Press

NGLTF Demands that Bill Simon Apologize and Pull Anti-Gay Campaign Ad

Date: 
November 02, 2002

Radio Ad Produced by Glenn County Republican Party Is Running In Rural Central California

Los Angeles, October 31, 2002 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force calls on California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon to pull a Glenn County Republican Party-sponsored Spanish-language radio ad running in Central California off the air and apologize for allowing the discriminatory and inflammatory ad to air. The ad uses derogatory Latino stereotypes featuring "Panchito" and an enchilada-cooking housewife "Lupita" and reads in part, "I am scared that Democrats are teaching our children in the schools that the homosexual practice is okay, instead of using those hours to teach them to read and write."

"Bill Simon just can't stop himself from alienating gay and lesbian people from the Republican Party," said Lorri L. Jean, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "First, he flip-flops on his stated support of domestic partnerships and now his campaign ads are promoting prejudice by inferring that something is wrong with gay and lesbian people. Simon could use a lesson from Republicans like Rudy Giuliani and Richard Riordan, who believe in treating gay and lesbian people fairly." Jean continued, "No anti-gay Republican will ever win the gubernatorial seat in California. The people of this state, including the millions of GLBT Californians, just won't tolerate that kind of bigotry. Bill Simon should insist these ads cease and immediately issue a statement of apology."

Simon has insisted his campaign played no role in developing or funding the ad. As reported by Advocate Magazine, when asked if he endorsed its implicit anti-gay message at a Sacramento campaign stop, Simon simply replied that he would be a "governor for all Californians."

California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres has also called for Simon to apologize for the ad, saying in a statement, "Bill Simon needs to apologize to Californians for allowing the Glenn County Republican Party to air a Spanish-language radio ad on his behalf that is offensive on several levels. He needs to apologize to California's gay and lesbian community for the ad's negative statement about homosexuals, and he needs to apologize to the Latino community for portraying Latino families in a stereotypical and derogatory fashion."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.