LGBT Caucus Members’ Statements on the Historic Selection of Assemblymember John A. Perez as the Next Speaker of the California State Assembly

December 10, 2009

Sacramento, CA – Fellow Members of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus issued the following statements after the Assembly Democratic Caucus voted unanimously today to support Assemblymember John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) to serve as the next Speaker of the California State Assembly.  Assemblymember Pérez’s selection makes him the first openly-gay Speaker of the Assembly.  A floor vote is expected when the Assembly reconvenes next month.

Senator Mark Leno (D – San Francisco), Chair:

“John’s speakership is a historic step forward for equal access to the reins of power. He is wonderfully qualified with the experience, intelligence and temperament needed to lead the Assembly during these very challenging times. I wish him great success.”

Senator Christine Kehoe (D – San Diego):

“The unanimous vote today by the Assembly Democratic Caucus to select openly gay Assemblymember John Pérez to serve as the next Speaker of the Assembly is a remarkable moment for the LGBT community. John is making history and making us proud.

Assemblymember Pérez is committed to improving the quality of life of all Californians.  His selection also illustrates that sexual orientation in California is no longer the impediment it may have once been toward achieving political influence, and that is a great marker of our state’s progress.”

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D – San Francisco):

"With his selection as Speaker, John has become a symbol of hope and inspiration to not only the LGBT community but also for people of color. I am proud to stand with John in this important moment for the LGBT community and for all Californians."

The California Legislative LGBT Caucus was formed in June 2002.  The Caucus' role is to present a forum for the California Legislature to discuss issues that affect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (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.