BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AJR 45|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 


                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  AJR 45
          Author:   Chiu (D), et al.
          Amended:  8/18/16 in Senate
          Vote:     21 

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  5-1, 8/9/16
           AYES:  Jackson, Hertzberg, Leno, Monning, Wieckowski
           NOES:  Moorlach
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  Anderson

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  52-11, 6/23/16 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   Civil rights:  the Equality Act


          SOURCE:    Equality California


          DIGEST:  This resolution calls upon Congress to pass the  
          Equality Act of 2015, which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964  
          to include protections on the basis of sexual orientation,  
          gender identity, and sex in the areas of employment, housing,  
          public accommodations, public education, federal funding,  
          credit, and the jury system.  


          Senate Floor Amendments of 8/18/16 make a technical change and  
          add Senators Jackson and Leno as co-authors to the bill.


          ANALYSIS:  


          Existing federal law:









                                                                     AJR 45  
                                                                    Page  2




          1)Provides, under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S.  
            Constitution, that no state shall make or enforce any law  
            which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens  
            of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person  
            of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor  
            deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal  
            protection of the laws.  (U.S. Const., 14th Amend., Sec. 1.) 


          2)Enforces, under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, the  
            constitutional right to vote, confers jurisdiction upon the  
            district courts of the United States to provide injunctive  
            relief against discrimination in public accommodations,  
            authorizes the U.S. Attorney General to institute suits to  
            protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public  
            education, extends the Commission on Civil Rights, prevents  
            discrimination in federally assisted programs, and establishes  
            a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, among other  
            things. (Pub. Law 88-352, 78 Stat. 241.) For example: 

                 Title I of the Act pertains to voting rights (barring  
               unequal application of voter registration requirements); 

                 Title II to injunctive relief against discrimination in  
               places of public accommodation (prohibiting discrimination  
               based on race, color, religion, or national origin in  
               hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public  
               accommodations engaged in interstate commerce; exempting  
               "private" clubs); 

                 Title III to desegregation of public facilities  
               (prohibiting state and municipal governments from denying  
               access to public facilities on grounds of race, color,  
               religion, or national origin); 

                 Title IV to desegregation of public education  
               (authorizing the U.S. Attorney General to file suits to  
               desegregate public schools); 

                 Title VI to nondiscrimination in federally assisted  
               programs (preventing discrimination on the basis of race,  








                                                                     AJR 45  
                                                                    Page  3



               color, or national origin by government agencies that  
               receive federal funding, subject to loss of that federal  
               funding); and

                 Title VII to equal employment opportunity (generally  
               prohibiting discrimination by covered employers on the  
               basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin).    



          This resolution: 


          1)Declares, among other things that: 

                 While the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution  
               guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law and  
               the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination based  
               on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, no  
               federal law enumerates discrimination protections for LGBT  
               Americans. While the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in  
               Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) brought marriage equality to  
               all 50 states, LGBT Americans still face discrimination in  
               their daily lives and remain at risk of being fired or  
               denied services on the basis of who they are or who they  
               love because the majority of states still lack explicit,  
               comprehensive nondiscrimination protections; 

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

                 Despite the 1964 Civil Rights Act's prohibition against  
               gender discrimination in certain areas, such as employment  
               and housing, women still face discrimination in public  








                                                                     AJR 45  
                                                                    Page  4



               facilities and in receiving federal financial assistance.  
               The Equality Act would ensure that women have equal access  
               to public accommodations and funds, and that federal  
               funding could not be spent in a manner that encourages  
               discrimination based on sex; 

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

                 In a growing number of states, Religious Freedom  
               Restoration Acts and similar laws are being invoked in an  
               attempt to justify discrimination against the LGBT  
               community. The Equality Act retains exemptions that  
               religious organizations and schools already enjoy, but  
               would ensure that religion could not be used as a  
               justification for refusing service on the basis of race,  
               color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation,  
               or gender identity.


          1)Sets forth that the Legislature calls upon the U.S. Congress  
            to pass 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 in the areas of  
            employment, housing, public accommodations, public education,  
            federal funding, credit, and the jury system.


          Background


          The Civil Rights Act of 1964, a landmark piece of federal civil  
          rights legislation, outlawed major forms of discrimination on  
          the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.   
          The Civil Rights Act sought to put an end to the unequal  
          application of voter registration requirements, racial  








                                                                     AJR 45  
                                                                    Page  5



          segregation in schools, and discrimination at the workplace or  
          by facilities that served the public (i.e., in public  
          accommodations).  Other civil rights movements have resulted in  
          federal legislation which offer protections against  
          discrimination as well, including the Age Discrimination in  
          Employment Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Fair  
          Housing Act, among others.  These federal laws represent the  
          minimum level of protection that state governments must provide  
          for individuals within that state. 


          Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 3185 and  
          in the U.S. Senate as S. 1858, the Equality Act of 2015 would  
          enact express anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay,  
          bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals across key areas of  
          life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public  
          spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury  
          service.  More specifically, the Equality Act proposes to  
          include sexual orientation and gender identity among those  
          characteristics that are protected under existing federal civil  
          rights laws - including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair  
          Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury  
          Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding  
          employment with the federal government.  The Act also seeks to  
          amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in  
          public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the  
          basis of sex, as well, in specific titles of the Act where that  
          trait is currently not included among the protected  
          characteristics.  Additionally, the Equality Act would update  
          the public spaces and services covered in current law to include  
          any establishment that provides a good, service, or program  
          (such as retail stores, shopping centers, banks, and health  
          care, accounting, or legal service establishments), as well as  
          places or establishments that provide transportation services  
          (such as any train, bus, car, or taxi service, or any station,  
          or depot).  Notably, the Equality Act also clearly states that  
          the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 shall not  
          provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, the  
          Civil Rights Act, or provide a basis for challenging the  
          application or enforcement of the Civil Rights Act.  










                                                                     AJR 45  
                                                                    Page  6



          This resolution seeks to call upon Congress to pass the Equality  
          Act of 2015.  


          Comment 


          As stated by the author: 


            California has a long and proud history of continually  
            supporting its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)  
            communities. The state has well codified prohibitions on  
            discrimination against individuals on the basis of actual or  
            perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and  
            gender-related appearance and behavior. However, this is not  
            true across the nation as the majority of states currently  
            lack explicit and comprehensive nondiscrimination protections  
            for LGBT Americans. Notwithstanding the United States Supreme  
            Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) which  
            established marriage equality to all 50 states, no federal law  
            enumerates discrimination protections for LGBT people. This  
            lack of clear legal protections leaves many LGBT Americans to  
            face daily discrimination and remain at risk of being fired or  
            denied services because of who they love.  In addition,  
            disadvantaged groups including women and people of color  
            continue to face discrimination in areas of public  
            accommodation. 


            Today, someone who identifies as gay could be rejected from  
            being hired at a corporation, a lesbian teacher could be fired  
            once her principal finds out she's planning to have a child  
            with her partner, a transgender individual could be turned  
            away from a hospital and a same-sex couple could face the  
            possibility of not finding service from a bakery for their  
            wedding cake. These stories are all too common across the  
            nation.


            The Equality Act provides essential updates to the Civil  
            Rights Act of 1964 to include protections based on sexual  








                                                                     AJR 45  
                                                                    Page  7



            orientation, gender identity, and sex in the areas of  
            employment, housing, public accommodations, public education,  
            federal funding, credit, and the jury system.  These updates  
            also address discrimination still facing women and people of  
            color. By adding "sex" and updating the federal definition of  
            public accommodations of the list of protections under the  
            1964 Civil Rights Act, women would have equal access to public  
            places and people of color would be protected in stores,  
            salons, or when hailing a cab.  Consistent with California's  
            legacy as a leader in LGBT civil rights, this Assembly Joint  
            Resolution calls upon Congress to pass The Equality Act.


          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:NoLocal:    No


          SUPPORT:   (Verified8/9/16)


          Equality California (source)
          AIDS Project Los Angeles
          American Civil Liberties Union
          Anti-Defamation League
          Asian Americans Advancing Justice, California
          API Equality - LA
          Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
          Bakersfield LGBTQ
          Bienestar Human Services
          California National Organization for Women
          California Voices for Progress
          California Young Democrats
          Courage Campaign
          Lambda Legal
          Los Angeles LGBT Center
          Los Angeles Unified School District, District 5 Board Member
          LGBTQ Center of Long Beach
          Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
          Our Family Coalition
          Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California 
          Sacramento LGBT Center
          Transgender Law Center








                                                                     AJR 45  
                                                                    Page  8



          The Trevor Project
          The Wall Las Memorias Project


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified8/9/16)


          None received


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     The sponsor of this bill, Equality  
          California, writes: 


            The majority of states currently lack explicit and  
            comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay,  
            bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. Because no federal  
            law enumerates discrimination protections for LGBT people,  
            many LGBT




            Americans still face daily discrimination and remain at risk  
            of being fired or denied services because of who they are. To  
            make matters worse, a growing number of states are invoking  
            Religious Freedom Restoration Acts or similar legislation to  
            justify discrimination against the LGBT community. In  
            addition, disadvantaged groups including women and people of  
            color continue to face discrimination in areas of public  
            accommodation.  [ . . . ] The Equality Act would maintain  
            exemptions that religious organizations and schools currently  
            enjoy, but would make clear that religion cannot be used to  
            justify refusal of service based on a person's race, color,  
            religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender  
            identity. This resolution calls upon Congress to pass The  
            Equality Act, exemplifying California's dedication to strong  
            nondiscrimination protections for the LGBT community, and  
            urging Congress to take action in support of equality."











                                                                     AJR 45  
                                                                    Page  9









          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  52-11, 6/23/16
          AYES:  Alejo, Arambula, Atkins, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta, Brown,  
            Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau, Chiu, Chu, Cooley,  
            Cooper, Dababneh, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Cristina  
            Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez,  
            Gordon, Roger Hernández, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Levine,  
            Lopez, Low, Maienschein, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Nazarian,  
            Quirk, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago, Mark Stone,  
            Thurmond, Ting, Weber, Williams, Wood, Rendon
          NOES:  Brough, Chávez, Dahle, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Grove,  
            Harper, Lackey, Mathis, Obernolte, Wagner
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Achadjian, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow,  
            Gray, Hadley, Jones, Kim, Linder, Mayes, Melendez, O'Donnell,  
            Olsen, Patterson, Steinorth, Waldron, Wilk

          Prepared by:Ronak Daylami / JUD. / (916) 651-4113
          8/19/16 18:44:36


                                   ****  END  ****