Washington D.C., Dec 23, 2020 / 10:53 am
The new California senator who will fill the seat vacated by Kamala Harris has been endorsed by pro-abortion and pro-LGBT groups.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Dec. 22 selected Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State, to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (D).
Pro-abortion and pro-LGBT groups applauded the choice of Padilla, calling him a "true ally to the LGBTQ+ community" and "a longtime, unapologetic champion of reproductive health & rights".
Planned Parenthood president Alexis McGill-Johnson tweeted that Padilla "fought tirelessly for reproductive freedom in the CA State Senate, as head of @DemsofState and more."
In an October letter to Newsom on filling Harris' vacant Senate seat, the group Equality California called Padilla "a full-throated champion" of the LGBTQ agenda. It listed him among candidates who "never wavered in their commitment to advancing LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice, even when it was not politically expedient for them to stand with our community."
Padilla has served as California Secretary of State since 2015 and, before that, in the state senate from 2006 until 2014. The son of Mexican immigrants, he will be state's first Latino senator. He hails from Los Angeles and formerly worked for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
While in the state senate, Padilla supported several pro-abortion and pro-LGBT bills.
He authored a 2008 bill to bolster enforcement of the state's pro-abortion law that criminalized certain "anti-reproductive rights" acts.
His bill, SB 1770, mandated guidelines for the training of law enforcement in "the investigation and reporting of cases involving anti-reproductive-rights crimes."
According to Equality California, Padilla also supported the state's 2013 bill mandating that students have access to restrooms, locker rooms, and other activities based on their gender identity, not their biological sex.
According to the National Abortion Rights Action League, Padilla also fought the state's 2008 ballot initiative, Proposition 4, to block minors seeking abortion unless the abortionist obtained permission from their parent, legal guardian, or alternative adult family member. The initiative was defeated by California voters.
In 2013, he tweeted that he was "Proud to be, and always have been, 100% pro-choice because a woman knows what's best for her own health." In 2018, he tweeted that "A woman's right to choose what happens to her own body is not negotiable."
Harris will leave the Senate after four years, where she continued her pro-abortion voting record and used her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee repeatedly to question federal judicial nominees on their support for legal abortion and the LGBT agenda.
On the committee, she went highlighted the membership of several nominees in the Knights of Columbus, questioning whether their ability to rule fairly on abortion and "marriage equality" was compromised by their participation in the "all-male society" that "opposed a woman's right to choose."