CALIFORNIA—California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several bills on Saturday, September 26, requiring California to protect LGBTQ+ Californians.
The new legislation includes a system tracking the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the community, the Transgender and Wellness Equity Fund, and a bill promising transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex (TGI) inmates who are housed in prisons based on their gender identity.
“California has some of the strongest pro LGBTQ+ laws in the nation and with the bills signed today, our march toward equality takes an additional step forward,” said Newsom.
He added, “these new laws will help us better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ community, establish a new fund to support our transgender sisters and brothers and advance inclusive and culturally competent efforts that uphold the dignity of all Californians, regardless of who you are or who you love.”
Senator Scott Wiener, chair of the California Legislative LGTBQ Caucus, said, “SB 132 is life-saving legislation that will protect trans people in prison, particularly trans women who are subject to high levels of assault and harassment in men’s facilities.”
SB 132 makes sure inmates are placed in prisons according to their gender identity. CDCR is also asked to record the individual’s self-reported gender identity, gender pronouns and honorifics throughout an inmate’s term.
“SB 932 ensures our community will no longer be invisible, and that we will be counted by our public health system,” said Wiener, adding that this is an example of California’s “deep commitment to LGBTQ equality.”
SB 932 aims to offer public health officials more data-oriented information on patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. According to state officials, the legislation can address health inequities and help California’s diverse communities.
AB 2218 establishes the Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund, focusing on TGI-specific housing programs and health care.