A prominent group advocating for LGBT rights has withdrawn its endorsement of six state Assembly members because they abstained or voted against a bill aimed at protecting gay and Previewtransgender students from discrimination at private colleges.
Equality California supported SB 1146, which requires religious universities to disclose whether they have applied for an exemption to federal discrimination laws that conflict with religious tenets. The schools would also have to report to the state when they expel a student on grounds that they are in a same-sex relationship or because they are transgender.
The schools initially fought an early version of the bill that would have subjected them to civil litigation if they discriminated based on gender preference.
“We regret having to withdraw our endorsements of legislators who have otherwise been allies of the LGBT community,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “Our longstanding endorsement policy requires withdrawal because we tell our members that our endorsements include only incumbent legislators who have demonstrated a voting record of 100-percent support for our priority legislation.”
The group said it was taking back its endorsements from Assembly members Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) and Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) for voting against SB 1146. The group is also withdrawing backing from Assembly members Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino), Patty Lopez (D-San Fernando) and Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) for abstaining.