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California Enacts Two Trans Rights Bills

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Gender Non-Discrimination Act (AB 887), which changes the language of the state anti-discrimination law to specifically include gender, gender identity and gender expression as enumerated protected categories. Existing law prohibited discrimination based on sex but defined sex as including gender and defined gender as including a person’s gender identity and gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth. These cross-references created some confusion regarding whether California prohibited employment discrimination against transgender individuals. In addition to clarifying the State’s anti-discrimination law, Gov. Brown also signed into law the Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433), which streamlines the process by which transgender individuals may correct the gender marker on their birth certificates.

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