California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly Joint ResolutionNo. 45


Introduced by Assembly Member Chiu

June 9, 2016


Assembly Joint Resolution No. 45—Relative to civil rights.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AJR 45, as introduced, Chiu. Civil rights: the Equality Act.

This act would urge the United States Congress to enact the Equality Act of 2015, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex for, among other things, employment, housing, public education, and public accommodations.

Fiscal committee: no.

P1    1WHEREAS, While the Fourteenth Amendment of the United
2States Constitution guarantees all citizens equal protection under
3the law and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination
4based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, no federal
5law enumerates discrimination protections for lesbian, gay,
6bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. While the United
7States Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) 192
8L.Ed.2d 609 brought marriage equality to all 50 states, LGBT
9Americans still face discrimination in their daily lives and remain
10at risk of being fired or denied services on the basis of who they
11are or who they love because the majority of states still lack
12explicit, comprehensive nondiscrimination protections; and

13WHEREAS, The Equality Act of 2015 amends the Civil Rights
14Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity
P2    1among the prohibited categories of discrimination, effectively
2protecting LGBT Americans in the areas of employment, housing,
3public accommodations, public education, access to federal
4funding, access to credit, and the opportunity to serve on a jury.
5The 2015 Equality Act’s comprehensive approach to updating the
6Civil Rights Act of 1964 would include protections for many
7Americans beyond the LGBT community; and

8WHEREAS, Despite the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition
9against gender discrimination in certain areas, such as employment
10and housing, women still face discrimination in public facilities
11and in receiving federal financial assistance. The Equality Act of
122015 would ensure that women have equal access to public
13accommodations and public funds, and that federal funding could
14not be spent in a way that encourages discrimination based on sex;
15and

16WHEREAS, While many public accommodations are considered
17protected places under current law, people of color still face
18discrimination in places that include stores, banks, transportation
19services, and health care services. The Equality Act of 2015 updates
20the federal definition of public accommodations to ensure all
21individuals are able to fully access and utilize social and public
22places regardless of who they are; and

23WHEREAS, In a growing number of states, Religious Freedom
24Restoration Acts (RFRAs) and similar laws are being invoked in
25an attempt to justify discrimination against the LGBT community.
26The Equality Act of 2015 retains exemptions that religious
27organizations and schools already enjoy, but would ensure that
28religion could not be used as a justification for refusing service on
29the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual
30orientation, or gender identity; now, therefore, be it

31Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
32California, jointly,
That the Legislature calls upon the United States
33Congress to pass the Equality Act of 2015, which would amend
34the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections on the basis of
35sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex in the areas of
36employment, housing, public accommodations, public education,
37federal funding, credit, and the jury system; and be it further

38Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
39of this resolution to the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
40to the Majority Leader of the Senate, and to each Senator and
P3    1Representative from California in the Congress of the United
2States.



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