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Slate of new LGBTQ laws & protections now in effect

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SACRAMENTO – A law first signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom in the Fall of 2021, AB-1084, that requires a retail department store that is physically located in California and has a total of 500 or more employees across all of its California locations, which sells childcare items or toys to maintain a gender neutral section or area, took effect on Monday.

The bill set off a firestorm of critique from anti-LGBTQ+ groups angered by the trans friendly law.  California Family Council President Jonathan Keller, in a statement released after Newsom signed the law said: “We should all have compassion for individuals experiencing gender dysphoria. But activists and state legislators have no right to force retailers to espouse government-approved messages about sexuality and gender. It’s a violation of free speech and it’s just plain wrong.”

Assemblymember Evan Low the bill’s author had noted that in drafting the measure he was inspired by an 8-year-old girl who asked, “Why should a store tell me what a girl’s shirt or toy is?”

“Her bill will help children express themselves freely and without bias. We need to let kids be kids,” Low said.

Also taking effect on Monday were:

AB 223 “Transgender Youth Privacy Act,” sponsored by Assemblymember Christopher Ward, D-San Diego

This law requires courts to seal any petition for a change of gender or sex identifier filed by a minor to protect their privacy. This does not affect the petitioning process, but instead helps prevent online discovery of documents leading to outing and harassment.

SB 407 Foster care: resource families, sponsored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)

Requires foster care officials ensure LGBTQ children in the system are placed with foster families that will be supportive of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

SB 760 School facilities: all-gender restrooms, sponsored by Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton)

Requires that all K-12 public schools in California must provide at least one easily accessible all-gender restroom for students “to use safely and comfortably during school hours.”

AB 783 All Single-User Restrooms, sponsored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco)

This bill would require a city, county, or city and county that issues business licenses, equivalent instruments, or permits within its jurisdiction to provide written notice to each applicant for a new or renewed business license, equivalent instrument, or permit of the requirement that all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or government agency be identified as all-gender toilet facilities.”

AB 2436  Requires parental fields on death certificates gender inclusive, co-authored by lesbian Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona) and Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda)


Calls for death certificates to list a decedent’s parents without referring to the parents’ gender (Requires the State Registrar to implement the changes by July 1.)

SB 372  Department of Consumer Affairs: licensee and registrant records, sponsored by Senator Caroline Menjivar (D-San Fernando Valley/Burbank)

Ensures that the public records kept by the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs don’t use the deadnames or disclose the home addresses of licensed mental health professionals

AB 760 California State University system and the University of California system requirements, sponsored by Assemblymember Lori D. Wilson (D-Suisun City)

The California State University system and the University of California system by the 2024-25 academic year must have campus systems that are “fully capable” of allowing current students, staff, or faculty to declare an affirmed name, gender, or both name and gender identification.

SB 857 LGBTQ+ Student resources expanded, sponsored by Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz)

Existing law requires the State Department of Education to develop resources or, as appropriate, update existing resources for in-service training on school site and community resources for the support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) pupils, and strategies to increase support for LGBTQ pupils and thereby improve overall school climate. Existing law requires those resources to be designed for use in schools operated by a school district or county office of education and charter schools serving pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive.This law will require the Superintendent of Public Instruction, on or before July 1, 2024, to convene an advisory task force to identify the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and plus (LGBTQ+) pupils and to make recommendations to assist in implementing supportive policies and initiatives to address LGBTQ+ pupil education and well-being, as provided. The bill would require advisory task force members to be selected by the Superintendent, as provided. The bill would require the advisory task force to, on or before January 1, 2026, report their findings and recommendations to the Legislature, the Superintendent, and the Governor.

Additional reporting from Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor, The Bay Area Reporter


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