Transgender Equality: New Law Take Effect in California in 2012

Two landmark transgender rights bills signed by Governor Brown last year became law on January 1, 2012. AB 887, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins, strongly clarifies the existing employment, housing and other civil rights protections for all Californians. The law makes it clear that discrimination is not legal in California. AB433, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act, authored by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, streamlines the process for Californians to obtain and update birth certificates.

“This is a huge victory, and yet there is still work to be done in order to make sure all our laws and societal attitudes are fair and promote justice for transgender people,” said Kristina Wertz, “The passage of these bills motivates me to work harder than ever before to ensure transgender and gender non-conforming people have access to quality health care and are treated with dignity and respect.”

Transgender Law Center will continue to offer assistance to anyone who experiences challenges in obtaining documentation appropriate to their gender identity or anyone who experiences discrimination in housing, employment and other situations. The process of legally changing name or gender can take longer than expected, as courts are experiencing a back-up due to budget cuts.

“It’s a new era for transgender Californians and their families. I am incredibly proud of our staff, our allies, the legislators and Governor Brown for putting an end to discrimination,” said Masen Davis, executive Director of the Transgender Law Center.

Frequently asked questions about both laws are available at as well as information about the most up-to-date forms and necessary paperwork.




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