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Capps Helps Launch Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Equality Caucus

Congresswoman serving as vice chairwoman of congressional delegation.

Santa Barbara attorney Lisa Gilinger, center, and her partner, Kelly Winters, were in Washington with Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, for the debut of the new Congressional Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality Caucus. (Emily Kryder photo / Rep. Lois Capps’ office)

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, helped launch the newly formed Congressional Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality Caucus on Wednesday and will serve as the group’s vice chairwoman. Reps. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Barney Frank, D-Mass., founded the caucus to work on legislative issues important to the LGBT community.

“This is a remarkable time in the history of our nation, and for our Congress,” Capps said. “Americans are crying out for change in the direction of our country. I believe that this caucus is one more way to respond to that call.”

Capps was joined at the Capitol kickoff by Santa Barbara attorney Lisa Gilinger, an LGBT advocate.

“Despite important progress, the fight for equality in the workplace, the school and our society at large continues for too many LGBT Americans and their families,” Capps said. “And, unfortunately, we still have too many sad and tragic reminders — like the recent murder of my young constituent, Lawrence King — of the struggle that LGBT Americans face every day.

“It is my hope that this caucus will provide the leadership and inspiration to help realize this dream of true equality for all Americans. All LGBT Americans, and particularly our young people, should be able to take heart in who they are and in who they aspire to be without fear of physical harm or discrimination. And, certainly, all of our children deserve acceptance and happiness.”

Lawrence King, a 15-year-old eighth-grader who identified himself as gay and wore makeup and nail polish, was shot in the head by a fellow student at Oxnard’s E.O. Green Junior High on Feb. 12. He died the next day. Brandon McInerney, 14, has been charged with first-degree murder and with a hate crime in the case.

Emily Kryder is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

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