California News

Jan 4, 2013 12:22 PM by Associated Press

Proposal to protect homeless from discrimination

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A California lawmaker wants to protect the homeless from discrimination.

Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco says state law already protects residents from discrimination based on sex, race, religion and sexual orientation and he says homelessness should be added to the list.

The Sacramento Bee says Ammiano's "Homeless Bill of Rights," Assembly Bill 5, is aimed at communities that try to drive out homeless people who have nowhere to turn.

Sacramento, for instance, has battled homeless tent encampments for years. And San Francisco voters passed an ordinance banning sitting or lying on sidewalks.

Ammiano's proposal would give legal protection to people engaging in life-sustaining activities on public property. That includes sleeping, congregating, panhandling and urinating.

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