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California LGBT Legislative Caucus Elects Senator Scott Wiener to Serve as Chair, Assemblymember Todd Gloria Elected to Serve as Vice Chair

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO—Today, the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus unanimously elected Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to serve as Chair and Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) to serve as Vice Chair.

Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) hands over the chairmanship following two highly successful years for the Caucus. During his time as Chair, the Caucus, among its many accomplishments:

  • Reached a record eight members
  • Saw Senator Toni Atkins’ historic promotion to President pro Tempore of the Senate, the first woman and first openly-LGBT individual to hold the position
  • Helped to form and sponsor an LGBTQ Staff Association within the Capitol community
  • 16 pro-equality pieces of legislation were signed into law including legislation to:
    • Give Californians more inclusive gender options when applying for a state issued ID
    • Modernize discriminatory HIV criminalization laws
    • Provide LGBT-specific educational training for peace officers
    • Codify the month of June as Pride Month
    • Ensure that youth in foster care have access to gender affirming health care and behavioral health services
  • Saw 111 LGBT Californians get elected to office

“I was honored to have the faith and trust of my colleagues as I served as chair over the past two years and look forward to supporting Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Gloria as they lead the Caucus forward,” said Assemblymember Low. “I have full faith in Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Gloria as they lead the Caucus through the tumultuous remainder of the Trump administration with the commitment of our incoming Governor to continue to pass pro-equality legislation. My colleagues and I are dedicated to doing everything in our power to ensure California remains a leader in advancing LGBT rights throughout our State and the nation.”

“I am honored and humbled to serve as Chair of the LGBT Caucus, and I am grateful to my colleagues for placing this trust in me and in Caucus Vice Chair Todd Gloria. For nearly 30 years, I have dedicated myself to the LGBT community, and this work is deeply personal for me. I want to thank Assemblymember Evan Low for his extraordinary leadership of the LGBT Caucus for the past two years. Under Evan’s leadership, the Caucus has made huge strides,” said Senator Scott Wiener. “We’ve made significant progress in California as an LGBT community, with strong civil rights protections and more and more openly LGBT elected officials. Yet, despite those advances, our community continues to face major challenges around discrimination, violence, lack of healthcare access, housing instability, and economic insecurity. Transgender Californians continue to experience extreme violence, poverty, unemployment, and incarceration; LGBT people disproportionately experience homelessness; LGBT young people are committing suicide at alarming rates; too many people continue to become infected with and die from HIV; LGBT seniors have far too little support; and our federal government is literally trying to erase us. Yet, I am optimistic about the future, given our pro-LGBT Governor and Legislature. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues - both LGBT and allies - to ensure California remains a beacon of hope for our entire community, here and around the world.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity serve as the Vice Chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, and to work alongside my colleague, Senator Scott Wiener, to ensure California continues to lead the nation and the world in pro-equality legislation,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “While California has some of the strongest and cutting-edge equality legislation already on the books, we know there is more to do. Now more than ever, we must continue to champion and defend LGBT rights. But in addition, we must concern ourselves with the equity of all people. California is a place for everyone. This caucus will make sure that stays true.”

“I want to thank Assemblymember Evan Low and now-Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara for their tremendous work in leading the country’s largest and most diverse Legislative LGBT Caucus.  We are grateful of their stewardship as they led our efforts in expanding health access to the LGBTQ community and fighting against discriminatory efforts that seek to set us back from all that we have accomplished,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). “I know that Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Todd Gloria will continue to build on this momentum and be tireless advocates as they lead the LGBT Caucus forward in fighting for progress for our community and for all Californians.”

“Under the leadership of Assemblymember Evan Low, the Legislative LGBT Caucus has continued to break ground, making progress inside the Capitol and for all Californians,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). “I congratulate Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Todd Gloria for taking on the challenge of continuing those gains as Caucus Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively.”

“Equality California and our members are deeply grateful to Assemblymember Low for his extraordinary service as Chair, in which he has grown the Legislative LGBT Caucus's influence and impact, turning it into a force to be reckoned with,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Caucus under Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Gloria's leadership, both of whom are crucial advocates for LGBTQ Californians within the California Legislature. We are lucky to have these outstanding champions fighting for us in Sacramento.”

“The Trevor Project has been so grateful to work with the California Legislative LGBT Caucus and especially Assemblymember Low to save the lives of LGBTQ youth,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “As we begin another year, the Caucus will have a critical role in protecting LGBTQ youth and we look forward to continuing to support the trend in national legislative leadership that the Caucus continues to demonstrate.”

“Assemblymember Low has shown tremendous leadership and understanding of the new issues and challenges facing LGBTQ people in California, from standing up for the safety and dignity of LGBTQ elders to ensuring that transgender and nonbinary individuals are recognized and supported,” said Shannon Minter, Legal Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “He has also opened the door to an important new dialogue between LGBTQ people and conservative religious communities and laid a foundation for much future positive change.”

“Under Assemblymember Evan Low’s leadership, the California Legislative LGBT Caucus was at the vanguard in setting an LGBTQ rights agenda not just for California, but the entire nation,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “Whether pressing for a comprehensive conversion therapy ban or formally apologizing for past discriminatory laws that targeted LGBTQ people, the caucus is the driving force ensuring California remains the leader on equality in the United States. Both Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Todd Gloria are talented legislators and outspoken leaders who understand the unique priorities of a diverse LGBTQ community. California and all LGBTQ Americans are fortunate to have them in these leadership positions and I am confident the state will continue to tackle new frontiers in the long-road toward true legislative equality.”

Los Angeles LGBT Center: “The caucus has become a strong and effective legislative powerhouse that honorably represents the needs of our communities. Chairman Low and Vice Chairman Lara have made invaluable contributions to the lives of LGBT people. We look forward to making more progress under Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Gloria’s leadership.”

California’s Legislative LGBT Caucus was formed in 2002 to create a forum for California Legislators to discuss issues that affect LGBT Californians and to further the goal of equality and justice for all Californians. Formation of the LGBT Caucus made California the first state in the country to recognize an official caucus of openly-LGBT state legislators. In 2017, the Caucus reached a historic milestone of eight members. The LGBT Caucus strives to advocate for diversity and inclusion of all people, including those with disabilities.