Company Encourages Other Businesses to Join Business Council to Protect Freedom to Marry for All Californians

(San Francisco, CA, July 29, 2008)—NO on 8—Equality California today received a significant contribution of $250,000 from Pacific Gas and Electric Company to help secure the freedom to marry for all Californians. PG&E is partnering with Equality California and the NO on 8 campaign to defeat Proposition 8, the November statewide ballot initiative that aims to treat same-gender couples differently by excluding them from marriage. PG&E’s contribution is the largest corporate and only utility-made donation received by the NO on 8 campaign.

“Our Constitution protects everyone equally. It protects the fundamental rights of every citizen—no one gets singled out,” said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “This is something that California businesses like PG&E have put into practice for decades. We are asking all California business to join us as we work to protect the same fundamental freedom—the freedom to marry—for all Californians.”

In addition to the $250,000 shareholder contribution, PG&E today announced it will become a founding member of the Equality Business Advisory Council, an organization that will challenge other businesses to join NO on 8 in supporting fairness and equality for all people.

“We are proud to join NO on 8 and Equality California to protect the freedom to marry for all Californians,” said PG&E Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Nancy McFadden. “For years, PG&E has advocated for equality and fairness in the workplace, and across California. In that same spirit, PG&E is honored to be a founding member of the Equality Business Advisory Council and urge our business colleagues to join us as we work to guarantee the same rights and freedoms for every Californian.”

A recent Field Poll of likely voters showed that a majority of Californians oppose Proposition 8 and would vote against it in November.

“It’s clear that Proposition 8 is wrong for California,” said NO on 8 Senior Strategist Steve Smith. “We are happy PG&E and other business leaders are joining the millions of Californians who recognize that our constitution guarantees the same freedoms and rights to everyone. Regardless of how anyone feels about marriage for same-gender couples, it’s wrong to deny a person’s fundamental rights and freedoms.”

Read more about Prop 8

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.


No on 8 The NO on 8-Equality for All campaign is a large and diverse coalition of civil rights, faith, choice, labor and community of color organizations working to stop and defeat any ballot measure that would deny same-sex couples the right to marry in California. For more information and to volunteer for the campaign, visit http://www.equalityforall.com/

Equality California Founded in 1998, Equality California celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008, commemorating a decade of building a state of equality in California. EQCA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. http://www.eqca.org/