The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Inga Sarda-Sorensen, Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463

Task Force Honors California Statewide Leaders for Their Contributions to LGBT Equality


The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will honor three
California statewide leaders today for their contributions to the
struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.
They include California State Controller John Chiang, Executive
Director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Kathy Kneer and
Assemblymember John A. Perez of the 46th district.

"After Prop. 8, Californians from all walks of life rededicated
themselves to achieving full equality for LGBT people. These three
honorees have exemplified that dedication. They continue to work every
day as allies in our struggle," says Rea Carey, executive director of
the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

A reception for the three honorees is being held today from 6-8 p.m. at 1930 K Street in downtown Sacramento.

About the honorees

California State Controller John Chiang

Elected in November 2006 as the state's chief fiscal officer, Chiang
has been a steadfast ally of LGBT people throughout his career in
public life. While serving on the state's Board of Equalization,
beginning in 1998, Chiang supported measures to allow domestic partners
to transfer property on terms equal to provisions of state law
regarding transactions between family members, and without the
impediments and costs imposed by reassessment. Since becoming
controller, he has held financial planning workshops for domestic
partners and married same-sex couples. An opponent of Prop. 8, he has
spoken out for marriage equality for committed same-sex couples during
Pride season and throughout the year.

Kathy Kneer, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC)

For nearly 20 years as PPAC executive, Kneer has stood by the LGBT
community of the Sacramento area and stood up for the rights of LGBT
people in California as a vital strategic ally. With office and medical
staff, patients and political supporters who have faced extremist
threats, Kneer has backed anti-violence and nondiscrimination
protections for LGBT people at the local, state and federal level.
Having built PPAC into a powerful voice in community and public
affairs, she has provided timely, generous assistance to LGBT advocacy
campaigns, including the Task Force's Let California Ring and No on 8

Assemblymember John A. Perez, 46th District

Elected to the state Assembly in 2008 representing an eastside Los
Angeles district, Perez is the first openly gay lawmaker of color ever
elected to the Legislature. He brings to his current post as his
party's caucus chair both youth and a breadth of experience in nearly
every aspect of progressive advocacy and political leadership that is
hard to rival. A former Clinton appointee to the Presidential Advisory
Council on HIV/AIDS, Perez has fought for funding and prevention
messaging that responds to the distinct challenges facing Latino and
communities of color in confronting the epidemic. His fluency extends
to environmental and economic development policy. He has been a leader
in fighting recent state cutbacks on housing and health.

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we've made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That's why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you. Join us!