Gay rights activists in California want to torpedo Andrew Pugno's run for state assembly, vowing to help defeat the Republican candidate, who continues to be a major advocate for banning same-sex marriage in the Golden State.

“Pugno is the string puller,” Rick Jacobs, the openly gay founder of Courage Campaign, told the Sacramento Bee. “Pugno is clearly very politically ambitious and has an extreme right-wing agenda. He must be stopped.”

Pugno, who is running for the state assembly's 5th district in Sacramento, is the author of Proposition 8, the successful ballot measure that took away the existing right of gays and lesbians to legally marry in California.

Pugno was also a player in the recent Proposition 8 federal trial in San Francisco, urging U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to uphold the gay marriage ban.

Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, told the Sacramento Bee that a Pugno loss will be a “top priority.” Kors described Pugno as “one of the most vocal advocates of discrimination in the nation.”

With Walker's ruling expected to be handed down this summer, Pugno's position on gay marriage will probably be a hot topic on the campaign trail. The Republican is facing Dr. Richard Pan, a Democrat who supports gay marriage, in the November general election.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

LA Weekly