A California bill to improve legal protections for trans people has been approved by the state assembly.

The Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) passed with bipartisan support on a 54-24 vote on Monday. It will now go to the state Senate.

If passed, it will strengthen employment, housing, and other civil rights protections for all people who face discrimination based on gender identity and expression.

Assembly member Toni Atkins, who sponsored the bill, said: “I am grateful that my Assembly colleagues on both sides of the aisle joined me today in support of AB 887, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act,” Atkins said. “I am inspired by the devoted work of supporters of this bill – the many youth, transgender advocates, and others who have made their voices heard – and I will continue fighting for this important legislation to become law.”

Equality California interim executive director Jim Carroll said: “The rights of all hardworking Californians, including transgender people, must be protected by our state’s laws.

“The Gender Nondiscrimination Act will reduce the harms caused by discrimination by inserting language into state law that is direct and easily understood. We thank Assemblymember Atkins and allied Assemblymembers for championing this bill. We now ask the State Senate to join in support of this critical piece of legislation.”