Governor Gavin Newsom today signed legislation strengthening protections for LGBTQ+ Californians, including a measure to track the effects of COVID-19 on the community, a bill establishing the Transgender and Wellness Equity Fund and a bill requiring the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to house transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex (TGI) individuals in a manner that matches their gender identity while supporting health and safety.
"California has some of the strongest pro LGBTQ+ laws in the nation and with the bills signed today, our march toward equality takes an additional step forward," said Governor Newsom. "These new laws will help us better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ community, establish a new fund to support our transgender sisters and brothers and advance inclusive and culturally competent efforts that uphold the dignity of all Californians, regardless of who you are or who you love." Included in the pro-equality package of bills signed into law today is SB 932 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), which aligns with emergency regulations announced by the California Department of Public Health in July requiring better and more timely collection and reporting of communicable disease data from providers and laboratories on a patient's gender identity and sexual orientation. This legislation will provide public health officials with more information on patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, which is essential to addressing health inequities and designing public health interventions that help California's diverse communities. The Governor also signed SB 132 by Senator Wiener requiring CDCR to house transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex people according to their own sense of where they will be safest. This new law will require CDCR to record the individual's self-reported gender identity, gender pronouns and honorifics throughout an inmate's term.