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Big Win for LGBT Youth; Big Loss for Abusive So-Called “Therapists”

August 29, 2013 By Josh Steichmann
Orientation and gender identity aren't a switch to turn on and off

Orientation and gender identity aren’t a switch to turn on and off

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled today that SB 1172, a law that prohibits the discredited and dangerous use of psychological abuse to change sexual orientation in minors by licensed therapists, is constitutional, removing an injunction against the enforcement of the law and remanding the case back to the district court level.

Writing for the court, Circuit Judge Susan Graber ruled that the California law is a “regulation of professional conduct” and therefore “does not violate the free speech rights of [mental health] practitioners or minor patients, is neither vague nor overbroad, and does not violate parents’ fundamental rights.”

SB 1172, authored by Sen. Ted Lieu, takes aim at the debunked practice of subjecting minors to psychological abuse in order to change their sexual orientation, which has been disavowed by every major medical and psychological association.  Read the rest of this entry »

Full Equality and Nothing Less in Scouting

May 20, 2013 By John O'Connor

This week the Boy Scouts of America are set to vote on a resolution to allow gay youth to participate in scouting, while still barring LGBT adults from positions of leadership. While we are encouraged at the willingness to change the proposed policy, it is still alarmingly inadequate and it sends the message to both gay and straight youth that discrimination is okay.

We stand for full equality and nothing less.

That is why we are sponsoring Sen. Ricardo Lara’s Youth Equality Act (SB 323), which ends tax subsidies for any youth group, including the BSA, that excludes LGBT people — it demonstrates that discrimination has a real cost.

We won’t achieve full equality without bold, tangible action, and with the Youth Equality Act, California has an opportunity to lead the country in protecting our youth and ensuring that your money and mine doesn’t go to organizations that discriminate against us.

We’re grateful for the extraordinary work our allied organizations have done on the national level urging the BSA to come into the 21st Century, and we’re excited to focus on the Youth Equality Act here in California.

This isn’t just about the BSA — it’s about making sure that our youth can grow up free from the toxic prejudices of the past, no matter what youth group they join. Make no mistake; Equality California’s efforts will not stop until discrimination is eliminated among California groups receiving tax exemptions. This is about making California a state of full equality.

We can’t do this alone — we need you to act now. Watch our video of Eric Andresen, father to Ryan Andresen, the scout denied his Eagle honors for being gay, and make a contribution now to support the Youth Equality Act.

Assemblymember Ting Rises to Support the School Success and Opportunity Act

May 10, 2013 By Shaun Osburn

Equality California thanks Assemblymember Phil Ting for his moving statement in support of Tom AB 1266, Assembly Bill 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano.

Love is All You Need?

May 3, 2013 By Josh Steichmann

A short film reversing straight and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender social status. Warning: Some slurs used.

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So-Called “Conversion Therapy” Survivor Ryan Kendall on SB 1172

June 27, 2012 By Shaun Osburn

Ryan Kendall, a survivor of so-called “Conversion Therapy” who testified in the Perry v. Brown legal challenge to Proposition 8, described his experience before the The California Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee in Sacramento this July during the hearing on SB 1172.

SB 1172, a bill that would ban psychotherapists from engaging in efforts to change the sexual orientation of minors, was approved by the committee on July, 26 212 on a 5-2 vote.

Read a transcript of Kendall’s testimony below.  Read the rest of this entry »

AB 1700 passes out of the Assembly

May 8, 2012 By Shaun Osburn

Meet Kenneth, a gay man living his golden years in California’s Bay Area. When Kenneth lost his partner in 2000 his property tax increased significantly, causing hardships no senior citizen on a fixed income should have to endure.

The death of a lifelong partner is traumatic. But under current law, that trauma can be worsened by property tax penalties that apply unequally to same-sex partners, especially impacting LGBT seniors. AB 1700 (Butler) will ensure that no LGBT person is put at risk of losing the home that he or she has built over a lifetime with a loved one.

To learn more about Equality California’s current Legislative Package visit:

Live Webcast: 9th Circuit Rules on Prop. 8

February 7, 2012 By Shaun Osburn

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will issue a major decision on the constitutionality of Prop.8 and marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Join the Prop.8 challenge’s official sponsor for a livestream press conference discussing the historic ruling.

Broadcasts starts at 10:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. PT

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Their Deception Caught On Video

September 29, 2011 By Guest Contributor

Max Disposti

This weekend, I caught anti-equality signature gatherers in the act–using ugly scare tactics and lies to trick voters into signing petitions to overturn the FAIR Education Act.

While walking with my husband along the beachfront of Oceanside Harbor in San Diego County, I used my cell phone to capture video of a woman collecting signatures at a booth that appeared to be an effort to protect kids from child molesters. I was shocked and disgusted when I realized that she was collecting signatures for the referendum to the FAIR Education Act.

Her lies about the new law couldn’t be further from the truth; The FAIR Education Act requires schools to integrate factual information about current events and history of people of color, people with disabilities and LGBT people into social studies lessons. It’s that simple. Read the rest of this entry »