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Equality Roundup: Post-Turkey Tidbits

November 26, 2012 By Josh Steichmann

Still feeling fat and happy after Thanksgiving? Ate so much you had to undo the buckle on your hat? Here are a couple weeks worth of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender news and links, all roundup ready.

Cathleen Galgiani wins tight election. Galgiani, proudly out, won a squeaker in the San Joaquin Valley over Bill Berryhill, who now is off to answer campaign finance questions.

I Am: Trans People Speak Up is a wonderful collection of videos from trans folk that’s growing all the time.

Arts critic Alex Ross reflects on the changes to the LGBT community’s political progress.

Slate says marriage rout bigger than popularly reported. Michelangelo Signorile called it a landslide, and the NY Times called it a big leap. Frank Rich is less optimistic.

Gallup and The Williams Institute look at how the LGBT vote was crucial for broad wins.

The Lawyers, Guns and Money blog points out that liberals are finally winning the culture war.

Time Magazine also looked at the marriage wins.

A nice interview with National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendall.

Equality Roundup: National Exhalation Day

November 8, 2012 By Josh Steichmann

Whew. We made it. And we won!

Slate talks about the freedom to marry strategy. The short of it? A vindication for the campaign mode of appealing to reluctant voters emotionally. Heart cooks brain, essentially, and we finally made it work for us.

Ta-Nehisi Coates puts it in a hopeful context of a more representative America.

L.A. Times on Maryland and Maine, first to call freedom to marry. (We heard about Washington from a little birdie, maybe you saw it on Facebook.

Sally Ride was the first LGBT woman in space (that we know about); hopefully her successors kept that in mind when they voted.

A handy primer for those still muddled by federal versus state issues in the freedom to marry.

Check out all those LGBT freshmen (and women — freshmembers?) heading to Washington, DC.

The NY Times reminds us that sometimes equality happens by leaps.

Ohio could be up for overturning their odious law banning the freedom to marry.

Of course, Maggie and Brian say that just because they’ve lost, doesn’t mean they’ve lost.

With the defeat of Prop. 32, California rejected an elaborate money-laundering scheme from the Koch Bros. and other opponents of equality.

Huge win for Equality in California Primaries

June 6, 2012 By Josh Steichmann

Candidates endorsed by Equality California had a near sweep in their primary elections. Here’s an update on their next steps and a few notes on other races of note to the community:

Open seats: Both Cathleen Galgiani (Dem., SD-5) and Susan Eggman (Dem., AD-13) won their contests handily. Both are openly lesbian in California’s conservative central valley, and both easily outpaced their opponents. Galgiani will face Republican Bill Berryhill in the November election, and Eggman will face Republican Jeffrey Jafri.

Luis Lopez (Dem., AD-51) came in second to fellow Democrat Jimmy Gomez, and will face him in November. Likewise, Abel Guillen (Dem., AD-18) came in second to fellow Democrat Rob Bonta, and will challenge him again in the fall.

In a tight race where multiple candidates split the Democratic vote, General Richard Roth came in second to Republican Jeff Miller. Miller’s been a committed foe of equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, and Roth will need all the help we can give him to win in November.

Assemblymember Ricardo Lara, first LGBT person to lead the state’s Latino Legislative Caucus, rolled unopposed to numbers most politicians can only dream of: 100 percent.

Finally, Marty Block (Dem, SD-39) heads into November with a three point edge on his Republican opponent, George Plescia, after Democrats split their vote.


All the incumbents won their races, with Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (Dem. AD-53) winning with over 50 percent of the votes cast. Senator Mark Leno (Dem., SD-11) went even further, trouncing his only opposition with over 80 percent of the vote. Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (Dem., AD-17) did even better, taking 83 percent of the vote.

Head of the LGBT Legislative Caucus, Assemblymember Rich Gordon (Dem, AD-24) took over 50 percent and looks well-positioned for the fall.

Another LGBT Caucus member, Toni Atkins (Dem., AD-78) took nearly 60 percent of the vote, and will face Ralph Denney of the GOP come November.

Finally, Assemblymember Betsy Butler (Dem., AD-50) pulled off a squeaker with 25.9 percent of the vote (as of last count), and is currently slated to oppose fellow Dem. Richard Bloom (former mayor of Santa Monica, and LGBT friendly) in the general election.

Other elections:Pro-Prop 8 lawyer Andy Pugno got blanked by a moderate Republican and a moderate Dem in Assembly District 6.

San Diego’s primary includes gay Republican and progressive Democrat winners.

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June 5 Races to Watch

June 1, 2012 By Josh Steichmann

It’s primary season, and this year citizen redistricting combines with our new open primary system to give California a chance to enlarge our pro-equality majority — even in some of the most conservative parts of the state. If you are a political junkie like we are here, you know that sometimes a race a long way from your neck of the woods can nonetheless have a huge impact on issues you care about. With that in mind, we’ve picked some key races to watch on Tuesday.

Open Seats:

SD-5 Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani

Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani is running for an open state senate seat in the Central Valley, against Bill Berryhill, an assemblymember who has consistently voted against equality. Her chances in the primary are good, and due to redistricting, Galgiani has a decent shot at picking up a state senate seat that could give the Democrats the two-thirds majority they need to fix the budget. That she’s also openly lesbian and a committed advocate for equality is even better, which is why EQCA staff and volunteers have put in several shifts making calls to get out the vote for Galgiani. Galgiani’s campaign site.

AD-13 Susan Eggman

Running for an open assembly seat, Susan Eggman is the second openly lesbian candidate running in the Central Valley. Eggman’s experience on the Stockton city council gives her strong governmental experience. Like Galgiani, EQCA has been turning out the vote for Eggman, and we’d be thrilled to have two openly LGBT candidates in the conservative Central Valley. Eggman’s campaign site.

SD-33 Assemblymember Ricardo Lara

Ricardo Lara, currently serving in the assembly, was elected chair this year of the Latino Legislative Caucus, is the first LGBT person to lead the powerful group. He’s running unopposed for the District 33 state senate seat. Lara’s campaign site.

D-51 Luis Lopez

Luis Lopez is an openly gay candidate in Eagle Rock, running as a slight underdog to Jimmy Gomez. Lopez has deep roots within the district, currently serving as president of the LA city East Area Planning Commission, and has previously worked as a founding board member on the HONOR PAC, a Latino LGBT political action committee. Lopez’s campaign site.

AD-46 Laurette Healey

Laurette Healey has been a passionate advocate for equality for more than a decade, working tirelessly to support anti-hate crime legislation here in California, and then serving on the board of EQCA. She’s in a crowded field, up against five other candidates for an open seat, but Healey’s strong pro-equality record sets her apart. Healey’s campaign site.

AD-18 Abel Guillen

Abel Guillen is a “two spirited” man running in the East Bay’s District 18 on a platform of progressive values, including support for affordable health care and broader access to education. Guillen’s campaign site.

SD-31 General Richard Roth

Richard Roth is a 100 percent supporter of LGBT equality in a tough Inland Empire district. He faces a tough Republican incumbent, and a Democratic challenger who hasn’t been a consistent supporter of LGBT issues. His district has been flooded with money from shadowy PACs, and Roth will need all the help he can get. Not only have EQCA volunteers made phone calls for the former Air Force general, we’re doing get-out-the-vote work for Roth on June 5 — sign up to join us here. Roth’s campaign site.

SD-39 Assemblymember Marty Block

Marty Block has been a consistent voice for equality in the Assembly, currently acting as whip, marshaling votes for pro-LGBT bills. He had looked to win in a walk until George Plescia, an anti-equality Republican entered the race. In order to hit the supermajority in the Senate, Block’s seat is necessary, and losing a 100 percent advocate to a regressive Republican would be a significant setback. Block’s campaign site.


AD-53 Speaker John A. Pérez

John A. Pérez, America’s first openly gay Speaker of the Assembly, is in a safe race, but is worth celebrating as a consistent advocate for full equality in California, and a vital force ensuring votes on progressive bills that promote acceptance and equality and end exclusion. Pérez’s campaign site.

SD-11 Senator Mark Leno

Mark Leno’s race isn’t likely to be contentious, but as a regular partner with Equality California in a new district (due to redistricting), we’re happy to watch this race. An out gay man, his FAIR Education Act was one of the premier EQCA-sponsored successes last year, and his leadership within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus has been both deft and effective. Leno’s campaign site.

AD-17 Assemblymember Tom Ammiano

Fans of the film Milk might remember Ammiano playing himself (the gay teacher who shouts down Briggs). Fans of safe schools might remember him as the author of Seth’s Law last year, an anti-bullying act that makes schools safer for all students. Ammiano was also redistricted by the independent commission, and, like Leno, is in a relatively safe seat. Ammiano’s campaign site.

AD-24 Assemblymember Rich Gordon

Rich Gordon is also relatively safe, in large part because of how effective he’s been as a legislator, passing 15 of 19 bills he authored. He’s also gay and the current chair of the LGBT Caucus, making him an important piece of the pro-equality legislative process. Gordon’s campaign site.

AD-78 Assemblymember Toni Atkins

Another member of the LGBT Caucus, Toni Atkins was the author of AB 887, which expanded non-discrimination laws to cover both gender identity and gender expression. Atkins’ campaign site.

Want to learn more? Check out EQCA’s 2012 Endorsement Guide before you vote in Tuesday’s primary election!

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