Local attorney: legal changes affect LGBTsThis Week, Around the Nation Monday, March 19th, 2012
Who says that times aren’t a-changin’ for the better? This year promises to be a year of legislative progress for California; and new legislation broadening protections for LGBT persons is evidence that California is moving toward equalizing the rights of all of its citizens. The changes effective this year will touch many members of the community, as the changes impact a handful of areas varying from sex relationships to employment.
On the relationship front, California extended protections in health care benefits for domestic partners. Further changes impact married same-sex couples, and those same-sex couples that married in California in 2008 can rest assured that California will grant a divorce of that marriage regardless of whether one or both persons move outside of the state. Previous to this change, the law required one or both persons to be residents of California for at least six months prior to the filing for divorce. This is a huge benefit for same-sex couples that married in California, as many other states do not extend similar jurisdictional flexibility to the same-sex persons married in those states or California.
The transgender community will enjoy expanded public accommodation and protections in education, housing and employment for gender identity and expression. Changes have also been made to streamline rules for filing petitions to change gender on official vital statistic documents.
In employment, changes require that some employers having state contracts have non-discrimination policies in place for LGBT workers and families.
Rachel P. Young is a family law practitioner in San Diego County. She represents LGBT clients in the areas of domestic partnership/marital planning and dissolution, prenuptial agreements, restraining orders, child custody, guardianships and wills/estate planning. For more information, visit rpylaw.com or call 619-584-0505.
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