New California bills enacted on Jan. 1 include protections for LGBTQ+ youth. According to ABC, one of these laws requires that foster families demonstrate their ability to meet the health and safety needs of children regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. In the public realm, bill AB783 requires businesses to put signage on single-user restrooms to indicate that the toilet facility is available to all genders.
In education, bill AB 1138 requires that state colleges provide free and anonymous transport to and from sexual assault treatment centers where sexual assault forensic exams can be administered. AB 2282 increases penalties for those using hate symbols like swastikas, nooses or desecrated crosses, and goes further to ban them in schools, cemeteries, places of worship and various public spaces.
Other bills push back against the overturn of Roe. v Wade. One legally protects doctors who mail abortion pills to patients in states where abortion is illegal. It also prohibits state-based social media companies, such as Facebook, from complying with out-of-state subpoenas, warrants or other requests for records to discover the identity of patients seeking abortion pills.
Newsom also protected the LGBTQ+ community by vetoing a high-profile bill that would have required courts to consider whether a parent affirms their child’s gender identity in custody and visitation proceedings.
Additional bills make California one of the most progressive states in the U.S., and in the wake of a year of colossal dissonance between state governments and the LGBTQ+ community in 2023, the new bills are a welcome change for the new year.