Human Rights Campaign Announces Pro-Equality Leaders for U.S. Senate

by HRC Staff

Post submitted by Lucas Acosta (he/him), former Deputy Director of Communications, Politics

These six candidates are crucial to establishing a pro-equality majority in the U.S. Senate.

Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced the endorsement of six candidates who are crucial to establishing a pro-equality majority in the U.S. Senate.

In 2019, the U.S. House made history by passing the Equality Act -- crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws -- for the first time. However, despite the support from over 70% of Americans including a majority of Republicans, Sen. Mitch McConnell has refused to bring the bill up for a vote. The candidates endorsed today are crucial to establishing a pro-equality majority in the U.S. Senate to finally break Sen. Mitch McConnell’s stranglehold on LGBTQ rights and protections, including passing the Equality Act.

Newly-Endorsed Candidates include:

  • Sara Gideon (ME)
  • Theresa Greenfield (IA)
  • MJ Hegar (TX)
  • John Hickenlooper (CO)
  • Sen. Ed Markey (MA)
  • Jon Ossoff (GA)

“Despite support from 70% of the American public, Mitch McConnell has stood in the way of progress for LGBTQ people and refused to even allow a vote on the Equality Act,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Today’s endorsements mark the next step of HRC’s efforts to elect a pro-equality U.S. Senate and end McConnell’s tenure as majority leader. Each of these candidates are true allies of our movement and will work to ensure LGBTQ people are treated with the respect and dignity every human deserves. Together, united like never before, we can achieve the change our community needs.”

“Every Mainer, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves a seat at the table in discussions about our future and I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign in this race,” said U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon. “In the State House, we passed landmark legislation banning conversion therapy and strengthening the Maine Human Rights Act to protect LGBTQ Mainers from discrimination based on gender identity. I look forward to bringing the same dedication to full equality to Washington, and will always fight for the right of all Mainers to live without fear of discrimination.”

“I will always stand with LGBTQ+ Iowans and work toward equal rights and opportunity for all,” said businesswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield. “Everyone should have the opportunity to be themselves, earn a living and pursue their dreams, without fear of discrimination or hate. I’m honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign and in the U.S. Senate I’ll fight to protect equal rights and pass the Equality Act.”

"I am honored to earn the Human Rights Campaign's endorsement and proud stand alongside the over 850,000 LGBTQ+ Texans in the fight for true equality. Together we're going to defeat Senator Cornyn and uplift the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, fight against discrimination in access to health care and housing, protect transgender people of color from violence, and ensure the safety of LGBTQ+ youth," said MJ Hegar.

“I’m honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign — the country’s leading organziation for LGBTQ equality,” said Hickenlooper. “I’ve been proud to work with HRC here in Colorado on issues like marriage equality, and I look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with them in the U.S. Senate to finally pass the Equality Act and make progress on other key priorities for the LGBTQ community. We’ve seen assault after assault from the Trump Administration on health care protections for trans individuals and crucial guidelines to protect LGBTQ students, and Senator Gardner has shamefully stood silently by. Enough is enough — it’s time to change Washington and fight for equality for all.”

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign,” said Senator Markey. “Now more than ever, when hard-won protections for LGBTQ+ people are under attack, we must be bold and steadfast in our fight for fairness and equality. Starting with the Equality Act, we must work to ensure that all members of our LGBTQ+ community are treated with humanity, dignity, and equality under the law. The road to equality is too often long, but our resolve will not be defeated. I am proud to stand for equality alongside the inspiring, dedicated, and tireless team at the Human Rights Campaign, because LGBTQ+ rights are human rights.”

“In the Senate, I’ll fight for equal rights and equal protection for all Americans and proudly support the Equality Act, which will expand federal anti-discrimination protections to include gender and sexual orientation,” said Jon Ossoff. “I’m honored to have the Human Rights Campaign’s support and look forward to working with them to secure human rights for all.”

With a new pro-equality Senate majority alongside the House pro-equality majority, we have the opportunity not just to pass the Equality Act, but ensure access to quality, affordable health care is protected, common sense gun safety legislation can be considered, voting rights can be advanced, and anti-equality judges are not appointed to our federal courts and the Supreme Court.

In the 2018 midterms, HRC helped register more than 32,000 voters and recruited more than 4,200 volunteers, who worked over 8,500 shifts and clocked more than 30,000 volunteer hours. In the critical final four days of the campaign, HRC staff and volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts alone knocked on more than 80,000 doors, and held 36,400 conversations with voters at their doors and by phone on behalf of our endorsed candidates. HRC's unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit volunteers, mobilize constituents, register voters and grow the organization's grassroots army in an all-out effort to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable. In 2020, our engagement and mobilization efforts will only deepen. HRC will have at least 45 full-time staff in seven priority states (AZ, MI, NV, OH, PA, TX, and WI) and an additional 20 staff focused on a second tier of states and districts.


Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC ( and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.