With 2023 inauguration plans, Newsom again trolls right-wing extremists

  • by Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor
  • Thursday December 15, 2022
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Governor Gavin Newsom, shown here at a Pride Month event in June, will hold a march to the state Capitol just prior to his second inauguration on January 6. Photo: Courtesy Governor's Office<br><br>
Governor Gavin Newsom, shown here at a Pride Month event in June, will hold a march to the state Capitol just prior to his second inauguration on January 6. Photo: Courtesy Governor's Office

Ever since California Governor Gavin Newsom easily defeated a right-wing backed recall against him last year, he has been on a roll trolling his conservative detractors and transphobic Republican counterparts in other states. Now comes word that the Democratic leader will use his 2023 inauguration to further present himself as a counterpoint to the extremism and illiberal democratic ideas that have risen across the country in recent years and been embraced by many GOP leaders.

He has chosen Friday, January 6, as the date for when he will be sworn into his second and final four-year term leading the fifth-largest economy in the world. It will coincide with the second anniversary of when supporters of former President Donald Trump broke into the U.S. Capitol Building in a failed attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election that swept Trump out of the White House.

"Friday January 6. Mark it down. It's not only Governor Newsom's Inauguration Day, but it's also the two year anniversary of the far-right's insurrection and failed attempt to topple American democracy," noted Newsom's gubernatorial campaign in an invite emailed to his supporters December 15.

The plans for the gubernatorial ceremony sound like a near mirror image of what occurred in Washington, D.C. two years ago when Trump held a rally on the National Mall where he repeated his lies about the 2020 election being stolen from him. His backers then marched to the building that houses Congress, which was certifying the election results that Wednesday, attacked law enforcement officers and desecrated the symbol of the country's democracy.

According to the invite from Newsom's campaign, it is "starting the day with the governor leading a march of Californians from every corner of the state through downtown Sacramento. It ends at the Capitol, where the governor will be sworn in."

It will not be the first time that Newsom has used the bully pulpit that comes with his elected office to highlight issues of democracy and freedoms for citizens. He ran advertisements in Texas and Florida critical of those state's Republican governors, Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis, respectively, who have both enacted anti-LGBTQ policies and laws. Both men were easily reelected in November.

Facing an easy path to reelection this year, Newsom used his campaign funds to put up billboards in seven different states that have restricted abortion access following the U.S. Supreme Court's rescinding a federal right to abortion earlier this year. The outdoor advertisements promoting California's abortion services went up in Texas, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.

And in his signing message for a bill this year that makes the Golden State a place of refuge for transgender youth and their parents fleeing persecution in their home states, Newsom called out those states that have passed laws "to demonize the transgender community, especially transgender youth and their parents." In contrast, California believes "in equality and acceptance," wrote Newsom in his letter to members of the state's Senate.

State governments, such as those of Alabama, Idaho, and Texas have adopted laws that call for prosecuting parents who allow their trans children to have gender-affirming care. Families in the Lone Star State have already found themselves being investigated by state agencies and facing the possibility of being prosecuted and seeing their trans children placed in foster care.

In Alabama, parents and physicians face being imprisoned for up to 10 years for either allowing their trans kids or providing their trans patients gender-affirming care. Both laws have been put on hold by judges as LGBTQ advocates challenge them in state and federal courts.

Newsom has long led on LGBTQ issues, such as when he was mayor of San Francisco and bucked state law by ordering city officials to marry same-sex couples in February of 2004. It supercharged the fight for marriage equality and led to successful state and federal court challenges that won the right for people of the same sex to wed in California.

During his first gubernatorial inauguration Newsom used the occasion to also send a message, one directed at Trump. In his speech, Newsom said his administration would "offer an alternative to the corruption and incompetence in the White House."

Those interested in attending Newsom's second inauguration and marching with him that day can RSVP online here.

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