Gay rights groups come out against California recall

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com July 03 2003 12:00 AM ET

Several gay rights organizations made an impassioned plea Wednesday afternoon for California's gay community to oppose a recent and growing campaign to recall Gov. Gray Davis. During a conference call to the press, members of California Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, and Taxpayers Against the Governor's Recall, an independent committee formed to oppose the effort, said those who seek to remove the governor are among the state's most antigay forces.

"It is no secret to anyone that President Bush is not a supporter of the recall. It's not the Republican moderates who are campaigning," said Eric Bauman, who heads the anti-recall committee. "We are asking people to see who is behind the recall." Right-wing religious groups are leading the effort, Bauman charged, including the Campaign for California Families, a staunchly antigay group that has been touring the state in recent weeks, opposing a sweeping domestic-partners bill recently passed by the state assembly. And U.S. representative Daryl Issa (R-Vista), the would-be gubernatorial replacement for Davis who has largely financed the recall petition drive with more than $1 million of his own money, has repeatedly bashed gay people, Bauman added.

"California has the most ambitious agenda this year to advance GLBT equality," said Seth Kilborn, national field director for the HRC. "It's very clear to us that California continues to lead the way for the GLBT community. We have been proud to work with Governor Davis. It's our view that the turmoil caused by this recall effort puts at serious risk the legislation currently being considered in California."