Today, HRC celebrated Virginia’s newly elected pro-equality majorities in both the House and Senate.
“Tonight’s election results send a powerful message that Virginians support a bold, progressive vision for the future of the Commonwealth,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “For far too long, anti-LGBTQ politicians have had a chokehold on Virginia’s legislative process and blocked efforts to pass statewide LGBTQ non-discrimination protections, sowing hate and division while putting the lives and livelihoods of LGBTQ Virginians at risk. The Human Rights Campaign worked tirelessly to turn out the 1.2 million Equality Voters in Virginia, and tonight we elected new leadership in Richmond that will put Virginians first. We look forward to working with the new majority to ensure these critically important protections are finally passed into law.”
For years, the Human Rights Campaign has worked with Equality Virginia and others to expand Virginia’s non-discrimination protections to include LGBTQ people. However, despite majorities in both the House and Senate supporting the legislation, Speaker Kirk Cox refused to bring the legislation up for a vote. Cox and Majority Leader Tim Hugo not only acted counter to members of their own caucus and the Virginia public, but also counter to the desires of their own base. According to polling, these measures have overwhelming support among Virginians, including a majority of Virginia Republicans. Over the past several elections, HRC has successfully elected pro-equality champions at every level of Virginia’s state government and will continue to engage in this important work in the weeks and months leading up to this November’s election.
In August, the Human Rights Campaign endorsed 27 candidates and committed to invest over $250,000 to elect pro-equality candidates across Virginia. The endorsements marked the beginning of HRC’s largest ever field, digital and direct mail program in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
From Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads, HRC field organizers were deployed to mobilize 1.2 million Equality Voters across the commonwealth. In 2018, HRC used sophisticated analytics to identify and mobilize 57 million “Equality Voters” nationwide who prioritize LGBTQ-inclusive policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. HRC targeted and turned out these voters in the 27 districts where HRC made an endorsement.