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 existing 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.”
Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/#ixzz3EohsyiNQ
By Greg Hernandez on gaystarnews.com
Photo: State of California
California has become the first state in the US to ban the so-called ‘panic defense’ that has been used successfully by some defendants in court.
Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill which eliminates the excuse that a person was ‘panicked’ into committing a killing or assaulting a gay or trans person during a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion.
Some defendants have succeeded in having homicide or manslaughter charges reduced by saying their violent act was triggered by victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
‘The “panic defense” is a homophobic and transphobic ploy that blames the victims of horrific acts of violence for the crimes committed against them,’ Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur said in a statement Monday (29 September).
‘It has no place in California’s legal system, and we applaud Gov. Brown for signing this groundbreaking, first-in-the-nation legislation,’ Zbur added.
The law bans the excuse that ‘the victim made an unwanted non-forcible romantic or sexual advance towards the defendant’ or ]the defendant and victim dated or had a romantic or sexual relationship.’
Authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, the bill was passed by both houses of the California State Assembly last month.
- See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/california-becomes-first-state-us-ban-panic-defense-against-gay-and-trans-victims290914#sthash.EhQrpZfC.dpuf
A landmark report released today paints a stark picture of the added financial burdens faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans because of anti-LGBT laws at the national, state and local levels.
According to the report, these laws contribute to significantly higher rates of poverty among LGBT Americans and create unfair financial penalties in the form of higher taxes, reduced wages and Social Security income, increased healthcare costs, and more.
The momentum of recent court rulings overturning marriage bans across the country has created the impression that LGBT Americans are on the cusp of achieving full equality from coast-to-coast. But the new report, Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for Being LGBT in America, documents how inequitable laws harm the economic well-being of LGBT people in three key ways: by enabling legal discrimination in jobs, housing, credit and other areas; by failing to recognize LGBT families, both in general and across a range of programs and laws designed to help American families; and by creating barriers to safe and affordable education for LGBT students and the children of LGBT parents.
The report documents the often-devastating consequences when the law fails LGBT families. For example, children raised by same-sex parents are almost twice as likely to be poor as children raised by married opposite-sex parents. Additionally, 15 percent of transgender workers have incomes of less than $10,000 per year; among the population as a whole, the comparable figure is just four percent. To demonstrate the connection between anti-LGBT laws and the finances of LGBT Americans and their families, the report outlines how LGBT people living in states with low levels of equality are more likely to be poor, both compared to their non-LGBT neighbors, and compared to their LGBT counterparts in state with high levels of equality. For example, the denial of marriage costs gay and lesbian families money; same-sex couples with children had just $689 less in household income than married opposite-sex couples in states with marriage and relationship recognition for same-sex couples, but had an astounding $8,912 less in household income in states lacking such protections.