Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Gay lobbyist celebrates three occasions

Happy pre-birthday wishes to gay lobbyist Boyce Hinman, the founder and chief lobbyist of the Sacramento-based Lambda Letters Project, who turns 68 on December 10. Hinman will also mark his 19th year with Lambda Letters on January 1, 2007, and he and his partner, Larry Beaty, are celebrating 36 years together.

Lambda Letters [] oversees letter-writing campaigns to state lawmakers on behalf of LGBT bills and other laws of importance to the gay community.

“It’s just wonderful work. I have always liked to be in helping occupations. That is what this is, helping people get their rights, health insurance, the whole nine yards,” said Hinman, who recently opened the project’s first downtown Sacramento office at 717 K Street.

In just the last decade the project has delivered 750,000 letters to lawmakers. The project runs on a shoestring budget of $100,000 and has no full-time paid staff. Hinman has run it as volunteer all these years, though he has paid an independent contractor to handle mailings. He is working on a foundation grant to pay for a part-time administrative assistant (with a salary of $2,000 a month) and a development director. If approved, the grant would come through in February.

In 2007 he also wants to host events around the state – a Bay Area one is tentatively planned for July – to educate LGBT people about the rights they have here in California, especially people in domestic partnerships. Hinman is also working on creating educational booklets on the various LGBT laws passed in recent years.

“We have passed a lot of bills giving rights to domestic partnerships but lots of people don’t know what their rights are under those bills,” he said. “Very few people know that insurance companies have to offer DP insurance under the same terms and conditions offered to married people. Larry and I got a $300 reduction in our long-term care insurance because of being domestic partners.”

Lambda Letters will once again be a strong supporter of AB43, the same-sex marriage bill Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) reintroduced Monday, December 4. In 2005 Lambda Letters supporters delivered more than 40,000 letters and e-mails to lawmakers urging them to support the bill.

Hinman expects the fight to pass the new bill to be as difficult as it was in 2005 and wants to double the number of letters and e-mails the project sends. Leno is short one vote for passage in the Senate and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has given no indication that he will sign it into law.

“I am not entirely sanguine it will get through the legislature. It has been vetoed once and is still a controversial issue,” said Hinman. “Legislators shy away from a bill they think will likely be vetoed. We need a much stronger effort this year to get it out of the Legislature.”

In honor of the triple anniversaries, Hinman is throwing a party and fundraiser from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, December 10 at the Lambda Community Center, 1927 L Street in Sacramento. Guests are asked to bring a desert and a $25 donation for the organization.

— Matthew S. Bajko, December 6, 2006 @ 12:41 pm PST
Filed under: Politics

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