Los Angeles — Equality California has endorsed California Attorney General Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate in 2016.
“Among the candidates running for U.S. Senate this year, we were fortunate to choose from two strong LGBT allies, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “However, Harris has an outstanding, two-decade-long record of using each office in which she has served to advance LGBT equality in significant ways. Her longstanding commitment to and greater focus on LGBT civil rights makes her the clear choice.”
Harris first demonstrated her strong support of the LGBT community in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, where she established a special LGBT hate crimes unit and led efforts to abolish gay and transgender “panic defenses” in criminal trials. She was a vocal supporter and defender in court of bans on so-called “gay conversion therapy” and was on hand at San Francisco City Hall to marry same-sex couples during the brief window they could wed in 2004. As attorney general, she refused to defend Proposition 8 in court and refused to certify the “Sodomite Suppression Act,” an initiative that sought to legalize the killing of gay men, for the ballot. She is a vocal supporter of Equality California-sponsored Assembly Bill (AB) 1887, banning state-funded travel by California state employees to jurisdictions with laws in place which discriminate against LGBT people and AB 1888, ending Cal Grant funding for colleges and universities seeking faith-based waivers to federal anti-discrimination policies, as well as other Equality California-sponsored legislation. In the U.S. Senate, she has pledged to support the federal Equality Act, as well as a nationwide ban on gay and transgender panic defenses.
The Equality California Political Action Committee endorses viable candidates who have a proven track record of supporting equal rights and legal protections for LGBT Californians and who are committed to advancing these goals in their capacity as elected officials.
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