Los Angeles – In response to today’s ruling agreeing with Attorney General Kamala Harris that the so-called proposed “Sodomite Suppression Act” is unconstitutional and relieving her from preparing title and summary, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement:
“California’s initiative system was designed as the ultimate expression of democracy, not as a hammer with which to persecute groups that may be unpopular in some quarters. Unfortunately, it has all too often been used to do just that. Today is a victory for democracy, but does not represent a full vindication of that system.
This proposal was patently ridiculous. We’re pleased that the attorney general resisted what would have been an enormous waste of the public’s time, tax dollars and energy. However, the damage is done and the backer’s purpose has been served: LGBT Californians have once again been reminded that, whatever other protections we may have in place, those who would bully, abuse or even kill us are still active.
While this proposal may have finally died a well-deserved death, California’s ballot initiative system is still sick and in need of reform. At this moment, right-wing extremists hope to qualify yet another ballot measure attacking the transgender community, and we know from sad experience that other initiatives are sure to follow. Equality California supports two pieces of common sense legislation, AB 884 (Rendon), and AB 1100 (Bloom and Low), to make it more difficult for frivolous and discriminatory initiatives to reach the ballot. However, real reform that protects specific communities from becoming targets of bigotry can only come through restructuring the initiative process through the state constitution.”
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