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2019 California laws that protect LGBTQ people

Gay Rights

Four California laws went into effect January 1 that give legal protections to LGBTQ people. Photo: LPETTET/iStock

Four California laws went into effect January 1 that give legal protections to LGBTQ people.

With Assembly Bill 2504, the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training must develop training for officers and public safety dispatchers related to sexual orientation, gender identity differences, and incidents involving queer people.

Assembly Bill 2719 updated state law and added sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to the list of seniors who have the highest social needs due to cultural and social isolation. The bill also gives these vulnerable seniors priority consideration for programs and services available from the California Department of Aging.

California law defines who is a parent, and the state’s more than four decade old Uniform Parentage Act has been updated. It now includes language that defines a parent and child relationship to kids of unmarried, gay or lesbian couples.

Thanks to the Gender Recognition Act, SB 179, California has simplified the process for a third gender, non-binary option on state-issued IDs, driver’s licenses, and birth certificates.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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