Equality is not Partisan

Equality California does good work for the LGBT community of the state of California, but it seems they put all their eggs in the Democratic Party even though almost thirty percent of LGBT voters actually supported John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.

Unfortunately California Republicans are indeed an odd bunch where they are mostly against any piece of legislation that benefits the LGBT community of California including legislation to prevent domestic violence, preventing harassment of queer youth in the public schools and adding the LGBT community to public accommodations laws.  It is natural that they want to spend their money with the Democratic Party, but they need to do nominal efforts to help add to a bi-partisan image where we can make California better for our people.

First, Equality California needs to tell the public about inclusive Republicans that might exist in non-competitive races in the primaries. If voters are Decline to State or even Republican they should be encouraged to vote for allies in the Republican Party in places such as Torrance, San Jose and San Diego. By winning the nomination our winners can put allies in the California Republican Party Central Committee where we could work to make our state platform an inclusive one.

In general elections it will probably take a generation or two politically before we have Republicans who actively chase the votes of the LGBT community. I could understand Equality California endorsing Democratic party candidates in the general elections, but we should have a bi-partisan group of legislators to advocate for our issues so we can prevent situations such as in New York where social conservative Democratic State Senators are holding back marriage equality and now LGBT equality groups are trying to make nice with Republican legislators. Of course the political climate may be different, but we could have the same problems in the future if we have another Democratic Party legislator from Fresno or Kern County voting against equality.

Second, making outreach attempts to Republicans did make a benefit during the fight against Proposition 8. Even though Log Cabin California was the main organizer of this effort, they made some of the best advertising for the cause during that campaign where they won an award from the American Association of Political Consultants for the best use of web video in a state ballot measure campaign. According to Log Cabin The four Republican-held Congressional Districts targeted most heavily by Republicans Against 8’s paid media also had the highest “No” vote on Proposition 8 among GOP districts in California, with each voting more than 45% against the ballot measure. We lost Proposition 8 by only two percent; I do agree that we need to reach out to areas such as the Inland Empire of San Bernardino County and Riverside County and by making friends with Republicans we can undo the damage.

As a Republican I do feel uncomfortable because I do want to help Equality California on legislative issues, but I do not want to end up being a cheerleader for the Democratic Party. Donating to the Equality California PAC is out of the question because they want to eradicate allies such as Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, who was more effective than Bonnie Garcia was to the LGBT community even though the money is also used to support a campaign to repeal Proposition 8. If we want to change the tone in Sacramento and the nation as a whole we must reach out and change the hearts and minds of our state across party lines.

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