As a mother of a gay child, I am beyond concerned about the prospect of Mike Garcia being elected to represent me in Congress. If elected, Garcia would allow discrimination against our LGBTQ+ children to flourish. Yes, the affirmation of his position is right there in the voter’s guide under 25th District Republican candidate Mike Garcia. When asked if he supported adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes in non-discrimination laws, his response was a resounding “disagree.”
If Mike has his way, wonderful couples like my son, Jeff and his husband, Siew, would never be allowed to be married. Garcia would negate my son’s and thousands of our LGBTQ+ community members’ civil rights and return us to a time when our LGBTQ+ youth would feel as Jeff said he did in the 1980s, like his life would never be valued by society, that his very existence would be opposed by his community. And, believe me, it was.
We lived through that period, a period when 400 protesters gathered on the apron in front of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church to protest a speaker who was scheduled to educate teachers and counselors from the William S. Hart Union High School District about how to make our schools safe for our LGBTQ+ students. We were there when, at this protest, a PTO president from one of our high schools claimed her son had gone from K-12 in Santa Clarita schools and he never had a gay child in any of his classes. We were there when the Hart district superintendent refused to allow a panel of gay and lesbian alumni share their experiences at a district counselors’ meeting so the counselors would be better equipped to understand the challenges of this student population.
Yes, this was life for our LGBTQ+ kids in the late ’80s and early ’90s. A vote for Mike Garcia is a vote to foster discrimination in these turbulent times. Our City Council has spent this summer discussing ways to eradicate discrimination and celebrate the richness of our diversity. Sadly, a vote for Mike Garcia, and those who endorse him, will very likely undermine these efforts.