Prop. 14 Is Too Risky for the LGBT Community

Commentary by Jeff Girard

Prop. 14, will change the California election process in a way that increases the odds of empowering anti-gay candidates.

If passed, all congressional and statewide representative candidates will run on a single Primary Election ballot. Voters could vote for whomever they want regardless of whether they are a Democrat, a Republican, with a third party, an independent voter, or a “decline to state” voter.

That does not sound bad - yet.

Then, the top two candidates compete against each other in the November election.

That’s very bad.

Many people thought Prop. 8 would not pass. Likewise, some people may assume that California is too blue a state to elect a conservative Republican Governor.

Consider this scenario: in the primary election, if there are at least two Republican candidates and if there is only one unchallenged Democrat candidate (as is the case this year) and that Democrat became immersed in scandal to the extent that it cost him/her the election, the top two Republican candidates would emerge as the top two vote earners to face off in the General Election.

Or suppose Republicans run two popular gubernatorial candidates (maybe another celebrity) and simply beat Democrats in the primary. Then, we’d be stuck with a November election without a Democrat candidate.

That’s dangerous because too many times we’ve seen Republicans transform into anti-gay extremists in order to appeal to conservatives (take Steve Poizner for example). As we see in Virginia, an anti-gay Governor can damage the progress we’ve made.

If Prop. 14 passes, pro-equality state representative and congressional candidates will become unlikely to ever be competitive in regions dominated by anti-gay Republicans who win primary and general elections by margins of over 60% (the Yuba-Sutter area for example), because Republicans in those areas are vastly more likely to get the most votes in the primary election.

Take California’s 4th Congressional District race in 2006 for example. Due to incumbent Republican John Doolittle’s Jack Abramoff connections, Charles Brown became the first Democrat in decades to stand a competitive chance in that region. However, in the primary election, Brown received fewer votes than Doolittle and his Republican opponent John M. Holmes and therefore would not have made it to the General Election.

What’s more, Democrat Charles Brown defines marriage as “between a man and a woman.” If Prop 14 passes, like Brown, Democrats who emerge to compete against Republicans in swing areas will more likely hold anti-gay conservative views.

Next, if Prop. 14 passes, pro-LGBT minor party and independent candidates would become even less likely to ever have a chance to materialize as viable candidates.

There indeed needs to be election reform to provide voters a greater choice of candidates. However, Prop. 14 does not accomplish reform for the better and is too risky.

Vote no and encourage any LGBT political groups you associate with to oppose Prop.14

Jeff Girard is the founder and former president of Yuba-Sutter Unity, the first visible and viable group in the Yuba-Sutter region, former Equality California chapter leader and volunteer, and was a campaign organizer staff member for the NO on 8 campaign. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Join Our Mailing List
For Email Marketing you can trust

Read Outword Online

Free live stats and visitor counter for Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal, Magento and Prestashop