by Joel Trambley | April 8
Today, the Human Rights Campaign Political Action Committee (HRC PAC) endorsed Rep. Scott Peters for re-election in California’s 52nd U.S. Congressional district. Announcing the endorsement Fred Sainz, HRC vice president for communications said, “Scott Peters has proved himself to be a leader and a strong advocate for equality. As the nation moves rapidly to embrace full LGBT equality, Scott’s voice on Capitol Hill will echo those of his fair-minded constituents and Americans across the country.”
In San Diego, local LGBT and HRC leaders announced the endorsement at the Pride Flag in Hillcrest.
San Diego City Council President and former Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, who is openly gay, led the conference, recognizing “[The HRC] endorsement confirms what we already know in San Diego: Scott Peters is and always has been an uncompromising advocate for full LGBT equality.”
Gloria noted that the congressman was not able to attend himself because he was at work in Washington, but shared Peters’ statement on the endorsement. “My father fought for racial equality during the civil rights movement when I was young, and I’m proud to continue that legacy at the forefront of the battle for full LGBT equality, the most important civil rights issue of our time.”
HRC San Diego Political Chair Tanner Songer recounted Peters’ legislative record, including support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Safe Schools Improvement Act, and the Respect for Marriage Act. “Scott has been a tireless supporter of fairness and equality for decades,” said Songer. “He stood up for LGBT Americans even when it wasn’t the popular thing to do.”
Peters is being challenged by three Republicans, including openly gay former City Councilmember Carl DeMaio. The 52nd District electorate is split nearly evenly among Democrats, Republicans and decline to state voters. It is considered one of the most competitive races in the nation, with The Cook Political Report ranking it as a “toss-up,” though Peters currently leads in fundraising.
Former State Sen. Christine Kehoe highlighted Peters fit in such a district, stating that he is “able to work with all parties to get things done.” She also mentioned that California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, who represented Council District 3 between Kehoe and Gloria, was an early supporter of Peters.
Stampp Corbin, a former member of the HRC board of directors (and publisher ofSan Diego LGBT Weekly), highlighted the importance of electing Peters, who is a Democrat, because of the difference in party platforms in 2012. While the Democratic Party platform supports “marriage equality and supports the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples,” the Republican Party applauds “the citizens of the majority of states which have enshrined in their constitutions the traditional concept of marriage.”
The Human Rights Campaign is the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, with more than a million members. Unlike groups that endorse only LGBT candidates, HRC PAC endorses viable candidates with a record of support for and leadership on LGBT issues, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.