LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately affected by gun violence and hate crime, and face a range of challenges when it comes to their rights and protections in Los Angeles County, California. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating on the basis of sex, and some courts have ruled that this also applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Supreme Court recently announced that it will address this issue in three cases. In addition, many states and cities have laws that prohibit this type of discrimination.
Equality California has been working in coalition for more than a decade to ensure the protection of transgender people against discrimination, focusing on education, employment, healthcare and housing. This includes the right to be transgender or non-binary and to transition in school, as well as the right to use public restrooms appropriate to their gender identity. Equality California has also strongly supported legislation that repeals the ban on affirmative action programs in California, restores the right to vote for people on parole, reforms California's policy on the use of force by law enforcement, better prevents racial discrimination in jury selection, and creates California's historic working group to study and issue recommendations on reparations. The two friendly writers state that anti-discrimination laws, such as those adopted in California to protect LGBTQ people, have improved public safety, not reduced it.
We sponsored and helped pass the country's first bill of rights on long-term care for older people, which reinforces protections against discrimination for LGBTQ+ seniors living in long-term care facilities, and legislation to recognize the needs of LGBTQ older adults, ensuring that LGBTQ older adults are recognized as a population in need of special care. The California Supreme Court unanimously agreed and held that doctors have no constitutional right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act. A study conducted by Equality California revealed that 43% of respondents of color reported experiencing some form of discrimination in the past year, compared to 31% of white LGBTQ respondents. This study reveals that many LGBTQ people continue to be subject to discrimination in their personal lives, in the workplace and in the public sphere, as well as their access to critical health care.
With 900,000 members, Equality California is the largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the country. The Center for American Progress plans to track these attitudes and experiences over time to assist policy makers and leaders in their efforts to ensure the full participation and equality of all LGBTQ people. The National Coalition for Programs Against Violence (NCAVP) found that hate violence has increased dramatically, with a 20 percent increase in reports of LGBTQ+ homicides in the United States.