Amended in Assembly June 23, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly Joint ResolutionNo. 45


Introduced by Assembly Member Chiu

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(Coauthors: Assembly Members Alejo, Arambula, Atkins, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Cristina Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Roger Hernández, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Low, Maienschein, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Nazarian, Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Weber, Williams, and Wood)

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June 9, 2016


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

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AJR 45, as amended, 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,
P1    1bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. While the United
2States Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) 192
3L.Ed.2d 609 brought marriage equality to all 50 states, LGBT
4Americans still face discrimination in their daily lives and remain
5at risk of being fired or denied services on the basis of who they
6are or who they love because the majority of states still lack
7explicit, comprehensive nondiscrimination protections; and

8WHEREAS, The Equality Act of 2015 amends the Civil Rights
9Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity
10among the prohibited categories of discrimination, effectively
11protecting LGBT Americans in the areas of employment, housing,
12public accommodations, public education, access to federal
13funding, access to credit, and the opportunity to serve on a jury.
14The 2015 Equality Act’s comprehensive approach to updating the
15Civil Rights Act of 1964 would include protections for many
16Americans beyond the LGBT community; and

17WHEREAS, Despite the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition
18against gender discrimination in certain areas, such as employment
19and housing, women still face discrimination in public facilities
20and in receiving federal financial assistance. The Equality Act of
212015 would ensure that women have equal access to public
22accommodations and public funds, and that federal funding could
23not be spent in a way that encourages discrimination based on sex;
24and

25WHEREAS, While many public accommodations are considered
26protected places under current law, people of color still face
27discrimination in places that include stores, banks, transportation
28services, and health care services. The Equality Act of 2015 updates
29the federal definition of public accommodations to ensure all
30individuals are able to fully access and utilize social and public
31places regardless of who they are; and

32WHEREAS, In a growing number of states, Religious Freedom
33Restoration Acts (RFRAs) and similar laws are being invoked in
34an attempt to justify discrimination against the LGBT community.
35The Equality Act of 2015 retains exemptions that religious
36organizations and schools already enjoy, but would ensure that
37religion could not be used as a justification for refusing service on
38the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual
39orientation, or gender identity; now, therefore, be it

P3    1Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
2California, jointly,
That the Legislature calls upon the United States
3Congress to pass the Equality Act of 2015, which would amend
4the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections on the basis of
5sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex in the areas of
6employment, housing, public accommodations, public education,
7federal funding, credit, and the jury system; and be it further

8Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
9of this resolution to the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
10to the Majority Leader of the Senate, and to each Senator and
11Representative from California in the Congress of the United
12States.



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