The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Vaishalee Raja, Communications Director,PHONE: (916) 284-9187,EMAIL:,

Legislative Committee Passes Equality California-Sponsored Measure Challenging Prop. 8

Diverse group of more than 700 supporters descend on Sacramento for EQCA Lobby Day


The Assembly Judiciary Committee passed a resolution yesterday
in a 7 to 3 vote opposing Prop. 8 as an illegal revision to the
California Constitution. The hearing took place during Equality
California's Lobby Day at the state capitol where more than 700
volunteers from across the state met with legislators and staff urging
them to support companion resolutions, SR 7 (Leno) and HR 5 (Ammiano).
The resolutions are sponsored by Equality California and would put the
legislature on record as opposing Prop. 8 as an invalid revision to the
California Constitution.

hearing included powerful testimony from resolution proponents, Dolores
Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, Shannon Minter, legal
director for the National Center on Lesbian Rights and Geoff Kors,
executive director of Equality California. Lobby Day
participants also shared their personal stories in testimony before the
legislature, putting the real harm caused by discrimination into the
legislative record.

"This was one of the
most impactful lobby days of its kind I have seen in Sacramento," said
Senator Mark Leno, Chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
Caucus. "The determination that Lobby Day participants from all over
the state showed toward fighting Proposition 8 was moving and powerful.
In ever greater numbers, we continue to demonstrate the importance of
ensuring that the laws of our state treat all Californians equally."

sponsored Lobby Day to help connect grassroots activists with elected
officials so that volunteers could engage with our legislators and help
them understand why supporting the invalidation of Prop. 8 is
absolutely crucial to preserve the equal protections guaranteed to all
Californians by the Constitution," said EQCA Executive Director Geoff
Kors. "We are honored that so many allies and supporters of equality
came together with a single purpose - to overturn Prop 8."

Lobby day brought together a diverse group of civil rights and faith leaders, community members and allies from across the state.

"As an African-American man of faith,
I believe it's my duty to speak out against the injustices of Prop. 8,
which threatens the fundamental purpose of our constitution - providing
equal protection for all people," said Lobby Day participant Rev. Art Cribbs, pastor of San Marino Congregational United Church of Christ.
"For the Constitution to have any meaning, core principles such as
equal protection simply can't be up for grabs in every election." Rev.
Cribbs also testified before legislators during the public comment
portion of the hearing on HR 5.

Lobby Day
followed a series of coordinated actions over President's Day weekend
focused on the effort to invalidate Prop. 8. EQCA also co-sponsored a
rally with Equality Action NOW, Marriage Equality USA, and California
Outreach at the Capitol.

"With the
resolutions opposing Prop. 8 moving forward this spring, we need to
make sure the necessary votes are secured to pass them in both houses,"
said EQCA Director of Government Affairs Alice Kessler. "And we are
absolutely thrilled with the tremendous outpouring of interest from
allies who took the time to talk to their elected officials about why
this issue is important not only to them but for all Californians."

Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.