News (USA)

Sacramento city council committee advances transgender rights ordinance

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento city council committee on Tuesday voted to advance a measure that would add gender identity to the city’s non-discrimination law.

The bill would update and amend city code to conform with existing state law that bars discrimination against LGBT people in areas of housing, employment and public accommodations, as well as adds protections in city contracts for LGBT people.

Sacramento-CAThe measure also closes the 1990’s-era city same-sex partnership registry and will have city clerk reach out to the 49 or so couples to have them register under the new state laws regarding marriage and partnerships.

The legislation would also requiring that city employees’ health plans comply with requirements of state law, including providing health insurance for transgender individuals.

The bill was introduced by openly gay council member Steve Hansen in response to Sacramento’s score of 79 on last year’s Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index (MEI), which scored 137 cities based on their laws affecting the LGBT community.

The legislation now moves to the full council for consideration, although the vote has not yet been placed on the council’s legislative calender.

But Hansen says the bill has the full council’s support and he doesn’t expect any obstacles to its final passage.

He said he hopes that once the measure is approved by the full council, the city would score 100 on the next MEI — bringing it in parity with Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Long Beach, which have already attained that score.

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