Governor Gray Davis - Digital Library
tree vista

Opportunity for all Californians: Gay and Lesbians

Governor Davis believes all of us are God's children. He is committed to defending the rights of all members of the California family.

When he took office, the Governor pledged to respect the human rights and dignity of every Californian. That's exactly what he's done.

He fought for and won some of the strongest civil rights protections in America for CA's gay and lesbian community.

His record defending the rights of gays and lesbians strengthens families and promotes responsibility.

Strengthening Domestic Partnerships
• Gray Davis created America's first statewide domestic partnership registry.

• He made California the first state in the nation to extend disability compensation for individuals who take time off of work to care for a new child or to care for a sick or injured child, parent, spouse or domestic partner.

• He ended the statewide ban on adoption by unmarried couples.

• He extended health benefits to domestic partners of state employees.

• For the first time California's registered domestic partners are able to:
  - Make medical decisions for a partner;
  - Use sick leave to care for a partner;
  - Receive HMO coverage on a partner's plan;
  - Adopt, using the step-parent adoption process;
  - Inherit partner's property if a partner dies without a will;
  - Make decisions on death and burial issues;
  - Recover damages for the wrongful death of a partner;
  - And enjoy a host of other rights, including child custody and visitation rights, employee benefits, title or transfer of real or personal property, and financial support and access to housing rights.

Combating Discrimination
• Governor Davis won a 20-year fight to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

• He ended the court-sanctioned practice of discrimination against gays and lesbians during jury selection.

• He signed legislation to protect our schoolchildren from discrimination.

Fighting Hate Crime
The Governor has made the nation's toughest hate crimes laws even tougher by making hate-motivated murder punishable by the maximum penalties available under the law, life imprisonment and the death penalty.

Combating HIV/AIDS
• Under Governor Davis, HIV/AIDS research and treatment programs have been funded at their highest level ever.

• In 2003, the Davis Administration implemented a pilot program for rapid HIV testing so patients can get results almost instantaneously, rather than waiting two weeks.

• The Governor signed into law California's HIV non-name reporting system, which recorded 20,943 HIV cases in its first year of operation.

• Governor Davis signed first-of-its-kind legislation that allows workers with HIV/AIDS to return to work without losing medical coverage.

• He expanded Medi-Cal coverage to include Californians infected with the HIV virus.

• He increased funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the largest of its kind in America, providing life-sustaining drug treatment for 25,000 patients.

• Governor Davis has appointed ten openly gay or lesbian judges to the bench, the first such appointments in more than 16 years.