Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, announced its endorsement of Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, who is running for re-election in 2022, on Monday. Kounalakis made history in 2018, when she became the first woman to be elected to the position. She has been an outspoken champion for LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice during her time in office and created the nation’s first statewide transgender advisory council in September 2021.
“LGBTQ+ Californians are fortunate to have such a strong champion and ally in Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “She understands the unique challenges that LGBTQ+ people face in communities across our state, and she has been a forceful and effective advocate for progress. Her focus on protecting and empowering the trans community, in particular, has been incredibly valuable — especially as politicians across the country pursue anti-trans legislation.”
In addition to using her platform to amplify the voices of transgender Californians, Kounalakis has sponsored and supported critical legislation to ensure colleges and universities respect the gender identities of students and graduates; prevent discrimination against LGBTQ+ youth in the criminal justice system; and expand access to safe, legal abortion care on college campuses.
“I am deeply honored to have the endorsement of Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization,” said Kounalakis. “No organization has done more in our state to protect and expand the rights of our LGBtQ+ communities. I look forward to continuing to work with EQCA toward our shared goal of equality for all.”
Kounalakis also has been endorsed by Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, NARAL Pro-Choice California, the California Professional Firefighters and SEIU California.
Prior to her election, Kounalakis served as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary from 2010 to 2013, where she used her role to support human rights and made history as the first U.S. Ambassador to march in the Budapest Pride Parade.
For a complete list of Equality California’s 2022 endorsements, visit eqca.org/elections.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org