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Human Rights Campaign Endorses Senator Mark Kirk for Re-Election

March 11, 2016
Filed under: State & Local Advocacy

Kirk’s leadership on LGBT equality includes co-sponsoring the Equality Act and leading on efforts to combat bullying and harassment in schools

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced that the Public Policy Committee of HRC’s Board of Directors, comprised of community leaders from across the nation, has voted today to endorse Senator Mark Kirk for re-election. The endorsement was issued along with a first round of endorsements for pro-equality incumbents in the House and Senate.

“Whether it was becoming the first Republican Senator to co-sponsor the Equality Act, co-sponsoring a bill to help schools combat anti-LGBT bullying or supporting marriage equality, Senator Kirk has demonstrated time and again that he believes in full federal equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Senator Kirk’s leadership on the Equality Act sends a strong message that fairness and equality are bipartisan values. Senator Kirk has fought for us, and we are proud to support him in his re-election campaign.”

In addition to supporting the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” voting for numerous HIV/AIDS funding measures, voting twice against the Federal Marriage Amendment that would have outlawed same-sex marriage and serving as the lead Republican co-sponsor of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Senator Kirk’s remarkable record on equality includes:

  • The Equality Act: Co-sponsored a landmark bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing civil rights laws that ban discrimination in employment, housing, public spaces, education, credit, federal funding and jury service.

  • Safe Schools Improvement Act: Co-sponsored a bill to help schools address bullying.

  • Social Security and VA benefits amendment: Voted for a budget amendment to ensure same-sex couples have access to Social Security and veterans benefits.

  • Veteran Spouses amendment: Voted for an amendment to extend access to critical veteran's spousal benefits to all same-sex couples.

  • Runaway and Homeless Youth amendment: Voted for an amendment which included explicit LGBT non-discrimination protections for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs.

  • Student Non-Discrimination Act amendment: Voted for an amendment to prohibit LGBT discrimination in public schools.

In addition to Mark Kirk, HRC announced the following endorsements for incumbent members of Congress today:

  • In the Senate, HRC has endorsed Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

  • In the House, HRC has endorsed Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Brad Ashford (D-NE), Ami Bera (D-CA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Bob Dold (R-IL), Gwen Graham (D-FL), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Rick Nolan (DFL-MN), Scott Peters (D-CA), Raúl Ruiz (D-CA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.

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