LGBTPOV)


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