Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park), who was re-elected yesterday and is also the Chair of the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus, released the following statement in response to last night’s historic election.
“From coast to coast, voters exercised their civic duty and voted with their minds and their hearts. Unswayed by the torrent of money and spread of misinformation, voters did not bow down to incredible intimidation and pressure to dismantle all the progress we have accomplished so far.
“Americans across the country recognize that members of the LGBT community require, and indeed deserve, the same level of respect and compassion afforded to every other citizen. It was not too long ago that voters in 30 states chose to block thousands of gay and lesbian couples from the ability to get married. But last night, voters in Maine and Maryland, with Washington soon to follow, chose to legalize gay marriage, marking the first time marriage equality has been legalized via the ballot. Additionally, despite fervid opposition, voters in Minnesota defeated a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman. And, courts across the country have further ruled in favor of gay marriage questioning the constitutionality and fairness of the Defense of Marriage Act. The winds of change blow in favor of equality.
“Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin has been elected the first openly-gay U.S. Senator, and Mark Takano of California will be the first LGBT person of color in the House of Representatives. We have increased our political representation in states spanning from the Dakotas, New Mexico and Texas to West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida. California voters have elected Susan Eggman the first openly-gay Latina in the state Legislature. In one night, we have realized the fruits of tireless months of labor, sweat and dedication to the idea that all Americans are created equally and that one’s sexual orientation does not preclude one from holding public office.
“The times and demographics of this country are changing. Women, youth and people of color have come out in record numbers to not only re-elect President Barack Obama, but to take a public stand for gay rights. We have made remarkable progress, but our work is far from over. We must work to ensure that all Americans have safe and productive learning and working environments, to safeguard their access to quality education and healthcare, as well as to protect their basic civil rights, including the freedom to marry. The successes of tomorrow will depend on the coalitions we build and nurture today.
“The California Legislative LGBT Caucus was formed ten years ago to address the needs of concerns of this community. I am humbled and inspired by the level of headway we have made in the past few years. I congratulate my newly-elected colleagues both here and across the country as we continue the march toward full equality for all.”
Photo of Rich Gordon at Democratic Headquarters in Menlo Park courtesy of his campaign staff