4 new groundbreaking laws that protect LGBT people in California

Governor Jerry Brown is leading California as one of the most progressive states offering equality for LGBT people.

Under a new law he recently signed, California ensures that health professionals are provided information about how best to care for patients who may identify as LGBT or interest.

Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers will be expected to meet cultural competency standards that include “understanding and applying cultural and ethnic data to the process of clinical care, including, as appropriate, information pertinent to the appropriate treatment of, and provision of care to, the (LGBT), and intersex communities.”

Three other laws recently signed by Brown (D) creates some specific protections that don’t currently exist in any other state.

  • “Gay Panic” and “Trans Panic” defenses are now illegal
  • Transgender identities will be respected after death
  • Condoms can no longer justify sex worker arrests

“Panic” has long been used as a legal defense to justify violence against LGBT people. It entails defendants claiming that they were surprised to learn — usually once already in a private space — that an individual had a sexual orientation or gender identity different from what they expected. This knowledge somehow triggered in them a violent response against the LGBT individual, and this “heat of the moment” justification could reduce a charge from murder to manslaughter. California has now prohibited such legal defenses.

via ThinkProgress