Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

CA LGBT bills survive Senate committee votes

Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell

Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell

Two LGBT bills survived committee votes this week in the California state Senate and now await passage by the full Senate.

On Tuesday (July 7) the Senate Education Committee by a 7-2 vote, with the body’s two Republican members opposed, approved AB 827, authored by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach). It calls for the creation of a training program to help teachers combat bullying and support LGBT youth who are coming out of the closet or being targeted by other students.

In a Facebook post Wednesday morning, O’Donnell, a former schoolteacher, hailed the committee voting to advance his bill. He noted it “requires schools to provide annual training for teachers on school and community resources available to LGBTQ students. Supportive learning environments improve academic achievement and make schools safer!”

Also on Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-0 – with all the Democrats in favor while the two Republicans on the committee abstained – to advance AB 960, the Equal Protection for All Families Act. Authored by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), the legislation modernizes California law to protect families using assisted reproduction methods.

The legislation would grant unmarried people using assisted reproduction the same parental rights as married parents. It would also remove the requirement from the state’s Family Code that couples must involve a physician or sperm bank when using assisted reproduction in order to ensure that the donor is not a parent.

“This bill is about treating every intended parent, who has carefully weighed the life-changing decision to have children, as a parent from the moment of birth,” stated Chiu. “Many couples, especially our LGBT couples, use assisted reproduction to start their families. It is time that California updates its assisted reproduction laws to ensure couples using assisted reproduction are not unjustly deterred from having their own families.”

Supporters of the bill argue that the state’s current rules on artificial insemination are cost prohibitive to many families as they cannot afford to conceive using a sperm bank or doctor, which can costs hundreds or thousands of dollars per month. They also note that a sperm donor could be required to pay child support by the state, under the current rules, if the parents conceived through at-home insemination.

“Currently, many families with children conceived through assisted reproduction are not recognized by California law,” stated National Center for Lesbian Rights Family Law Director Cathy Sakimura. “AB 960 ensures that all children conceived through assisted reproduction have equal legal protections for their families.”

AB 960 is expected to be voted on by the full Senate in the next two weeks. It is one of 10 pieces of legislation regarding LGBT issues begin considered by California legislators this session.

— Matthew S. Bajko, July 8, 2015 @ 3:07 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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