For those of you in California who weren't focused on what was happening in Sacramento, here's what those two bills do and what they do to help a transbrother and transsister out.
- The Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) takes existing protections based on gender and spells out "gender identity and expression" as their own protected categories in our nondiscrimination laws. By making these protections explicit, people will more clearly understand California's nondiscrimination laws, which should increase the likelihood that employers, schools, housing authorities, and other institutions will work to prevent discrimination and/or respond more quickly at the first indications of discrimination.
- The Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433) will alleviate the confusion, anxiety and even danger that transgender people face when we have identity documents that do not reflect who we are. The bill will streamline current law and clarify that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit gender change petitions in the State of California. The Vital Statistics Modernization Act conforms California's standards to the standards set by the United States Department of State for gender changes on passports, and it makes common-sense changes to the law that ensure the process is simple for qualified petitioners to navigate.
In a nutshell, The Gender Nondiscrimination Act according to the San Francisco based Transgender Law Center makes 'gender identity and expression' its own protected rights category at work, at school, in housing, in public accommodations and in other settings.
AB 433, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act, makes it easier for transgender people to get a court-ordered gender change and updated birth certificate.
Very happy for you peeps in California, and hope that those laws that you enjoy get replicated elsewhere