Original post 12/8/09
Recently, I posted Karen Ocamb's reporting on openly gay John A. Perez's historical appointment to California's House Speaker. Equality California has issued an action alert indicating that he's facing unusual hurdles to his appointment, and it could possibly have to do with his sexual orientation. The following is a statement from EQCA's Executive Director Geoff Kors (emphasis mine):
“Equality California hails the historic opportunity for Assemblymember John A. Pérez to become the state’s next Assembly Speaker. With California as well as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community facing significant challenges, including the decimation of HIV/AIDS services by the governor, this possibility fills our community with great hope. As the first LGBT Speaker in our state, Assemblymember Pérez would serve as an incredible role model to LGBT youth and for every community member who has faced obstacles simply because of who they are.Click here to go to EQCA's online action to help Perez.
In his first year in the Assembly, he has demonstrated unique leadership skills, and we have the utmost confidence in his ability to bring both Californians and the members of the Assembly together to tackle the challenges ahead.
Although the selection of a speaker is usually an internal matter, this year the race has become public in a way never seen before. Historically, once more than half of the Assembly members from the majority party, in this case the Democrats, announce their support for a candidate, the entire caucus typically coalesces behind that candidate. A vote for Speaker is then held, but this time the process has differed.
We hope that this isn’t about sexual orientation, but it is always a concern when the rules seem to be applied differently to a member of our community.
Equality California is proud to stand with Assemblymember Pérez as this crucial vote approaches, and we hope his colleagues in the Assembly will seize this opportunity for California.”