California

Relationships

YES
Does the state allow same-sex couples to marry?

Yes. Read our FAQ.

YES
Does the state offer any other type of relationship recognition for same-sex couples?

Yes, domestic partnerships.

Workplace

YES
Does state law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
YES
Does state law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?
YES
Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
YES
Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?

All government employees are protected by the U.S. Constitution against irrational discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, some measure of protection already exists under Title VII based on gender, which has been held to include gender identity and expression.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and several courts have interpreted Title VII to protect transgender employees, and the EEOC has interpreted Title VII to cover sexual orientation discrimination. The Supreme Court has held that the EEOC's interpretations of Title VII are entitled to "great deference." 

Parenting

Miscellaneous
Who may adopt?
Miscellaneous
Second-parent adoptions:

Expressly permitted statewide by Sharon S. v. Superior Court, 31 Cal. 4th 417 (2003). Statute also permits stepparent adoptions by registered domestic partners. See Cal. Fam. Code § 9000.

State law uses same parentage presumptions for adults in same-sex and different-sex relationships who have and/or raise children together, and also bans sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination against LGBT prospective parents in foster care/adoption.

State law uses same parentage presumptions for adults in same-sex and different-sex relationships who have and/or raise children together, and also bans sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination against LGBT prospective parents in foster care/adoption.

Bullying

YES
Does state law prohibit bullying in public schools?
YES
Does the law include cyberbullying?
YES
Does the law specifically mention sexual orientation?
YES
Does the law specifically mention gender identity?
Miscellaneous
Does the law also apply to private, non-religious schools?

Depends on the law.

YES
Is there a state antidiscrimination law that applies (or may apply) to schools?

Safe Place to Learn Act (AB 394)

·         Requires California Department of Education to regularly monitor schools to ensure that schools have adopted policies that prohibit discrimination and harassment and provide for receiving and investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment. Cal. Educ. Code. § 234.1 (2012)

·         Requires that the California Department of Education make information available on trainings, curricula and other resources that specifically address bias-motivated discrimination and harassment in schools. Id. at § 234.2.

Anti-Cyberbullying Law (AB 746)

·         Expands California anti-bullying laws to include bullying committed by means of an electronic act, which includes the posting of messages on a social network. Id. at § 32261(d).

FAIR Education Act (SB 48)

·         Requires schools to include curriculum content on the contributions of LGBT people to the development of California and the United States. Cal. Educ. Code. § 51204.5 (2012)

·         Prohibits teachers from giving instruction, and school districts from sponsoring, any activity that promotes a discriminatory bias on the basis of disability or LGBT identity. Id. at § 51500.

·         Prohibits the state board and any governing board from adopting any textbooks or other instructional materials for use in public schools that reflect adversely on disabled or LGBT people. Id. at § 51501.

Seth's Law (AB 9)

·         Requires each school district to adopt a policy that prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying on the basis of: actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity expression, race or ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Cal. Educ. Code. § 234.1 (2012)

·         Requires that each school district non-discrimination policy describe the district’s procedure for addressing discrimination and harassment complaints. Id.

·         Requires schools to include in their complaint procedures a written form for receiving and investigating discrimination and harassment complaints and to take immediate steps to intervene when it is safe to do so. Id.

·         Requires Department of Education to develop a model handout, which must be posted on the appropriate department websites, describing state anti-discrimination, harassment and bullying obligations. Id. at § 234.3.

·         Requires the Superintendent to post, and annually update, a list of statewide resources, including community-based organizations, that provide support to youth who have been subjected to school-based discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying. Id. at § 234.5.

Equity in Higher Education Act (AB 620)

·         Requires public colleges and universities to add sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to campus anti-discrimination policies. Cal. Educ. Code. § 66251 (2012)

·         Records of all criminal and noncriminal hate violence committed on campus must be available within two business days following the request of any student, employee or media member.  Any person who is refused this information may maintain a civil action for damages against any institution that refuses to provide the information. Id. at § 67380.

·         Prior to receipt of any state financial assistance or state student financial aid, a postsecondary educational institution must provide assurance to the agency administering the funds that each program or activity conducted by the postsecondary educational institution will be conducted in compliance with the Equity in Higher Education Act. Id. at § 66290.

·         Does not apply to educational institutions controlled by a religious organization if the application would not be consistent with the religious tenets of that organization. Id. at § 66271.

Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act (AB 537)

·         Prohibits discrimination in any program or activity conducted by any postsecondary education institution that receives, or benefits from, state financial assistance on the basis of disability, gender, gender identity, nationality, race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or any other characteristic of hate crimes contained in the Penal Code. Cal. Educ. Code. § 220 (2012)

·         Does not apply to educational institutions controlled by a religious organization if the application would not be consistent with the religious tenets of that organization. Id. at § 221.

Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act (SB 71)

·         Requires school districts to ensure that all pupils in grades 7 to 12 receive HIV/AIDS prevention education from instructors trained in the appropriate courses. Each pupil shall receive this instruction at least once in junior high or middle school and at least once in high school. Cal. Educ. Code. § 51934 (2012)

·         Requires school districts to cooperatively plan and conduct in-service training for all school district personnel that provide HIV/AIDS prevention education, through regional planning, joint powers agreements or contracts services. Id. at § 51935.

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LBGT people and people living with HIV.