California New LGBTQ Civil Rights and Health Care Bills Signed into Law

Governor Newsom Signs Senator Wiener’s LGBTQ Civil Rights and Health Care Bills into Law

SACRAMENTO- Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law two of Senator Scott Wiener’s bills promoting LGTBQ rights and equality:

CA State Senator Scott Weiner

Senate Bill 932 mandates that health care providers in California report sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data, if known, for all reportable communicable diseases. It is the first law of its kind in the country that requires health care providers to collect LGBTQ health data for all reportable communicable diseases. Senator Wiener originally introduced SB 932 because of California’s failure to collect LGBT-specific data on COVID-19. He then broadened the legislation to include all reportable communicable diseases.

Equality California and the LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network sponsored the legislation.

Senate Bill 132 requires that incarcerated transgender, nonbinary, and intersex individuals in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) be classified by their gender identity and housed based on their stated health and safety needs and searched according to the policy for their gender identity or the facility where they are housed, based on their search preference. Currently, incarcerated transgender, nonbinary, and intersex individuals are automatically housed by sex assigned at birth, which can lead to increased violence and harassment.

SB 132 is sponsored by TransLatin@ Coalition, TGI Justice Project, Equality California, ACLU of California, Lambda Legal, Medina Orthwein LLP, and Transgender Law Center.

Senator Wiener released the following statement:

“Today, California took a big step toward LGBTQ equality and inclusion. LGBTQ Californians are no longer invisible in our healthcare system, and we will now have health data so that we can advance health equity for our community. And, transgender people who are currently in prison will have a much greater opportunity to be safe while incarcerated, and to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. I’m proud to be an LGBTQ Californian and proud to be a part of the coalition working toward a fairer society. Thank you, Governor Newsom, for once again getting it and stepping up to support the LGBTQ community.”

Rick Chavez Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California, released the following statement:

“Thanks to Governor Newsom and Senator Wiener’s leadership, California is a beacon of hope to LGBTQ+ people everywhere. Nearly four decades after I watched the government look the other way as our community was devastated by the AIDS crisis, I am proud to say California has become the first state to mandate the collection of voluntary LGBTQ+ data for all reportable communicable diseases. And while President Trump unleashes endless attacks against the transgender community, California is ensuring incarcerated transgender people are afforded the respect, agency and dignity that every person deserves. I recently had the chance to hear from currently incarcerated transgender people about their experiences and need for SB 132 — this bill is going to save lives. We are so grateful to our coalition partners — many of whom are trans and currently or formerly incarcerated — who led this fight from the beginning. Today is a monumental victory for them and for all LGBTQ+ people.”

By Melanie Nathan
Law, Human Rights Advocacy and Mediation
African Human Rights Coalition
Executive Director
pronouns: she / her / hers

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