FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 7, 2005
Contact: Eddie Gutiérrez, Director of Communications
Phone: (323) 217-8875 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS ANGELES MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA ANNOUNCES OPPOSITION TO CONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVES
Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced in a news conference discussing his first 100 days in office that he will actively oppose any initiative that would repeal existing rights for legally recognized domestic partnerships and/or permanently ban marriage for same-sex couples. There are presently two measures that have been submitted which could be seen at the ballot box as early as June 2006.
"Equality California is honored that one of the most influential figures in California has taken such a strong stand against discrimination," said Executive Director Geoffrey Kors of Equality California. "We applaud Mayor Villaraigosa for his leadership and his genuine commitment to protect all Californians."
IN Los Angeles' news editor Karen Ocamb asked Mayor Villaraigosa during his October 6th press conference whether he would be as involved as he was during the No on Proposition 22 anti-gay initiative in 2000. He responded:
“Yes. Look, I don’t believe government should be in our bedrooms. I don’t believe the government should be making decisions about who we love and who we chose to make a family with. It’s a basic, simple notion of the right of privacy and the right of liberty. And yes, I will be very active on that issue because I don’t believe we should be engaged in those issues.”
While California's Assembly Speaker, Villaraigosa served as the co-chair of the No on Prop. 22 campaign and contributed $10,000 against that initiative.
On October 1, during a meeting with the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board, Governor Schwarzenegger said he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, and said he probably voted for Prop. 22. On September 29, when the Governor vetoed EQCA-sponsored marriage equality legislation, he issued a statement indicating he supports full protections for same-sex couples.
"We hope Governor Schwarzenegger is taking notes from Mayor Villaraigosa's playbook and joins the Mayor in opposing these dangerous, draconian measures," added Kors. "The Governor needs to stop his doublespeak and backpedaling. He needs to vigorously oppose any constitutional amendment designed to deny equality to LGBT Californians.”
Founded in 1998, Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure the dignity, safety, equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. Equality California is one of the largest and fastest-growing statewide LGBT organizations in the country. We can be contacted through our website at www.eqca.org.