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New Year Brings New Laws Affecting Gays & Lesbians

Textbooks in California will now include gay history.

Photo by / juhansonin

Above: Textbooks in California will now include gay history.


William Eadie, Professor, Journalism and Communications SDSU

Colin Pearce, Co-Chair, San Diego chapter of Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network


2012 New Laws

New laws going into effect this year from

Hundreds of new laws go into affect this week in California, including several that protect the rights of the gay, lesbian and transgender community. All of them were sponsored by Equality California and they include:

California Gay Bullying Law or "Seth's Law," named after 13-year-old Seth Walsh, from central California, who killed himself in 2010 after years of bullying. The law forces schools to address bullying through mandatory policies.

The "Gay Divorce Law," which allows a gay couple married in California, but living in a state that won't grant them a divorce, the right to divorce in California.

The LGBT Equality and Equal Access to Higher Education Law, which is an anti-harassment law that applies to state universities and colleges.

The Transgender Non-Discrimination Law was authored by San Diego Assemblywoman Toni Atkins. It protects transgender Californians from discrimination with regard to employment, education and housing.

However, among the most controversial is the The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act, sometimes called the "Gay History Law." This law requires schools to teach factual lessons about the history of people with disabilities, people of color and LGBT people in social studies class. State Senator Christine Kehoe, representing San Diego's 38th district, co-authored this bill.

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