My partner Paolo and I came of age when being gay was still a crime in many states, homophobia was pervasive, same-sex marriage was illegal and LGBTQ people were not allowed to serve openly in the military. When elected to Congress, I will be a strong champion of equality and LGBTQ rights for all Americans.
My opponent Ken Calvert can’t be trusted to support the LGBTQ community. He has a 30-year track record of opposing gay rights. He voted against the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Bill, sought to ban gay marriage in California, voted against repealing the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy and voted against providing LGBTQ people with comprehensive protections against discrimination. In fact, the Human Rights Campaign has given him a “zero” rating for his terrible lack of support of LGBTQ issues.
In 2022, facing an openly gay former federal prosecutor after redistricting made Palm Springs part of his congressional district, Ken Calvert finally decided to vote in favor of marriage equality. But make no mistake: this one vote is only about Calvert keeping power for himself. Just last year, before redistricting, he voted to allow employers to continue to fire people for being gay, and to allow landlords to continue to evict tenants for being gay. He also joined the lawsuit to overturn Roe, which eviscerated women’s equality and put countless other decisions protecting LGBTQ rights at risk. We cannot trust him with basic human rights.
My Equality and LGBTQ Commitments:
- Support passage of the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, healthcare, education and public accomodations;
- Protect the right to same-sex marriage that is under threat from a conservative Supreme Court that recently stripped women of the reproductive rights;
- Support increased funding for HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and research;
- Support a comprehensive federal response to address anti-transgender discrimination; and
- Oppose efforts that allow individuals to use private religious beliefs to discriminate against LGBTQ people in the public sphere.
It is time for Riverside County to have a congressional representative who will work to secure full LGBTQ rights and protections. Our country, economy, military and society is strongest when all of our citizens are protected from discrimination and have an equal opportunity to contribute, succeed and thrive.
Will Rollins is endorsed by: Equality California; Victory Fund; Equality PAC; LA Stonewall Democrats; Desert Stonewall Democrats; Planned Parenthood Action Fund; NARAL; and Congressman Mark Takano, co-chair of the Equality Caucus.