Equality California worked hard to sponsor four pieces of legislation that will help many LGBT Californians when they take effect this Saturday, January 1:
- Authored by Senator Mark Leno, SB 543 will allow LGBT youth to access mental health services without their parents’ consent, ensuring they get the care that they need when they need it — without having to come out to their parents first.
- Authored by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, AB 2199 repeals the reprehensible requirement that California seek the “causes and cures of homosexuality.”
- Authored by Assemblymember Fiona Ma, AB 2700 will allow same-sex couples who are both domestic partners and married to dissolve their partnership and their marriage with the same process if they choose to separate.
- Authored by Assemblymember Hector De La Torre, AB 2055 will grant same-sex couples who are about to enter into a domestic partnership the same unemployment benefits as opposite-sex couples who are about to wed.
We made a lot of progress in 2010, and with your help I know we can do the same in 2011. And we must.
LGBT youth need us to make their lives better now. More than 85 percent of them report harassment at school, and more than 33 percent of them report attempting suicide.
2011 will be the year that we make huge strides forward for LGBT youth. Equality California is sponsoring a bill in the new legislative session, authored by Sen. Leno, which will ensure all students learn about the contributions of LGBT people and the movement for LGBT rights in their social science classes. We’re also sponsoring a bill to strengthen anti-bullying laws with Assemblymember Tom Ammiano.
This work cannot happen quickly enough. But we need your help to do it. Make a year-end gift to help us build support for our pro-equality legislation.
With your support and commitment, we can protect LGBT youth and advance the rights of all LGBT people. Please give today to support our work.
The board and staff of Equality California are truly grateful for your support and wish you and your loved ones much happiness in the New Year.