Home   Google ARCHIVE SEARCH: Date:

Assembly Approves Bill to Protect Gay Candidates from Discrimination in Political Campaigns

State Assembly Approves Yee’s Effort to Add Sexual Orientation to Campaign Code

From the office of Assemblymember Leland Yee

January 26, 2006

SACRAMENTO – A bill that seeks to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the voluntary pledge that candidates may sign prior to entering a political campaign passed the State Assembly today on a bipartisan 43-29 vote. AB 1207, Speaker pro Tem Leland Yee’s (D-San Francisco/Daly City) second attempt in two years to pass such legislation, is designed to end discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community during campaigns. AB 866, identical legislation authored by Yee last year, was vetoed by the Governor.

“It is wrong to defile the honor of the democratic process with vicious name-calling and whisper campaigns that have nothing to do with debate, values or issues,” said Speaker pro Tem Yee.

“Today’s vote shows that Assembly Democrats are committed to clean political campaigns. As the Governor has done on many issues this year, I urge him to join us in putting an end to anti-gay rhetoric by signing AB 1207 into law.”

“Anti-gay rhetoric and campaign tactics are never acceptable,” said Geoffrey Kors, Executive Director of Equality California, the bill’s sponsor.

“This amendment to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices simply seeks to establish a level playing field that all candidates would be able to follow. Candidates should focus on issues, not attacks on any group of people.”

Specifically, the legislation would have prohibited the use of any negative appeal based on prejudice of sexual orientation or gender identity by candidates or campaign committees who sign the voluntary pledge provided for in the Code of Fair Campaign Practices.

Currently, existing law establishes a Code of Fair Campaign Practices to which a candidate may voluntarily subscribe and provides a pledge by which the candidate declares that he or she will not use or permit any appeal to negative prejudice based on race, sex, religion, national origin, physical health status, or age.

This Code of Fair Campaign Practices and a copy of the Elections Code provisions are required to be provided to candidates by the Registrar of Voters at the time of a declaration of candidacy, nomination papers, or any other paper evidencing an intention to be a candidate for public office are issued.

“I can not, and will not, stand idle while my friends in the gay community continue to receive inferior treatment and unequal rights,” said Speaker pro Tem Yee.

“Gay-bating and playing politics with civil rights, justice, and equality is not only unethical, it is potentially dangerous to those we seek to protect in this legislation.”

Negative campaign tactics are directly connected to violence against gay and lesbian individuals. Incidents of violence against LGBT people have peaked in national elections years, such as during the 2004 presidential campaign, in which lesbian and gay issues played an unprecedented role at both the national and local levels. In 2003, when San Francisco became ground zero in the struggle over same-sex marriage rights, incidents of violence rose over 14 percent in the city.

In 1996, then Assemblymember Shelia Kuehl introduced nearly identical legislation (AB 2283), which failed in its first hearing on a 3-4 partisan vote. Today, two Republican Assemblymembers, Keith Richman (D-Northridge) and Lynn Daucher (R-Brea), joined 41 Democrats in favor of AB 1207.

Republicans made up all 29 ‘no’ votes and one not voting, while 6 Democrats did not cast a vote. AB 1207 will now head to the State Senate before hitting the Governor’s desk again for his consideration.




The Hunger Site

Cooking Classes
in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires B&B

Calitri in southern Italy

L' Aquila in Abruzzo

Health Insurance Quotes


Bruce Brugmann's


Civic Center

Dan Noyes

Greg Dewar

Griper Blade


Malik Looper






MetroWize Urban Guide

Michael Moore

N Judah Chronicles


Robert Solis

SF Bay Guardian





SFWillie's Blog



Sweet Melissa