LGBT Rights Groups Urge Democratic Party Leader to Focus on LGBT Issues

August 18, 2017

CONTACT: Jason Howe, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (415) 595-9245/EMAIL:

Los Angeles—California’s leading LGBTQ rights organizations and community leaders sent a unified message to former California Democratic Party (CDP) chair candidate Kimberly Ellis, urging her to put the fight for civil rights ahead of her personal agenda. Equality California, the Stonewall Democratic Club, and the chair of the CDP’s LGBT caucus were among the organizations and individuals calling for Ellis to concede the chair race.

Their action comes amid reports that Ellis is raising money for a legal battle that would drain the Party’s resources away from fighting the Trump Administration’s attacks on the LGBTQ community and expanding civil rights.

More than two months after the election, Ellis has yet to provide evidence that would support a continued challenge to the election results. The unbiased Compliance Review Committee appointed by former Chair John Burton verified Eric C. Bauman’s victory as Chair after an exhaustive, transparent audit of the vote observed by the Ellis campaign.

Open message to Kimberly Ellis from California LGBTQ Leaders:

“California’s LGBTQ community needs a united and energized Democratic Party to lead the resistance to the hateful policies coming from the Trump/Pence/Sessions administration, including opposition to the meanspirtied and backwards policy on transgender soldiers recently announced via twitter. The acts of white supremacists in Charlottesville last weekend show just how much is at stake.

“To that end, we are deeply concerned that Kimberly Ellis’ prolonged, costly legal battle whether it is in the court room or in binding arbitration, will drain the California Democratic Party of the focus and resources needed to combat Trump’s hate and defend California’s values of inclusion and opportunity.

“We certainly respect Ms. Ellis’ right to challenge the outcome of the Chair election under the bylaws of the Party, and she has availed herself of every option. Following the process established before the May vote, the Party has conducted an exhaustive, transparent, audit of the ballots and given Ms. Ellis ample opportunity to present evidence to support her challenge.

“Having failed to present any facts that would change the outcome of the vote, her threats to drag the Party into court or a lengthy arbitration process demonstrate a desire to put one person’s agenda ahead of the LGBTQ community, people of color, and other Californians who are counting on the Party to represent their voices.

“We must be united in facing down the unprecedented threats this hostile White House poses for our civil rights as LGBTQ Americans. We call on Ms. Ellis’ to move beyond the divisive threats of more legal action and work together with Eric C. Bauman, the first openly gay Chair of the California Democratic Party, to protect marriage equality, transgender rights, and finally achieve full civil rights for the LGBTQ community.”


Equality California

Stonewall Democratic Club

Stonewall Young Democrats Executive Board

Denise Penn, Co-Chair, California Democratic Party LGBT Caucus

Eddie Martinez, Executive Director, Latino Equality Alliance & Mi Centro

Oscar De La O, CEO, Bienestar Social Services

Richard L. Zaldivar, Executive Director/Founder, The Wall Las Memorias

Vince Wong


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.