Finally some good news! The last couple of months have seemingly been a non stop barrage of anti-LGBT and anti-trans bills coming out of states such as Tennessee, North Carolina and Alabama.
But now, the California assembly has passed not one, but two pro-LGBT bills. The first would ban travel to states with discriminatory laws, such as North Carolina, and the second is making a case for gender-neutral bathrooms.
When talking of the gender-neutral bathroom bill, AB 1732, which would require all single occupancy bathrooms in the state to be designated gender neutral, assembly member Phil Ting described it as a “powerful message to the nation”.
He said: “This is a simple, safe, and respectful alternative to the hate being legislated in other states. Restrooms are a necessity of life, making equal access to them a civil rights issue. Gender-segregated access to a solitary restroom defies common sense. This bill moves us in a direction where everyone’s rights are respected and protected.”
Happily, the bill passed through the assembly with flying colours, with a vote of 55-19 and has the support of organisations such as Equality California and the Transgender Law Centre.
— Phil Ting (@PhilTing) May 9, 2016
As for the other bill, AB 1887, it bans nonessential travel to states that “sanction or require discrimination”, and was put forward by Evan Low.
In a press release, Evan said: “AB 1887 sends a clear message that we do not tolerate discrimination in California or anywhere beyond our borders. Just as we strive to be a state that provides equal opportunity for all, we should not be spending our tax dollars in states that allow discrimination toward the LGBT community. We are stronger by being inclusive.”
This bill also passed, with a vote of 54-21. Both bills will be heard at a Senate committee in June, and headed to the full Senate in August.