“California Human Rights: Alert” (Cassell)

This 1984 document is a call-to-action for citizens to voice their support for California State Assembly Bill 1 (A.B. 1), the gay and lesbian employment rights bill, becoming law from California Assemblyman Art Agnos. Headed with a bold “ALERT” message, the document describes the prejudiced resistance to A.B. 1 and notes the comprehensive need for Californians to respond to such opposition. The use of quotes from oppositional State Senators John Doolittle and H. L. Richardson conveys urgency as their vitriolic hate speech includes egregious arguments such as putting state citizen’s lives in jeopardy with the AIDS epidemic. By citing the detractors’ “coordinated and well-financed” attempts to “intimidate” the Governor to veto the bill, Agnos prompts citizens to contact the Governor in support of the bill through personal, hand-written messages. This document is significant in revealing the harsh opposition to the LGBTQ+ community within the last 30 years, but also the successful mobilization to protect their rights, which are notably referred to as Human Rights in the document’s title.

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