Gay marriage foe Andy Pugno lost his
bid on Tuesday for a seat in the California Assembly.
Pugno was defeated by his Democratic
rival, Richard Pan, in a district which has been represented by a
Republican for the last decade.
Pugno attempted to parlay his
involvement in Proposition 8, California's 2008 voter-approved gay
marriage ban, into a political career. The 37-year-old lawyer
represented the sponsors of the measure, which
is currently on appeal after a federal judge declared the law
unconstitutional, and served as the group's spokesman during the
While he gained a high profile from his
involvement in Proposition 8, Pugno mostly kept mum about the issue
on the campaign trail.
“I'm not trying to distance myself at
all,” he answered last month when asked about the issue's absence
from his campaign website. “Prop 8 is an issue that has already
been decided, and now ultimately rests with the courts. And so, it
is not one of the top issues the Assembly is facing. And is not the
purpose of my campaign.”
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the country's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, aided
Pugno's bid with nearly $120,000 worth of television ads.
California's largest gay rights
advocate, Equality California, cheered Pan's win.
“We are especially proud that staunch
ally Richard Pan won his race for Assembly, beating Prop. 8 author
Andy Pugno, who would have certainly rolled back our progress if we
had allowed him to be elected,” the group said in an email on