Equality California announced today that it has withdrawn endorsement from six state assemblymembers following their “no” votes or abstentions on a bill that would require religious colleges and universities to disclose policies that discriminate against LGBT people. Senate Bill (SB) 1146, authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and sponsored by Equality California, passed the California Assembly by a vote of 45-28 and the Senate by a vote of 25-13 on August 30. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.
SB 1146 drew fierce opposition from right-wing activists, who raised $350,000 in a campaign to defeat the bill. Assemblymembers Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), and Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) voted against SB 1146 and Assemblymembers Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino), Patty Lopez (D-San Fernando) and Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) abstained. In the California Legislature, abstentions have the same effect as “no” votes. Each legislator had been endorsed by Equality California earlier this year.
Equality California’s longstanding endorsement policy requires 100-percent support for our priority legislation and is based in part on the voting record of incumbent legislators and requires ongoing support throughout the legislative session.
“We regret having to withdraw our endorsements of legislators who have otherwise been allies of the LGBT community,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “Our longstanding endorsement policy requires withdrawal because we tell our members that our endorsements include only incumbent legislators who have demonstrated a voting record of 100-hundred percent support for our priority legislation. We look forward to continuing to work with the lawmakers in question, and hope that their future voting records will allow us to consider endorsements in future elections.”
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.