Los Angeles — In response to homophobic campaign tactics by supporters of Wendy Carrillo against openly gay candidate Luis Lopez in the race for California Assembly District 51, HONOR PAC President Mario Ceballos and Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following joint statement:
“We are disgusted to see yet another homophobic smear campaign rear its ugly head, this time launched by supporters of Wendy Carrillo against openly gay candidate Luis Lopez in the race for California Assembly District 51. In campaign mailers and digital communications, supporters of Wendy Carrillo attacked the integrity not only of Luis Lopez, but also of Equality California and members of California’s LGBT Legislative Caucus, conveying false information to voters about the funding of his campaign. It is part of a well worn playbook for opponents of LGBTQ candidates in California and across the country to play on anti-LGBTQ bias to win votes by attacking the integrity of LGBTQ people with the false narrative that we cannot be trusted. In this era where Trumpian election tactics portraying LGBTQ people and members of vulnerable communities as untrustworthy and “other” has become commonplace throughout the country, it is particularly troubling that these tactics are being used right here in California to attack an openly gay candidate based on false information. Let us be clear. The smear campaign engaged in by supporters of Wendy Carrillo is homophobic, false and wrong. The message that a gay man cannot be trusted containing false and misleading hits on LGBTQ organizations and LGBTQ elected officials that support him is intended both to intimidate LGBTQ people from participating in the electoral process and to achieve electoral advantage due to anti-LGBTQ bias and homophobia. Attacks like this are also intended to undermine LGBTQ leadership organizations, and thus the LGBTQ community, because these are the organizations that protect and advance our community’s needs and interests.
We call on Wendy Carrillo to publicly denounce these activities, and call on her supporters to stop the smear campaign. The best way for LGBTQ people and our allies to reject these homophobic tactics is to rise up and go to the polls and vote for Luis Lopez. We must send a message that Californians will not tolerate campaigns that play on anti-LGBTQ bias and homophobia.”
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org
Founded in 2005, HONOR PAC advocates for the political empowerment of the Latino/a LGBT community by endorsing and financially supporting candidates who are committed to advancing Latina/o and LGBT rights in California. Since its founding, HONOR PAC has endorsed and supported of candidates across the country for local, state, and federal positions, establishing itself as the premiere Latino/a LGBT Political Action Committee in California. For more information please visit www.honorpac.org.