Travel Ban and All-gender Restroom Bills Clear California Assembly

Two Equality California-sponsored bills advancing the civil rights of LGBT people in California and across the country were approved by the California Assembly Monday.  Assembly Bill (AB) 1887 was approved by a vote of 54-21 and AB 1732 passed by 55-19.

AB 1887, authored by Asm. Evan Low (D-Campbell), would prohibit state-funded or sponsored travel to a state that, after June 26, 2015, has enacted a law that voids or repeals existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, or has enacted a law that authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families on those bases. AB 1887 is co-sponsored by Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“AB 1887 sends a clear message that we do not tolerate discrimination in California or anywhere beyond our borders,” said Low. “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 on the basis of religion. We are stronger by being inclusive.”

“Californians have made it very clear that they support treating everyone equally,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California.  “California should not be spending taxpayer dollars in states where lawmakers are targeting the LGBT community for discrimination.  AB 1887 will help make sure that California is not helping to finance that discrimination.”

AB 1732, authored by Asm. Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) would enact the most progressive statewide restroom access policy in the nation, requiring all single-occupancy restrooms in businesses, government buildings and places of public accommodation to be available to everyone. Restricting access to single-occupancy restrooms by gender creates problems of safety, fairness, and convenience for LGBT people and many others, including families and people with disabilities. Compliance with the bill is a matter of changing a sign on a restroom door. The bill is co-sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center and California NOW.

“Nothing is more important than our civil rights and we just sent a powerful message to the nation.  We don’t legislate hate in California,” said Ting.  “Our actions show that there are simple, safe, and respectful choices to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected.”

“As other states across the country — most notably, North Carolina and Mississippi — target transgender people and limit their rights, we are moving California towards greater fairness and inclusion,” said Zbur.  “This common-sense bill would make public restrooms more secure and accessible for all of us.”

The bills now advance to the California Senate.