Equality California confronts Modesto Councilman Mani Grewal on anti-LGBTQ statements

Modesto Councilman Mani Grewal

Mani Grewal, a Democrat and Modesto City Councilman, is under fire from the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights group for misleading voters and “smearing the LGBTQ community.” Photo: City of Modesto.

A Northern California Democrat city councilman is under fire from the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights group for misleading voters and “smearing the LGBTQ community.”

Modesto City Councilman Mani Grewal, a candidate in the California’s 5th State Senate District primary election, earlier this week made false statements about Senate Bill 145, which has the support of law enforcement officials and civil rights advocates. The bill would end a discriminatory sentencing law that has disproportionately targeted and harmed members of the LGBTQ community —  Forcing them to register on California’s sex offender list even though they pose no threat to society.

Equality California responds

Samuel Garrett-Pate, a spokesman with Equality California, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights group and one of the bill’s sponsors, checked Grewal on social media.

“It’s shameful that Modesto City Councilmember Mani Grewal thinks the only way he can win in #SD5 is to lie to voters and attack the #LGBTQ community,” Garrett-Pate said on Twitter.


Grewal could not be reached for comment.

California Senate Bill 145

SB 145 also has enormous bipartisan support. It has been passed by the Senate and waits for a vote in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. If the bill passes that committee, it will go to the full Assembly for a vote. If approved, the bill will return to the Senate and have to concur with any Assembly amendments. The bill must reach the governor’s desk by September 13.

Mani Grewal

Grewal, however, who calls himself “a different kind of Democrat,” has decided to throw the truth about SB 145 under the bus.

Grewal has criticized the bill for months, and EQCA has asked him to stop, Garrett-Pate told Q Voice News.

Also, Equality California will be seeking a formal censure on Grewal from the California Democratic Party, Garrett-Pate said.

In an article posted Tuesday by the Stockton Record, Grewal falsely said that the bill would “allow a 21-year-old man to molest my 11-year-old daughter and then be exempted from registering as a sex offender.”

‘Outrageous and offensive’

Garrett-Pate also responded to Grewal’s gross comments.

“His comments about #SB145 in the @StocktonRecord today are as outrageous and offensive as they are blatantly false…as anyone could tell you from reading the bill’s clear language,” Garrett-Pate said on Twitter. “Shame on him for continuing his smear campaign against the #LGBTQ community, for opposing a bipartisan civil rights bill backed by law enforcement.”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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