Will America's Gayest City Find Itself With a Homophobic Congressman Next Year?

Friday January 7, 2022

In 2018 Palm Springs elected America's first all-LGBTQ+ city council, but did so with little fanfare, reported the Guardian. "No rainbow flag over city hall, no pride parade, no proclamation about making history, not even a press release. In fact it has barely acknowledged the milestone."

What the election did show is how it reflects the city's LGBTQ+ population, which, according to Gay Palm Springs has risen substantially in recent years. "The Gay population is now estimated at more than 50 percent of the annual resident population. Today the City of Palm Springs has the highest per capita gay population in the US, if not the world."

But when it comes to representational politics on the national level, Palm Springs residents may be in for a bit of a shock. With redistricting, that was supervised by the Democratic majority in the state house, Ken Calvert, a deeply homophobic Congressman, could represent the gay Mecca.

While the move makes the seemingly invulnerable Calvert open to be replaced by adding blue population centers to his overwhelmingly red district, it could also lead to his re-election if enough voters don't turn out to oppose him. "Thanks to redistricting, the sitting representative will see his constituency shift from a ruby-red slice of California's Inland Empire to a more diverse mélange of voters. In addition to Palm Springsians, residents of Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert will have the opportunity to kick Calvert to the curb," MetroSource said.

And Calvert gives them numerous reasons as to why LGBTQ+ voters should not vote for him.

In 2009, he posted on his website his opposition to same sex marriage.

"I do not think that an issue as important as gay marriage should be made by nine unelected judges," said Rep. Calvert. "I support the people's right to define 'marriage' as only between a man and a woman through a constitutional amendment. I hope the court grants a stay of judgment until after November when the people of California will have an opportunity to vote for the constitutional amendment."

His post continues: "Congressman Calvert voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act (P.L. 104-199) which became law on September 21, 1996 and supported Proposition 22 in 2000 which declared that "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The current proposition for the November general election is still in the qualifying process and has not been issued a Proposition number yet.

"I believe that we can practice tolerance while still holding true to cultural values that protect the institution of marriage as a union between only a man and a woman," stated Rep. Calvert. "I look forward to the November election when the people of California will make the ultimate decision about how the state treats marriage."

Instinct Magazine adds that "his legislative scorecard from the ACLU is abysmal, matching the ACLU's position once out of eight votes." The organization scores him 7% on civil rights issues, including his casting a 'no' vote on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 'yes' votes on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman; on a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage; and a third on banning gay adoptions in DC.

Calvert scores even worse with the Human Rights Campaign where he scores a "0' in 15 LGBTQ+-related votes in the 116th Congress, including the Equality Act, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, and International Human Rights Defense Act of 2019.

For an outline on his views on civil rights issues, visit this website.

Twitter users expressed their opposition to Calvert: