Thursday, September 16, 2010

California's upcoming election: why it matters

Support marriage equality? Then get on the streets and work for the election of Jerry Brown as Governor and Kamala Harris as Attorney General. From Marc Solomon of EQCA.
Between now and November 2, our priority is clear in California. We must do everything we can to elect Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris as governor and attorney general, respectively. That neither Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger nor Atty. Gen. Brown was willing to put the state of California on record in defense of Prop. 8 in court made a tremendous difference. Both Brown and Harris have pledged to maintain the state’s present position, while their Republican opponents, Meg Whitman and Steve Cooley, have both pledged to defend Prop. 8. There is consensus among legal experts that having the key constitutional officers of the state on our side refusing to defend Prop. 8, rather than arguing that the state has a compelling interest in defending the discriminatory measure, is a potential game-changer when an appeal is heard by the courts.

From Labor Day through Election Day, Equality California and its candidate political action committee will use every means at their disposal to elect Brown, Harris, and other California candidates who stand for full LGBT equality. We will have continuous volunteer phone banks at each of our field offices across the state, we will send hundreds of thousands of direct mail pieces, and will make our strongest case to our 600,000 members and to the entire LGBT and allied progressive communities of the critical importance in voting for a pro-equality slate. We will send a powerful message to all elected officials and candidates that we will hold officials accountable as we fight hard for our equality.

When a critical court case is pending, the governor and attorney general in particular are crucial — in ways we now know, and in ways we can’t predict. From my time in Massachusetts fighting for marriage equality, I can recount horror stories of all the maneuvers that then-governor Mitt Romney employed in an attempt to block marriages from taking place in the state. In California we cannot let a Romney clone — a wealthy businessperson trying to burnish conservative credentials on the backs of LGBT people — get elected without a vigorous fight.

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