CA legislature mandates state judges learn about LGBT & gender identity issues; concern expressed over separation of powers

Yesterday California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 868, a bill that requires all judges in family and juvenile law proceedings in the state be trained on the effects of gender identity and sexual orientation on such proceedings. It further requires judges receive training on cultural competency and sensitivity relating to, and best practices for, providing adequate care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in such proceedings. The state’s Judicial Council is required to come up with the training and implement it.

A hearing occurred before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 11. Proponents argued the need for judges to be aware of the unique challenges faced by LGBT youth. The state’s Judicial Council expressed no position on the bill but did raise separation of powers concerns over the legislature mandating specific judicial training programs and interfering in a co-equal branch.