News, Wit & Commentary for Lesbians
JIC Post:By Mark Worrall 365Gay.com(Sacramento, California) The California Assembly has passed legislation banning discrimination against gays, lesbians and the transgendered in employment, housing and the delivery of goods and services. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature. California law prohibited discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability or medical condition. But, it did not specifically name members of the LGBT community as a protected group.Although courts have consistently interpreted the law as applying to gays civil rights groups in the state fought for a number of years to have the law amended to be fully inclusive.The legislation adds sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status to the existing law. The assembly passed the bill, authored by Assemblymember John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) by a 47-29 vote. It passed the Senate last week “The California legislature has once again demonstrated its commitment to true equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians,” said Executive Director Geoffrey Kors of Equality California. “By adding sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status, California will continue to be at the forefront of ensuring equality for all.”Governor Schwarzenegger has 12 days to sign the bill into law, once it reaches his desk.Businesses subject to the Unruh Act include shopping centers, mobile home parks, bars and restaurants, schools, medical and dental offices, hotels and motels, and condominium homeowners’ associations.The final passage of the bill comes as the Senate prepares to vote, possibly as soon as Wednesday, on gay marriage legislation. The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act would require local clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples but allow people opposed to gay marriage to refuse to conduct weddings.If it passes the Senate it would need approval of the Assembly and then a final vote in both houses before going to the governor. Schwarzenegger has not indicated if he will sign either bill.
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