Assembly Member Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) introduced a bill Wednesday to create the first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) specialty license plate for California. AB 1539 would make California the fourth state in the nation—after South Carolina, Indiana, and Maryland— to offer a LGBT-themed license plate.
“This will be an important opportunity for Californians to show their support for the LGBT community and address a major problem that is affecting all youth,” stated Assembly Member Mary Hayashi. “LGBT youth are at an increased risk for bullying, which can have devastating effects on their health, even leading to suicide. By purchasing this plate, the public can put a stop to bullying and help make a difference for our kids.”
Currently, California has 13 specialty license plates available at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and this would be the first with an LGBT theme. Funds from the sale of the plate will go toward anti-bullying programs at the California Department of Education.
The 2009 National School Climate Survey found that eight in 10 LGBT students had been verbally harassed at school, and four in 10 had been physically harassed. The survey of 7,000 LGBT middle and high school students also found that one in five had been the victim of a physical assault at school. This harassment has placed LGBT teens at risk of suicide and feelings of depression. There have been numerous reports throughout California and across the country of teen suicides related to bullying.
Assembly Member Hayashi is the Chair of the Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection Committee and serves the 18th Assembly District, which includes San Leandro, Hayward, Dublin, most of Castro Valley and Pleasanton, and a portion of Oakland, as well as the unincorporated areas of Ashland, Cherryland, San Lorenzo, and Sunol.
Source: Press Release