The LGBT Community Network has recently had the chance to interview Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig.
In the interview, we asked Magsig, who is running for reelection for Fresno County District 5 about four contentious policies brought up by candidate Jennifer Cruz to provide Fresno County residents with a better understanding of where the two candidates differ.
1. Gay Marriage
The first policy that the LGBTQ Fresno had requested candidate Magsig to elaborate on was his stance on gay marriage.
“For me, I’m one who very much supports marriage because when you take a look at what happens with divorce, it causes tremendous trauma for children…It’s important, I think, for not government to be involved, but it’s important for individuals, institutions, churches to be doing more to try to keep families together for the sake of our children.”
When requesting that candidate Magsig clarify his stance specifically about same-sex marriage, we received the following response:
“So really at the county-level, when it comes to same-sex marriage, really those policies and decisions have been set at the state level… My role as a local elected official is to work with everyone and be even-handed in my approach.”
2. Parents Matter Act
Recently, candidate Magsig was one of the main supporters of the Parents Matter Act, which removes books and materials about gender and sexuality from the children’s sections of Fresno County libraries. When asked about the reasoning behind this policy, he responded:
“To me, it’s common sense… If our media partners have to censor what’s in books being made available to four and five-year-olds, I have a problem with that.”
When asking candidate Magsig about LGBTQ books that did not have adult content requiring censorship, the response we received was:
“I can’t speak to a hypothetical scenario.”
3. Pride Flag
LGBTQ Fresno also asked about Magsig’s support of the two-flag policy, implemented right around Pride Month, which only allowed the raising of the United States and state of California flag, but not the Pride flag. Magsig’s justification went as follows:
“We only fly two flags…the state flag and the US flag. And the reason that the county of Fresno has that policy is…[that] there are many different issues that can be divisive and really, the flags that unite all of us as Californians and… Americans… are the US flag and the state flag. And I think it’s important for the county of Fresno to focus on those things that unite us and less on those things that divide us.”
4. Yokuts/Squaw Valley
The final policy we asked Magsig to elaborate on was his decision to continue using the phrase “Squaw Valley,” a phrase arguably encoded with decades of colonialism and violence, instead of “Yokuts Valley.” He argues that:
“I want to make sure that the residents of Squaw Valley[‘s]… voices are being heard… the Squaw Valley band of Wuksachi Indians helped name this place Squaw Valley with the early settlers.”
At the end of the day, Magsig claims that he is a leader “for the people,” but his stances on policies “for the LGBTQ people” remain unclear. The decision is now up to the public, which leader best represents all of the voices in Fresno County?
LGBT Community Network is a non-profit organization. As part of our commitment to providing educational resources to the community, we may conduct interviews with political candidates. It is important to note that we do not endorse or oppose any political candidate for public office. The views expressed by candidates during interviews are their own, and the purpose of these interviews is to inform the public about the candidates’ positions on relevant issues.