SAN MATEO COUNTY (CBS SF) — The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will vote on a resolution at its June 3 board meeting which, if approved, would create the first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Commission for a city or county in California.
The nine-member commission would provide policy recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and serve as a forum for individuals to voice ideas on improving the well-being of the LGBT community.
Other California jurisdictions, such as San Francisco, have human rights commissions that address LGBT concerns, but there are none that specifically focus on LGBT issues while directly advising a board of supervisors.
Supervisors Adrienne Tissier and Dave Pine co-sponsored the resolution after Pine was approached by Stanford University junior and Redwood City native Jason Galisatus with the idea for a commission that would reduce bullying and promote inclusiveness in the LGBT community.
Pine said the county has yet to deal with issues around providing equal access to public facilities, bathrooms and homeless shelters for the LGBT community, particularly for transgender individuals.
California, however, has already taken steps with the passage of AB1266 last August, becoming the first state to ensure certain rights for transgender K-12 students that include access to whichever restroom and locker room a student desired.
“This commission would bring greater recognition and visibility to the LGBT community in San Mateo County,” Pine said, who recognized the need to adapt to the growing number of LGBT families coming to live in the community.
On June 14, the county will host it’s second annual gay pride parade. Still, Pine said “we’re typically in shadow of San Francisco.”
There are about 2,000 same-sex couples in San Mateo County in 2010, according to census data analyzed by the Williams Institute of UCLA Law School, with San Mateo County ranking 14th out of 58 counties in the state in number of same-sex couples.
If the commission is approved, Pine said he hopes it serves as a model for other cities and counties.