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A Bipartisan Bill in California

Timothy Kincaid

May 13th, 2009

California’s legislative districts were drawn years ago to guarantee election security to select politicians. Rather than reflect cities or communities, they ensure that some seats belong to Democrats and others to Republicans. The result is that the legislature tends to consist of far-left Democrats and far-right Republicans.

When it comes to votes of interest to the gay community, votes tend to be party line (or very close to it). So I’m fascinated by an email I received from Equality California telling of a recent vote:

The bill, which will require prisons to include sexual orientation and gender identity when identifying prisoners who need protection, passed by an overwhelming margin of 65 to 9. 14 of the 29 Republican members voted for the legislation and 6 members abstained from the vote.

Now I’ll admit that it seems a no-brainer that you’d want to take any factors into considerationthat would reduce prison rape, no matter what they were. But California grows a brand of homophobe that sees even the most benign of issues through the spectrum of “fighting the militant homosexual agenda”. They would say “no” to gay soup.

And these groups have a history of being loud and influential in the Republican caucus. Or until now they have. Perhaps one side-effect of the Proposition 8 campaign was the exposure of the extent to which California’s anti-gays will go.

I’m hoping (perhaps a bit unduly) that this vote is a sign of things to come. That while there are nine members of the California Assembly that would rather let prisoners be raped than to “compromise with the homosexual agenda”, at least some Republicans are starting to recognize that – even in a primary – being a raging homophobe isn’t going to be a winning position.

Comments

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Swampfox
May 13th, 2009 | LINK

“California’s legislative districts were drawn years ago to guarantee election security to select politicians.”

We have the same problem in South Carolina. It goes back to a 1960s Supreme Court decision which I can’t remember at this time………..and, today our politicians use sophisticated computer programs to draw the lines. But it is good that the issue of prison rape is being addressed by the California legislature.

Swampfox
May 13th, 2009 | LINK

It was called the one man on vote principle. Every state in the Union undergoes this ordeal every 10 years, after the census. Read this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_man,_one_vote

The Lauderdale
May 13th, 2009 | LINK

“They would say “no” to gay soup.”

While the behavior described is galling, this line made me laugh. T-shirt please.

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