California governor signs pro-equality, progressive bills According to a press release put out by Brown’s office, on September 26 he “announced that he signed legislation to expand and protect the rights of women and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in California.” The bills he signed into law include AB 496, which “includes information about the appropriate care and treatment of LGBT and intersex communities in continuing medical education,” and AB 1577, known as the Respect After Death Act, requiring “death certificates to indicate the decedent’s sex reflecting their gender identity as reported by the decedent or a source best qualified to supply such information.”
• AB 496 by Assemblymember Richard S. Gordon (D-Los Altos): Includes information about the appropriate care and treatment of LGBT and intersex communities in continuing medical education.
• AB 1577 by Assemblymember Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego): Requires death certificates to indicate the decedent’s sex reflecting their gender identity as reported by the decedent or a source best qualified to supply such information.
• AB 1579 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley): AB 1579: Establishes the Healthy Babies Act of 2014, which allows pregnant women in the second trimester to receive CalWORKs assistance if they meet certain eligibility.
• AB 1678 by Assemblymember Richard S. Gordon (D-Los Altos): Extends provisions of the utilities’ Supplier Diversity Program, administered by the California Public Utilities Commission to LGBT business enterprises.
• AB 1787 by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach): Requires large commercial airports to provide lactation rooms separate from restrooms behind security.
• AB 2089 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward): Clarifies and strengthens the Domestic Violence Prevention Act and requires courts that deny petitions for protective orders provide a statement of reasons for the decisions.
• AB 2344 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco): Establishes statutory forms to allow intended parents to state their intention to parent a child being conceived through assisted reproduction.
• AB 2350 by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla (D-Concord): Prevents pregnancy discrimination in postsecondary educational institutions by prohibiting institutions from requiring students to take a leave of absence for pregnancy or pregnancy-related issues and allows students to return in good standing if they choose to take a leave of absence for pregnancy or child birth.
• SB 910 by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills): Expands for the purposes of issuing a protective order the definition of domestic violence to include violence against a child of a party to domestic violence court proceedings.
For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov
Brown also signed AB 2501 on September 27, eliminating the “gay panic” defense as a valid plea in a court of law. The term is a classic case of blaming the victim, by claiming the LGBT person “brought on” the attack—even if it ended in murder—by sexually propositioning the wrong person. The defendant also claims that they consequently entered into a “homosexual panic,” a state of temporary insanity, and so cannot be held responsible for their actions, no matter how violent.