Midterm Elections: What's at Stake Our Rights Are on the Line on Nov. 8

The 2022 midterms are shaping up to be a critical turning point in our continued fight for full equality nationwide. In just the last seven months, we’ve seen a state legislative season with a record number of bills targeting transgender youth, a devastating number of mass shootings and a major blow to reproductive rights in the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling. The urgency of the upcoming elections could not be more clear. Our community is in a state of emergency, and we must elect officials who are committed to protecting our fundamental civil rights.

HRC is investing resources to mobilize over 62 million Equality Voters across the country. Equality Voters understand that we must elect officials who are just as committed to LGBTQ+ equality as we are. They understand that LGBTQ+ equality is a make-or-break issue when determining which candidates receive our support. They understand that when it comes to securing our rights, complacency is not an option.

Extremist right-wing politicians have shown us just how far they’re willing to attack our community to rile up small, radical factions of their base. We must shut them down. Anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric creates stigma, discrimination and violence – especially against the transgender and non-binary community. We need pro-equality candidates to create and maintain pro-equality majorities in the House, Senate and state legislatures across the country that will champion and enact inclusive laws.

There is simply far too much at stake for any of us to sit on the sidelines this year. HRC is using every tool at our disposal to turn out the vote, elect pro-equality candidates down the ballot and protect our democracy.

Here are 3 actions you can take today to join us:

Defending Democracy in Priority Races

In preparation for this year’s election, HRC has begun endorsing a slate of pro-equality candidates in congressional, Senate and statewide elections across the country. There are still plenty of endorsements to come before November, but below you’ll find a snapshot of several candidates we’re proud to support in key priority races.


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Strengthening our pro-equality majority in the Senate will be vital as we work to pass important legislation for our communities. We must send strong LGBTQ+ allies to the Senate to champion progressive federal policies.

Arizona - Mark Kelly (incumbent)

Sen. Kelly is committed to fighting for progress on key legislation to advance equality for LGBTQ+ people, and has proven that commitment as an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act.

Florida - Val Demings

Demings will bring something to the U.S. Senate on behalf of Floridians that has been missing for too long — a champion for marginalized people, especially LGBTQ+ people, Black people and women.

Georgia - Rev. Raphael Warnock (incumbent)

Sen. Warnock is a strong ally of the LGBTQ+ community, and he will continue to be unwavering in his fight for LGBTQ+ equality. He’s proudly joined our effort to pass the Equality Act in the Senate.

Nevada - Catherine Cortez Masto (incumbent)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Cortez Masto pushed for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity to ensure the LGBTQ+ community’s needs were met. She’s also supported LGBTQ+ rights abroad with her support of the International Human Rights Defense Act.

New Hampshire - Maggie Hassan (incumbent)

Sen. Hassan, a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, is helping lead the fight in the Senate to ban so-called “conversion therapy” and is working to pass legislation to protect LGBTQ+ students on college campuses from bullying and harassment.

North Carolina - Cheri Beasley

From her time working as a public defender in Fayetteville to becoming the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, Beasley has been a voice of justice for people across the state. She’ll continue to advocate in the Senate for all marginalized people.

Pennsylvania - John Fetterman

Fetterman has defined himself as an unwavering ally for the LGBTQ+ community throughout his time as an elected official. As lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, Fetterman fought for state and local laws to prohibit anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination; hosted a same-sex wedding when a wedding venue refused to do so; and fought for equality for LGBTQ+ couples in the provision of adoption services.


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Pro-equality governors have curbed the impact of attacks from anti-equality legislators and anti-LGBTQ+ bills moving in state legislatures. We need governors who are wholly committed to making their states safer and strengthening protections for their LGBTQ+ constituents.

Georgia - Stacey Abrams

Abrams is a proven leader and an inspirational figure, both nationally and among Georgians. She has been a strong ally to the LGBTQ+ community and has fought against regressive, anti-equality legislation during her time in the Georgia House of Representatives, supporting policies like non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ Georgians and marriage equality.

Michigan - Gretchen Whitmer (incumbent)

Gov. Whitmer has been a strong and effective ally for Michigan’s LGBTQ+ community. During her first days as governor, she signed an executive directive to strengthen prohibitions against LGBTQ+ discrimination in state employment, contracting and provision of services.

Nevada - Steve Sisolak (incumbent)

In a few short years, Gov. Sisolak has helped further Nevada’s strides toward LGBTQ+ equality. The package of bills that he signed last year, devoted to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the state, serve to increase equity when it comes to expanding LGBTQ+ businesses, improving HIV care and gathering better demographic data on LGBTQ+ populations.

Pennsylvania - Josh Shapiro

Shapiro’s track record on standing up for everyday Pennsylvanians in his current role as attorney general is unparalleled. Shapiro is a reliable, passionate advocate for the LGBTQ+ community who has a sincere belief in the power of the democratic process to ensure positive change in our communities.

Wisconsin - Tony Evers (incumbent)

From day one of his governorship, Gov. Evers has prioritized the advancement of equality for the LGBTQ+ community. He enacted non-discrimination protections for transgender state employees and has stood strong against efforts by anti-equality forces in the state legislature to pass anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

Secretary of State

The right to vote is imperative to ensure that all other rights are protected. Free and fair elections are an essential part of defending our democracy. Our community relies on the democratic process to ensure our full participation in all aspects of society, and we need allies who will guard those rights and protect our elections.

Nevada - Cisco Aguilar

Aguilar has a history of progressive advocacy and action, and he will continue to fight for and secure LGBTQ+ rights in Nevada. As secretary of state, he’ll ensure Nevada remains a place where everyone is protected, equal and dignified.


HRC is supporting three openly LGBTQ+ candidates in competitive House reelection races. In 2018, these candidates made history as they became their state’s first openly LGBTQ+ members of Congress. Each of these representatives supports the Equality Act and other legislation important to the LGBTQ+ community. They will continue to serve us well when re-elected in November.

To state it plainly – a lot is on the line for LGBTQ+ rights in the upcoming elections. Electing pro-equality candidates is an instrumental step in the fight for our rights.


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