Amended in Senate August 18, 2016

Amended in Assembly June 23, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly Joint ResolutionNo. 45

Introduced by Assembly Member Chiu

(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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(Coauthors: Senators Jackson and Leno)

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June 9, 2016

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


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

11WHEREAS, The Equality Act of 2015 amends the Civil Rights
12Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity
13among the prohibited categories of discrimination, effectively
14protecting LGBT Americans in the areas of employment, housing,
15public accommodations, public education, access to federal
16funding, access to credit, and the opportunity to serve on a jury.
17The 2015 Equality Act’s comprehensive approach to updating the
18Civil Rights Act of 1964 would include protections for many
19Americans beyond the LGBT community; and

20WHEREAS, Despite the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition
21against gender discrimination in certain areas, such as employment
22and housing, women still face discrimination in public facilities
23and in receiving federal financial assistance. The Equality Act of
242015 would ensure that women have equal access to public
25accommodations and public funds, and that federal funding could
26not be spent in abegin delete wayend deletebegin insert mannerend insert that encourages discrimination based
27on sex; and

28WHEREAS, While many public accommodations are considered
29protected places under current law, people of color still face
30discrimination in places that include stores, banks, transportation
31services, and health care services. The Equality Act of 2015 updates
32the federal definition of public accommodations to ensure all
33individuals are able to fully access and utilize social and public
34places regardless of who they are; and

35WHEREAS, In a growing number of states, Religious Freedom
36Restoration Acts (RFRAs) and similar laws are being invoked in
37an attempt to justify discrimination against the LGBT community.
38The Equality Act of 2015 retains exemptions that religious
39organizations and schools already enjoy, but would ensure that
40religion could not be used as a justification for refusing service on
P3    1the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual
2orientation, or gender identity; now, therefore, be it

3Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
4California, jointly,
That the Legislature calls upon the United States
5Congress to pass the Equality Act of 2015, which would amend
6the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections on the basis of
7sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex in the areas of
8employment, housing, public accommodations, public education,
9federal funding, credit, and the jury system; and be it further

10Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
11of this resolution to the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
12to the Majority Leader of the Senate, and to each Senator and
13Representative from California in the Congress of the United