Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Equality California Thanks Senator Toni Atkins for Her Years of Service in the California Legislature; Congratulates New Pro Tem Mike McGuire
February 5, 2024 at 3:06 pm

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February 5, 2024

CONTACT: Jorge Reyes Salinas, Equality California
PHONE: (213) 355-3057/MOBILE: (213) 355-3057/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang on the California Senate President Pro Tempore transition with Toni Atkins handing the gavel over to Sen. Mike McGuire:

Since her earliest days in California politics, we have been honored to partner with Senator Toni Atkins on countless efforts to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ Californians. From her start as a San Diego Councilmember to California Senate President Pro Tempore, her distinguished career has been spent fighting for California’s underserved and underrepresented communities.

Senator Atkins has broken down many doors for LGBTQ+ people — she was the first out lesbian Mayor of San Diego, the first out lesbian to serve as Speaker of the Assembly, and the first out LGBTQ+ person to serve as Senate President Pro Tempore. When she was sworn in as Pro Tem in March 2018, she became the first woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to lead the Legislature’s upper house. Senator Atkins is the first person in 150 years, and only the third person in California history, to lead both houses of the Legislature. Throughout her time in the legislature, she has authored several pieces of legislation that directly impact LGBTQ+ Californians, including:

• AB 887, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, which added the categories of “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

• AB 1577, the Respect After Death Act, ensuring death certificates for transgender Californians accurately reflect their authentic, lived identity.

• SB 179, The Gender Recognition Act, making California only the second state in the nation at the time to offer ‘X’ gender markers on drivers licenses and state IDs.

• SCA 10/Proposition 1, Constitutional Right to Reproductive Freedom, creating a state constitutional amendment to protect reproductive freedoms.

We are beyond grateful to Senator Atkins for partnering with Equality California throughout her years in the legislature in service of our shared vision to create a world that is just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We congratulate her on a landmark career in the legislature and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with her in the years ahead.

We are thrilled to congratulate new Senate Pro Tem Mike McGuire, who has a lifetime 100% score from Equality California during his time in the legislature. Equality California looks forward to working with Pro Tem McGuire and his leadership team to continue the historic advancements that we have secured for LGBTQ+ Californians.”


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

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