[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, the sunshine isn’t the only think you have to be thankful for in California. According to the Human Rights Campaign’s just-released study of LGBT-friendly legislation and court decisions across America, California ranks high with six actions. They include a law that requires schools to give transgender children access to all facilities according to their gender identity and the Hollingsworth v. Perry decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that allowed same-sex marriage to resume last June.
California is also one of the 20 states (plus the District of Columbia) that ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It is one of 15 states (plus D.C.) that have laws regarding hate or bias crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. And it also has laws addressing school bullying and permitting adoptions by step-parents or second parents.
Chad Griffin, HRC’s president, opens the report saying that the United States is “now deeply divided into two Americas — one America where full legal equality is nearly a reality, and the other where even the most basic protections of the law are nonexistent. “It’s our duty to tear down the dark wall of discrimination that separates these two Americas…” HRC’s comprehensive survey is available online. On the pages that follow are maps from that survey, which might make you think twice if you’re considering a move to Alabama.