California Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday signed legislation into law that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and expression.


The Gender Nondiscrimination Act strengthens employment, housing and other civil rights protections for transgender Californians. It was authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego.

“The Gender Nondiscrimination Act protects all Californians. No matter your skin color, your age, where you come from or whether you’re gay, straight, or transgender, we are all protected by the same rights,” Atkins said in a statement. “We share equal protection in employment, housing, and education. This bill ensures that no one is left out.”

California anti-discrimination law previously prohibited discrimination based on "gender," but it was not clear whether transgender people were protected.

Gov. Brown on Sunday also signed the Vital Statistics Modernization Act, which will make it easier for transgender Californians to update birth certificates and other identification documents.

“The Vital Statistics Modernization Act eliminates outdated and onerous barriers that transgender people face when trying to update their IDs,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center.

“Having identity documents that match who we truly are is critical to our ability to work, travel, and thrive. We applaud Governor Brown and our lawmakers for prioritizing the health and safety of transgender Californians”