Whether at work or school, anyone in the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer) community has the right to be treated with respect and fairness by their peers. This includes teachers, employers, classmates, co-workers, or anyone you come in contact with. Even though the population of LGBTQ Americans has only grown in recent years, there are still 15 states that don’t address gender or sexual orientation in their laws related to hate crimes.
California is one of several states that has worked hard to protect the rights of those identifying as LGBTQ, including protecting them from discrimination and hate crimes. Let’s take a closer look at LGBTQ discrimination and hate crimes, and see what California law has to say.
LGBTQ Discrimination and Hate Crimes: What California Law Says
California is home to an estimated 1.4 million people who identify as LGBTQ. That accounts for almost five percent of the state’s population. It may come as little surprise that California has such a large population of LGBTQ individuals seeing that they are one of the few states with very explicit laws regarding discrimination.
California law addresses sexual orientation and gender identity specifically, including laws relating to:
- Employment non-discrimination
- Housing non-discrimination
- Public accommodations non-discrimination
- Non-discrimination policies for state employees
- Anti-bullying laws for LGBTQ students
- Non-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ students
- Protections for LGBTQ students on welfare
- Healthcare hate crime laws
- Private health insurance non-discrimination
With these laws in place, California ranks among the states with the most protections and relief options for victims of discrimination, harassment, or hate crimes. Of course, even the best laws cannot prevent every crime.
Anyone who has experienced discrimination or harassment, or is the victim of a hate crime should contact an attorney to learn more about protecting their legal rights.