Despite an unprecedented two-month break in this year’s legislative session, a 54-billion-dollar budget deficit — both due to COVID-19 — and death threats, California lawmakers sent several LGBTQ equality measures to Governor Gavin Newsom for approval. He has signed most into laws taking effect January 1.
They include a law to house incarcerated transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex people according to their gender identity or their own perception of safety in state prisons; a mandate to include LGBTQ status in COVID-19 data collection — effective immediately; and a measure ending discrimination against queer young people for consensual under-age sex. For this last bill, author State Senator Scott Wiener received numerous death and dismemberment threats and hate mail inspired by QAnon, the Pro-Trump internet conspiracy theory.
On this week’s Out in the Bay, hear details of these new laws and the efforts behind them from Matthew S. Bajko, Bay Area Reporter assistant editor and political columnist. He also fills us in on a couple pro-LGBTQ bills that did not become law this year.
Bajko has been covering politics and other news for the B.A.R. — the region’s largest LGBTQ-focused newspaper and online news service — for 19 years .
Photo: Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law several bills protecting LGBTQ Californians. Photo courtesy of Governor’s Office.