California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday announced that he had signed into law a transgender protections bill.

The Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) takes existing protections based on gender identity and expression and enumerates them as protected categories in non-discrimination laws.

“Californians support fair and equal treatment for everyone, but many employers, landlords and transgender people themselves are unaware that the law protects transgender people,” Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego, said in sponsoring the bill. “As a result, transgender people experience housing and employment discrimination and often are not even aware they have any recourse. AB 887 will strengthen our state's anti-discrimination laws and move us closer to equality for every Californian.”

The law also makes it clear that gender identity and expression are included in the definition of gender and sex in all California codes.

Brown also signed into law The Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433), sponsored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, a Democrat from Long Beach.

Lowenthal's legislation makes it easier for a transgender person to get a legal gender change by streamlining current law.

“It's a big day for transgender folks in California!” Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, said in a statement. “Our victory is a testament that California is at its best when we work together to realize the ideal that everyone should be treated fairly and equally. The barriers that transgender people face are life threatening and we applaud Governor Brown, Assemblymember Atkins and Assemblymember Lowenthal for their tremendous leadership to remove some of the obstacles that prevent transgender Californians from living as our authentic selves.”

(Related: Jerry Brown signs anti-gay bullying bill named after Seth Walsh.)