2023 California laws that will help the LGBTQ community

LGBTQ California Laws 2023

Visitors at Long Beach Pride in 2017 showed their pride in many ways. Several California laws went into effect in 2023 that will benefit the LGBTQ+ community. Photo: Q Voice News.

It’s a new year, and several California laws impacting the LGBTQ+ community went into effect in 2023.

Here’s a look at those new California laws.

  • Assembly Bill 218

Under Assembly Bill 218, residents wanting to change their listed gender identity can have their marriage license, marriage certificate, and their children’s birth certificates reissued with their updated gender-affirming information. This process does not require a court order if the person submits specific supporting documentation. Assemblyman Chris Ward (D-San Diego), who identifies as gay, authored the bill.

  • Assembly Bill 465

Under Assembly Bill 465, professional fiduciaries must receive LGBTQ+ cultural competency and sensitivity training during their education and licensing process. Private professional fiduciaries provide critical services to older adults and people with disabilities, from managing their clients’ daily care, housing, and medical needs to ensuring their bills are paid and managing their investments. Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys) authored the bill.

  • Assembly Bill 1041

LGBTQ+ households will benefit from Assembly Bill 1041. It expands the state’s family leave provisions for workers to include their chosen family members in addition to their biological relatives, spouses and children. Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) authored the bill.

  • Assembly Bill 2466

Under Assembly Bill 2466, agencies that place foster children can no longer decline to place a child with a family because a parent identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. It also scraps the usage of the phrase “hard-to-place children” in state codes. ISabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), who identifies as lesbian, authored the bill.

  • Senate Bill 107

Under Senate Bill 107, California will become a refuge for parents and their transgender children seeking gender-affirming health care banned in their home states. State officials will refuse to participate in any legal action the families’ home states take against them. For example, the state will reject any out-of-state court judgments removing trans kids from their parents’ custody because they allowed them to receive gender-affirming health care.

Also, state health officials will not be allowed to comply with subpoenas seeking health records and any information related to such criminal cases, and public safety officers must make out-of-state criminal arrest warrants for such parents their lowest priority.

Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who identifies gay, introduced the bill after Alabama, Texas, and Idaho, adopted laws calling for prosecuting parents who allow their trans children to have gender-affirming care. Families in the Lone Star State have found themselves being investigated by state agencies and facing the possibility of being prosecuted and seeing their trans children placed in foster care.

  • Senate Bill 283

Under Senate Bill 283, a life or disability insurance insurer is prohibited from considering an applicant’s occupation in determining whether to require an HIV test and says that limiting benefits payable for a loss caused or contributed to by HIV is allowed if it was part of the original underwriting risk.

It also says that the misdemeanor for willful, negligent, or malicious disclosure of HIV test results to a third party should not exceed 365 days behind bars. Assemblymember Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) authored the bill.

  • Senate Bill 923

Senate Bill 923 requires California medical professionals who interact with transgender, gender-nonconforming, and intersex patients to receive cultural competency training.

It also calls for health providers to create searchable online directories of their gender-affirming services.

Known as the TGI Inclusive Care Act, it builds on the state’s Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund created in 2020 and allocated $13 million last year.

The Office of Health Equity within the Department of Public Health administers the fund and awards grants to organizations providing trans-inclusive health care.

Wiener authored Senate Bill 923.

It also has staggered deadlines for various departments and medical providers to meet. 

  • The California Health and Human Services Agency has until March 1 to convene a working group that will help craft the curriculum for health care providers with TGI patients.
  • The state agency has until Sept. 1, 2024, to develop and implement quality standards for treating TGI patients.
  • Health insurers and health plans have to require all of their staff in direct contact with patients to complete the cultural competency training by March 1, 2025. That date is also the deadline for when health plans need to have rolled out their searchable databases for their gender-affirming services.

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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