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Legislation for LGBT Rights

Provides an overview of current and pending Federal and State laws that pertain to the rights and protections for the LGBT population and for domestic partnership.



Federal Law

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and supreme court rulings:

DOMA was the federal law which defined marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that all U.S. states must recognize same sex marriage, superseding DOMA.

Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA):

Protects residents in residential care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities by prohibiting discrimination based on based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. It currently does not protect for LGBT people.

Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA):

Federal law which protects nursing home residents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. 42 U.S.C. § 1396r(a) and 42 U.S.C. § 1396r (b)(2).

Consumer Information


Bill Text:

Medicaid Provision: 42 U.S.C. 1396r(b)(4)

Medicare Provision: 42 U.S.C. 1395i-3(b)(4)

Federal Regulations: 42 CFR 483.25
(Scroll down to retrieve a specific title part and section as text or pdf file.)

State Law

SB 219 (2017): LGBT Senior bill of rights

Prohibits long term care facilities from taking discriminatory actions based on residents' actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identify, gender expression, or HIV status.

Bill Text


All Facility Letter 17-24 on SB 219

AB 959 (2015): LGBT Disparities reduction act for ihss

Requires four state departments to begin collecting voluntary self-identification information pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity. This information will be used only for demographic analysis, coordination of care, quality improvement of services, conducting approved research, fulfilling reporting requirements, and guiding policy or funding decisions.

Bill Text

All County Letter 18-77

AB 641 (2012): Medi-Cal for Long-Term Care

Ensures that same sex spouses and registered domestic partners are treated with equitability when one partner applies for Medi-Cal long-term care benefits. AB 641 Text:

Bill Text

SB 757 (2011): Requiring Insurance Companies to Comply with
State Nondiscrimination Law

Would eliminate an exemption in state law that enables insurance companies to discriminate against same-sex couples
Bill Text


Requires LGBT training for licensed health care professionals in long term care facilities to prevent and eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Bill Text


Starting January 1, 2018, each skilled nursing facility regulated by the Department of Public Health must provide bi-annual training on working with LGBT people. SAGE, the country's oldest and largest organization dedicated to advocating for LGBT older adults, has created an on-demand training that satisfies this requirement. View the regulation 22 CCR 72517 Staff Development


AB 2920 (2006): Older Californians Equality and Protection Act

Requires full inclusion of LGBT people in the planning and programming of Area Agencies on Aging.
Bill Text

AB 205 (2003): California Domestic Rights and Responsibilities Act

Affects nearly every California law and regulation that provides rights to spouses by extending the rights and duties of marriage to registered domestic partners
Bill Text