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California Governor Jerry Brown Extends Minority Provisions To LGBT Business Owners

BrownCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a historic bill that will result in new opportunities for certified businesses owned by LGBT people, reports SDGLN.com.

Brown is known for his pro-LGBT advocacy. Last week, he outlawed the "gay panic" defense in court. In August, he signed a bill that will provide unprecedented protections for transgender students in California.

The new law means that starting in 2015, public utilities in the state will be required to extend to LGBT certified business owners existing provisions already granted to those owned by ethnic minorities, women, and disabled veterans.

The law - which came about through testimony and advocacy by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) - is believed to be the first bill of its kind in the United States. It defines an “LGBT business enterprise” as one that is at least 51% owned by an LGBT person or persons, or, in the case of any publicly owned company, at least 51% of the stock is to be owned by a LGBT individual or individuals.

Justin Nelson, NGLCC co-founder and president of NGLCC, said:

"Gov. Brown has further added to his impressive record on economic development and LGBT issues with his signing of this bill into law. We are very proud of the hard work of our team, all seven of our California Local Affiliate Chambers, our certified LGBT business owners, the California Small Business Association and other allied organizations that made this law not only our priority, but also their priority. We also are grateful for the wide support of this law from diverse business communities and the unwavering and consistent support from AT&T and Southern California Edison.”

NGLCC co-founder and CEO Chance Mitchell added:

“The LGBT business community owes a huge debt of gratitude to [lead sponsors] Assemblyman Gordon and Sen. Leno for their hard work in passing this bill that will have real impact on the lives of LGBT California business owners and the many Californians employed by them.”


Lesbian Couple Alleges Hate Crime Following Assault In Long Beach

Jamie jarvis meg taylor

A lesbian couple in Long Beach, California, has claimed that an attack last Saturday evening was a hate crime, reports Long Beach Post.

Jamie Jarvis and Meg Taylor said they were attacked by three African-American females while returning home from a party near Broadway and Esperanza Avenue.

According to Marlene Arrona of the Long Beach Police Department, the altercation occurred following the suspects honking at the victims and one of the victims giving the suspects a “hand gesture” in response.

Jarvis said:

“Meg and I were jumped coming home from a birthday party. We just got out of the ER. This should have never happened and I thought my girl was dead. I’m not ok with this. Please help by keeping your eyes out. The girl in the SUV had two toddlers with her. Is this how we want our youth raised? Please spread the word.”

According to Arrona, one of the victims was transported to the hospital, where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries. The suspects have not been located and it is not clear whether this is being investigated as a hate crime or not.

In a comment on Long Beach Post’s Facebook report - which appears to since have been removed - Jarvis addressed other comments which suggested that the attack may not have been a hate crime:

“[Taylor] flipped them off. But who stops and pulls their car over to start yelling, “Dumb white bitch, dyke bitch, go tell your girl to f*&k a dick….then attacks people...THIS IS A HATE CRIME. FULL OF HATE. THESE LADIES HAD NO BOUNDARIES.”

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University of California to Adopt New Guidelines for Trans Students

  New-UC-President-Janet-Napolitano-600x393

In more good news out of California for LGBT people, the University of California school system will adopt new considerations for its students.

Out of concern for transgender students and employees' comfort, UC will add preferred names to student records and change exisisting single-stall restrooms to be gender-neutral.

Via San Jose Mercury News, said UC president Janet Napolitano (pictured) of this decision:

UC should be the gold standard where these issues are concerned...We want to look at not only what we are doing now, but also in the medium and long term for our students, our staff, our faculty and the communities where our campuses are situated.

The changes come from a new LGBT advisory council Napolitano established in June. The council's next move is to develop proposals for improving employee training on LGBT issues, and to develop a conference to "showcase faculty research into issues of sexual orientation and gender identity."


Four New Laws to Protect LGBT People in California

Edmund_G_Brown_JrNow this is a far cry from "I think gay marriage should be between a man and a woman."

California Governor Jerry Brown (pictured) has signed four new laws that bolster LGBT rights in the Golden State.

ThinkProgress has a round-up of the four laws. The first makes "gay panic" and "trans panic" legal defenses illegal. Previously, the state's policy was to tell jurors not to be influenced by the plaintiff or defendent's orientation. The Bar Association voted to ban "gay panic" defenses outright, and CA is the first state to act on this.

Another law stipulates that transgender people will have their gender identities respected after death. This law was brought on by the posthumous, tragic misgendering of filmmaker/activist Christopher Lee in 2012.

Health professionals will now have to be trained specifically to work with LGBT and intersex people. The law says it will specifically call for "understanding and applying cultural and ethnic data to the process of clinical care...pertinent to the appropriate treatment of...the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex communities.”

The final law listed by ThinkProgress, while not explicitly aimed after LGBT people, will have a major impact on the community. It protects sex workers from being prosecuted/arrested solely on the grounds of carrying condoms. Trans people are particularly effected, ThinkProgress argues, given that 43% of Trans people have turned to sex work for money at some point.

[h/t ThinkProgress]


California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Law Outlawing 'Gay Panic' Legal Defense

Jerry brownCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill outlawing the "gay panic" defense in court. Under previous state law, murder charges could be reduced to manslaughter if it was shown the act took place suddenly or in the heat of the moment (so-called "panic" killings). Now, however, it is no longer viable to claim a person's gender or sexual orientation triggered the "panic."

Equality California adds this is the first measure of its kind in the nation. 


Anti-Gay Groups Launch 'Unprecedented' Campaign Against Pro-LGBT Republican Candidates: READ

Pro-lgbt gop

Anti-gay activist groups The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Family Research Council Action and CitizenLink are launching “an unprecedented campaign” against three Republican candidates because of their support for marriage equality and abortion, reports Buzzfeed.

Family Research Council Action is the legislative arm of rabidly homophobic listed hate group Family Research Council.

Last month, NOM cofounder Robert George said that he couldn't think of any "logical stopping place" between gay-affirming Christians and pedophile-affirming or serial killer-affirming Christians.

The three ultra-conservative groups “will mount a concerted effort to urge voters to refuse to cast ballots” for Republican House candidates Carl DeMaio [top left] in California, Richard Tisei [middle] in Massachusetts and Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby [right] in Oregon. DeMaio and Tisei are the only out LGBT Republican federal candidates from the to appear on the ballot this fall.

A letter  - claiming to speak on behalf of all Americans and possibly suggesting a gay recruitment drive - sent to Republican congressional and campaign leaders yesterday reads in part:

“We cannot in good conscience urge our members and fellow citizens to support candidates like DeMaio, Tisei or Wehby. They are wrong on critical, foundational issues of importance to the American people.

Worse, as occupants of high office they will secure a platform in the media to advance their flawed ideology and serve as terrible role models for young people who will inevitably be encouraged to emulate them.”

The letter goes on to warn Republican leaders that it is a “grave error” for the party to support “candidates who do not hold core Republican beliefs and, in fact, are working to actively alienate the Republican base.”

In a statement, NOM President Brian S. Brown said:

Brown“The Republican Party platform is a ‘statement of who we are and what we believe.’ Thus, the platform supports the truth of marriage as the union of husband and wife, and recognizes the sanctity and dignity of human life.

“We cannot sit by when people calling themselves Republicans seek high office while espousing positions that are antithetical to the overwhelming majority of Republicans.”

Read the letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Groups Launch 'Unprecedented' Campaign Against Pro-LGBT Republican Candidates: READ" »


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