Los Angeles — In honor of the final week in the California Legislature for two heroes of the LGBT community, Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Asm. Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park), Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement:
“Mark Leno helped transform California’s LGBT civil rights landscape during his time in office. Thanks in large part to Mark’s imagination, vision and hard work, his service has helped California move from being a state with limited civil rights protections for LGBT people to being a global leader. He worked to expand bans on housing and employment discrimination, authored laws mandating workplace benefits for transgender people and wrote and won passage of a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry. The bill was vetoed by then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it marked the first time a state legislature had recognized the full equality of same-sex couples. Mark Leno leaves a deep and lasting impact on our state and we simply wouldn’t be where we are today without him.
Rich Gordon is one of the country’s longest-serving LGBT elected officials and LGBT Californians owe him a debt of gratitude. Since he was first elected to the assembly in 2010, he has chaired and helped expand the size and influence of the LGBT Legislative Caucus, ensuring that LGBT people are fairly represented in the legislature. He helped draft strategies to win passage of Equality California-sponsored legislation, and himself has authored bills that mandated LGBT cultural competency training for healthcare providers, required public utilities to do outreach to LGBT-owned businesses in their searches for contractors, and that reduced out-of-pocket costs for patients who need expensive drugs to treat HIV and other conditions. He has been a consistent voice not only for LGBT people, but for the future of California’s children – for our environment – and to make sure that all Californians have access to quality, affordable healthcare.”
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org