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LGBT Rights in California

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A number of states, including California, issued laws regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights early on. Due to the liberal policies of the state, it has been on the forefront of LGBT rights and continues to be so. This article will detail the laws that California has in place to protect its LGBT citizens.


California was one of the first few states that offered LGBT couples the right to marriage back in 2008. There was a setback with the passage of proposition 8 that banned same sex marriage. However, with the Supreme Court case, Obergefell v Hodges, same-sex marriage has become a national right.

Adoption and Family Planning

AB 460 was a bill signed into law that clarifies that both gay and lesbian parents are entitled to infertility coverage under their insurance. Furthermore, birth certificates now offer a gender neutral option. On the birth certificate individuals have the option of putting down mother, father or parent. As for adoption, same-sex couples or LGBT individuals have the right to adopt a child. California also allows same-sex partners to adopt their partner’s child.

Discrimination Protection

The state of California prohibits discrimination in employment and housing against LGBT individuals. Landlords typically discriminate by refusing to rent to LGBT tenants. Employers can discriminate in a number of ways including in hiring, promotions, providing necessary resources, or harassing employees that are LGBT.

Also, in 2012 California passed the Gender Nondiscrimination Act which makes it illegal to discriminate against a person based on gender expression or gender identity. This also protects individuals who want to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

Hate Crime Protection

Under California’s Penal Code 422.55 PC it is a hate crime to harass, threaten or harm someone because of their LGBT status. It is also a separate crime to destroy or damage someone’s property or interfere with someone’s civil rights because they are LGBT.

Conjugal Visits

LGBT individuals incarcerated in a California prison have the opportunity for same-sex conjugal visits. Same-sex conjugal visits have been permitted in California since 2007.

FAIR Education Act

The FAIR Education Act in California requires all schools from K-12 to provide fair, accurate, inclusive and respectful representations of LGBT individuals in history. The educational curriculum has also been updated to include more representation of LGBT individuals and cannot create a negative bias towards those who are LGBT.

School Success and Opportunity Act

This law protects transgender students from discrimination in school. Students are allowed to use the bathroom and join the team of the gender with which they identify.

Contacting an Attorney

If you believe your rights have been violated you should speak with a local lawyer. Not only can a lawyer help provide you with vital information they can also protect your rights.

Photo of page author Hardeep Shergill

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 10-13-2017 01:26 AM PDT

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