Cites Saldaña's fighting spirit and willingness to stand up for what is rightSAN DIEGO – Joseph Christopher Rocha, a Naval veteran who made headlines for his efforts to repeal ‘Don’t Ask’ Don’t Tell,’ has endorsed Lori Saldaña’s run for Congress.
Rocha, who left the Navy after long-term abuse because of his sexuality, said he supports Saldaña because she stands on a proven record of serving the underprivileged and underrepresented.
“It is Saldaña’s heart, her fighting spirit, and her willingness to stand up for what is right that allows me to confidently endorse her,” he said.
Rocha lives in San Diego and has recently reentered the service as a candidate for officer selection in the Marine Corps.
“As a veteran returning to service, I would be proud knowing that the city I love is represented by a politician with the moral integrity of Lori Saldana.”
Saldaña said she was honored by Rocha’s support.
“Anybody who meets Joseph Rocha can’t help admiring his character, his unyielding commitment to public service and his willingness to rejoin the military after what he’s has been through,” Saldaña said. “I am deeply touched to have the support of this remarkable young man.”
Saldaña has been recognized by Equality California for twice co-authoring the nation’s first marriage equality legislation as well to other bills expanding legal protections for LGBT Californians.
Rocha adds to the growing list of LGBT elected officials and civil rights leaders who have endorsed Saldaña including:
Nichole Murray-Ramirez - City of San Diego Human Relations Commissioner, LGBT Activist
State Senator Mark Leno - author of California’s Marriage Equality legislation
Former State Senator Sheila Kuehl - first openly gay member of the California Legislature
Assembly Member Tom Ammiano – leader of the fight to defeat the anti-gay Briggs Initiative