Saturday, December 20, 2014
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

.

Solano News

Creche collection grows in size, popularity

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Handmade Christmas display is man’s labor of love

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
 
Company competition a big win for charity

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Meeting a great role model at any age

By Murray Bass | From Page: B5

Fairfield police log: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

No harm caused by flames at Northern California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Wetter than usual start to new year in California predicted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Hospital to pay $2.2M to settle false claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Napolitano named as UC public policy professor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Man shocked 20 times during jail booking sues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Notorious California graffiti suspect arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Island park in San Francisco Bay closed for weekend

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
California’s bullet train settles 1 of 7 lawsuits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Tuskegee Airman Lowell Steward dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Animal rights activists take California rodeo to court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Bush officials gave CIA wide latitude

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Theater shooter’s parents plead for his life

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Driver pleads not guilty in pedestrian deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
5 ways to make your email safer in case of a hack attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Celebrities react to latest Sony hack developments

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
2012 movie massacre hung over ‘Interview’ decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Sony on shelving ‘The Interview': ‘We had no choice’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

AP Interview: Coelho says Sony hack threatens all

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Jury rules for Indiana woman in firing over IVF

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Bergdahl investigation wraps up; top leaders get briefings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Texas eatery worker gets mink coat from customer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Sugarland, promoter settle with state fair victims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NY police officer suspended after videotaped punch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4 deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Supreme Court won’t stop gay marriages in Florida

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Staples: Customer data exposed in security breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Lava could reach Hawaii shopping center in 8 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Pakistan executes militants and bombards tribal areas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Franciscan religious order in ‘grave’ financial crisis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Israel carries out airstrike on Hamas site in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

.

Opinion

Yes, Virginia, the Santa wish list has gone digital

By Petula Dvorak | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
If you want to help the poor, fix the safety net

By Jim Tankersley | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Dec. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Pampered pets that don duds move to the mainstream

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B11

Children from wife’s first marriage put father’s ashes in coffin

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B11

 
.

Entertainment

More than 4 million people watched 1st dog telethon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kim Jong Un game spoof ‘Glorious Leader!’ moving forward

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Marathon bombing survivor in ‘Yes to Dress’ finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kid Rock to perform pre-race concert at Daytona 500

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Actor Stephen Collins denies he’s a pedophile in interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

 
Raiders haven’t needed much from Janikowski

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

AP sources: Peavy agrees on $24M, 2-year deal with Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Dodge, Vaca grad Mason lead Southern Oregon to NAIA title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

FIFA will not reopen 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Howe’s family reports rapid improvement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

2 Armstrong associates settle lawsuit with Landis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rays, Padres, Nats complete 11-player trade involving Myers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vanden girls open Nike TOC with win on Arizona

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Things to know about Friday’s baseball news

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rookie receivers making their mark in NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former boxing champ Ernie Terrell dies at 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Gold medalist Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, avoids jail time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dodgers end Yanks’ payroll streak, owe most tax

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

CIF football bowl games headed to Sacramento

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

 
Cal men beat Eastern Washington 78-67 for seventh straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

California unemployment rate dips to 7.2 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Chrysler gives in to gov’t, expands air bag recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

T-Mobile paying at least $90M for unwanted services

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
EPA sets first national standard for coal waste

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Sales for holiday shopping season comes down to the wire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Judy Zamora Rogers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 12/20/14

Real estate transactions for Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Ask a Designer: decorating with Christmas trees

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2