FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 19, 2005
(Sacramento, CA, May 19, 2005) — In response to anti-gay activists introducing language to amend California's constitution through a ballot initiative eliminating all rights and protections for domestic partners and other non-married California families, Executive Director Geoffrey Kors of Equality California and Kate Kendell from the National Center for Lesbian Rights issued the following joint statement:
"We were expecting anti-gay extremists to introduce a constitutional amendment about marriage, but what they introduced is without question the most extreme anti-gay, anti-single parent, anti-family amendment ever introduced in the nation," said Geoffrey Kors, Executive Director of Equality California. "If passed, this constitutional amendment would result in children losing health insurance they currently have, hospital visitation being revoked and families being hurt. This would also negatively impact the ability of gay and lesbian parents from adopting or becoming foster parents. We are confident that California voters will reject this offensive attempt to write discrimination into our constitution and harm millions of California families and children."
"The language of the proposed amendment is breathtaking in its hostility and sweep," said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "The amendment is the most extreme and mean-spirited of any previously submitted anywhere else in the nation. We are confident that the voters of California will reject this naked and shameful bigotry."
As drafted, the constitutional amendment would deny health insurance, hospital visitation, inheritance and medical leave rights to thousands of diverse California families. The amendment would also deny lesbians and gay men the right to be legally recognized parents to their children and would leave tens of thousands of children in California with no legally responsible parent. In all, the amendment would strip the courts, cities, towns and other government entities of any ability to protect California families.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.
Founded in 1998, Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure the dignity, safety, equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. Equality California is one of the largest and fastest growing statewide LGBT organizations in the country. We can be contacted through our website at www.eqca.org.