Equality California applauded the election of its endorsed candidate California Attorney General Kamala Harris to represent the state of California in the United States Senate. Equality California endorsed Harris’ candidacy in May of this year.
“Kamala Harris is an outstanding successor to Barbara Boxer and will carry on her decades-long pro-equality legacy,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “Harris already has a 20-year record of using each office in which she has served to advance LGBT equality. We are confident that she will continue as a champion for the civil rights of LGBT people – and all people who are the target of discrimination and lack of acceptance – in the United States Senate.”
Harris first demonstrated her strong support of the LGBT community as San Francisco district attorney, 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.
Harris has been a vocal supporter of Equality California-sponsored legislation, including Assembly Bill (AB) 1887 (Low), recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, which bans state-funded travel by California state employees to jurisdictions with laws in place that discriminate against LGBT people. 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.