Wednesday, May 6, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

California Assembly leader opens up on gay rights

By
From page A9 | June 18, 2014 |

SACRAMENTO — Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, the first lesbian to lead a house of the California Legislature, said Tuesday that more work needs to be done to promote tolerance of gays and lesbians, especially in rural America.

The San Diego Democrat, a native of Appalachia, told attendees at the She Shares women’s leadership conference in the state capital that the “most profound” way of advancing equality is coming out and taking small actions that validate being gay.

As an example, she noted the kiss with her spouse, Jennifer LeSar, when she was sworn in as speaker of the 80-member chamber last month. A photo of the kiss ran online and in newspapers across the country, including in the newspaper of her childhood hometown, The Roanoke Times.

She said there was nothing courageous about the kiss, noting that it’s easier to be openly gay in California than in places such as rural Virginia, where she grew up in poverty.

“For that picture to be in the paper in Virginia is important because it gives permission for the speaker of the California state Assembly to be a lesbian and it’s OK,” Atkins said.

She praised as courageous a small town in Kentucky that voted to support equality. The city commission of Vicco, Kentucky, a town of about 300 people with a gay mayor, voted last year to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Atkins’ political rise in California created little stir, in part because her predecessor, Los Angeles Democrat John Perez, was the first openly gay speaker of the Assembly. The 120-member Legislature has eight openly gay and lesbian lawmakers and often backs laws supported by LGBT groups.

Even in recent years, California hasn’t always been receptive to gay and lesbian equality. Two years before Atkins was elected to the Legislature, in 2010, Californians narrowly voted in favor of Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage. It has since been overturned by the federal courts.

“We don’t have full equality,” Atkins said. “Even in California, there are places and towns … that I probably wouldn’t feel very comfortable taking Jennifer’s hand.”

Atkins has identified homelessness, affordable housing and health care as priorities, which she says is motivated by her roots growing up in a house without running water and a family that lacked health insurance.

She has carried some legislation favored by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups, including a bill that would allow transgender Californians’ death certificates to reflect the gender they lived as.

Early in her remarks, Atkins took a jab at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who recently compared homosexuality to alcoholism during a Commonwealth Club event in San Francisco.

“I am not addicted to anything — well, other than coffee,” Atkins quipped when her interviewer brought up Perry. “I thank Gov. Perry for being concerned about me, though.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Cinco de Mayo event brings communities together

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Name change for Fairfield Senior Center wins support

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

    Solano looks to full compliance with smoke-free policy

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

     
    Western Railway Museum plans special events

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
    Kozak to take command of 349th AMW

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

     
    Solano events will mark National Day of Prayer

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Solano marks Mental Health Month during May

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
    Supervisors grant approval for internship program

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
     
    2 hurt in Fairfield freeway crash

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 20 Comments

     
    Vacaville police announce training at outlet stores

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A6

    Doctor to discuss diabetes risks during free talk

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

     
    Frazier sets community coffee with new chief

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

     
    Caltrans announces work on Highway 160

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

     
    Caltrans outlines work on Highway 29

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

     
    Comedies, dramas, documentaries hit screens this weekend

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

    Suisun City police log: May 3, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    $702,594 in federal funds spending wins Fairfield OK

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A9

    Fairfield police log: May 4, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Fairfield police log: May 3, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Suisun City police log: May 4, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Author, evangelist to address Writers Resource group

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10

    CHP officer has close call with vehicle

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10

     
     
    .

    US / World

    Obama picks Dunford as new Joint Chiefs chair

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    60 bodies recovered in Nepal valley hit by quake, mudslide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Nigerian troops who fled Boko Haram now have them on the run

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Two decades after ‘Black Hawk Down,’ Kerry visits Somalia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Doubts raised about Islamic State’s claim in Texas attack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Forest Service chief expects busy firefighting season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Van Gogh work fetches over $66 million at New York auction

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Senate adopts GOP budget targeting ‘Obamacare’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    US reprimands agents after man forgotten in San Diego cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Huckabee, the other man from Hope, opens 2016 bid

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Girl shoots self with father’s gun

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    FAA gives OK for farmers to utilize drones

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Living

    Today in history: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: May 6, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Case of date rape from 30 years ago preys on husband’s mind

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

     
    Horoscope: May 6, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

    Weeknight vegetarian: Peel a plaintain, elevate a taco

    By The Washington Post | From Page: B7

     
    Feeling peckish for pesto? Don’t limit yourself to basil!

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

     
    Miley Cyrus on Bruce Jenner, pink armpits, her new charity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Singer Chris Brown’s battery case in Las Vegas dropped

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Bono and U2 set as sole guests on Friday’s ‘Tonight Show’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Conley comes back, leads Grizzlies past Warriors 97-90

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Vacaville grad Hekking signs with Chargers as free agent

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

    Prep badminton: Rodriguez gets MEL win over Armijo

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Prep boys volleyball: VCS falls to Golden Sierra in finale

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Armijo boys tennis team falls 5-4 in playoffs to defending champs

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Prep swimming: Rodriguez boys win MEL title

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Armijo opens playoffs with 6-0 win behind Nadia Martinez hat trick

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Ryan Vogelsong pitches surging Giants to 6-0 win over Padres

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Local Report: Rodriguez boys swim to MEL title

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Chavez shines in A’s 2-1 victory over Twins

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Raiders to cut ties with James Jones, Miles Burris

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Raiders cut ties with 8 players

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Athletics release outfielder Cody Ross after short stint

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    San Jose beats Houston 1-0 in Dominic Kinnear’s return

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    With Wall out, Hawks beat Wizards 106-90 to even series 1-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Suit filed against Pacquiao for not disclosing injury

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Manny Ramirez Jr vows to make own baseball name for himself

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Derby winner nears return to track for Preakness prep

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    NCAA’s new head of officials ready to make tough calls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Sleepless nights for Woods over Vonn split, father’s death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Former Raiders fullback Marv Hubbard dies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    49ers Bruce Miller charged with vandalism, not domestic case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    Los Angeles sues Wells Fargo, alleging fraud by employees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    William Fay Carbine Sr.

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Walter Jeter Jr.

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Lois G. Johnston (Lieb) (Bayard)

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6