Task Force honors California statewide leaders for their contributions to LGBT equality

November 06, 2009

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

SACRAMENTO, Nov. 6 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will honor three California statewide leaders today for their contributions to the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. They include California State Controller John Chiang, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Kathy Kneer and Assemblymember John A. Perez of the 46th district.

“After Prop. 8, Californians from all walks of life rededicated themselves to achieving full equality for LGBT people. These three honorees have exemplified that dedication. They continue to work every day as allies in our struggle,” says Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

A reception for the three honorees is being held today from 6?8 p.m. at 1930 K Street in downtown Sacramento.

About the honorees

California State Controller John Chiang

Elected in November 2006 as the state’s chief fiscal officer, Chiang has been a steadfast ally of LGBT people throughout his career in public life. While serving on the state’s Board of Equalization, beginning in 1998, Chiang supported measures to allow domestic partners to transfer property on terms equal to provisions of state law regarding transactions between family members, and without the impediments and costs imposed by reassessment. Since becoming controller, he has held financial planning workshops for domestic partners and married same-sex couples. An opponent of Prop. 8, he has spoken out for marriage equality for committed same-sex couples during Pride season and throughout the year.

Kathy Kneer, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC)

For nearly 20 years as PPAC executive, Kneer has stood by the LGBT community of the Sacramento area and stood up for the rights of LGBT people in California as a vital strategic ally. With office and medical staff, patients and political supporters who have faced extremist threats, Kneer has backed anti-violence and nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people at the local, state and federal level. Having built PPAC into a powerful voice in community and public affairs, she has provided timely, generous assistance to LGBT advocacy campaigns, including the Task Force’s Let California Ring and No on 8 efforts.

Assemblymember John A. Perez, 46th District

Elected to the state Assembly in 2008 representing an eastside Los Angeles district, Perez is the first openly gay lawmaker of color ever elected to the Legislature. He brings to his current post as his party’s caucus chair both youth and a breadth of experience in nearly every aspect of progressive advocacy and political leadership that is hard to rival. A former Clinton appointee to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, Perez has fought for funding and prevention messaging that responds to the distinct challenges facing Latino and communities of color in confronting the epidemic. His fluency extends to environmental and economic development policy. He has been a leader in fighting recent state cutbacks on housing and health.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and 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.