Advocates Celebrate Governor’s Signature on Laws Expanding LGBT Rights
(BayAreaNewsTalk.com) – San Francisco state Sen. Scott Wiener and advocates today will celebrate the governor’s signing of several bills expanding the rights of LGBT people in California.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed Senate Bill 179, the Gender Recognition Act, which Wiener co-authored with state Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. The new law makes California the second state in the nation after
Oregon to allow residents to use a gender marker other than “F” or “M” on their driver’s license and the first in the nation to allow a third gender marker on birth certificates.
The law also makes it easier to get gender changes recognized by state agencies and the courts, through changes such as the removal of a requirement for a physician’s letter.
“With Governor Brown’s signature on this bill, transgender and non-binary people will now be able to identify themselves as they are, not as who society tells them they should be,” Wiener said in a statement.
The governor has also signed SB 219, which protects LGBT seniors from discrimination in long-term care facilities.
The “LGBT Senior Bill of Rights,” which was co-sponsored by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, requires use of preferred names or pronouns and prohibits facilities from denying admission based on sexuality
or transferring or evicting residents to another facility or location based on anti-LGBT attitudes, among other requirements.
Brown also signed SB 219, which reduces the penalty for people who knowingly expose a sexual partner to HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor and eliminates a penalty for donating HIV infecting blood. All donated blood is
tested for HIV, making the law redundant, supporters argue.
Wiener and Atkins will join community advocates today at the San Francisco LGBT Center at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate the legislative victories.