LGBTQ people are under attack in state legislatures. Help us fight back.
Post submitted by Lucas Acosta (he/him), former Deputy Director of Communications, Politics
Endorsements come after the first anniversary of the U.S. House passing the Equality Act.
Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced the endorsement of 40 House and five Senate candidates crucial to maintaining or establishing pro-equality majorities in the U.S. Congress.
On May 17, 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. Never before had a comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination bill passed a chamber of the U.S. Congress. The candidates endorsed today were absolutely crucial to that victory in the House and will be crucial to establishing a pro-equality majority in the U.S. Senate to break Sen. Mitch McConnell’s stranglehold on LGBTQ rights and protections. 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 2018, HRC stood with many of these pro-equality leaders to build a pro-equality majority in the U.S. House and pass the Equality Act. Within months of taking office, they did just that," said HRC President Alphonso David. "Now HRC and these champions for equality must work together to ensure we maintain a pro-equality majority in the U.S. House and establish one in the U.S. Senate. Mitch McConnell’s refusal to allow consideration of the Equality Act leaves LGBTQ people across America at risk of being fired from jobs, refused essential services like health care, and more vulnerable to violence. HRC will work to mobilize 57 million Equality Voters nationwide to turn out this November and ensure these endorsed candidates win because lives are on the line."
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 these seven priority states and an additional 20 staff focused on a second tier of states and districts.
Candidates endorsed include:
U.S. Senate Endorsements
These candidates join our previously endorsed Senate candidates:
U.S. House Endorsements
These candidates join our previously endorsed House candidates:
"When we say our pledge of allegiance, we swear to fight for liberty and justice for all Americans," said Dr. Barbara Bollier. "I take those words very seriously. I have been proud to be a vocal advocate for equality throughout my career as a doctor and as a Kansas legislator, and I am honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign. I promise to continue to be an advocate and a vocal ally for LGBTQ Americans, and to work to expand and protect their equal rights."
"The story of North Carolina belongs to all the people of our state, regardless of who they love or who they are," said Cal Cunningham. "The Human Rights Campaign gets that, which is why I am grateful for its support and impactful work. I look forward to working with HRC as we stand against discrimination and hate, and fight for the rights of all North Carolinians."
"I am honored to have earned the support of the Human Rights Campaign," said Sen. Mark Warner. "We’ve made tremendous strides in the journey towards equality, but a great deal of work still remains. We need to elect a United States Senate that will pass the Equality Act and move us closer to true equality for all of our LGBTQ friends and neighbors. Discrimination has no place in Virginia or our country."
"I believe that no matter who you love or how you identify, you deserve to feel safe, accepted, and able to participate in every aspect of your community" said Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-1). " However, I know that is not the reality for far too many LGBTQ Arizonans. That's why I voted to pass the Equality Act, historic legislation that seeks to ensure LGBTQ Americans finally have the civil rights protections they deserve. I am proud to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, and will continue to fight for the equitable treatment of all Americans."
“I am honored to receive the support of the Human Rights Campaign and look forward to working together to achieve equality in our district and across the country,” said Rep. Josh Harder (CA-10).
"I'm honored to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign and look forward to continuing to work together in the fight to achieve true equality for the LGBTQ community," said Rep. TJ Cox (CA-21).
"I'm honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign," said Rep. Gil Cisneros (CA-39). "I've long fought for equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and I was proud to support the Equality Act to ensure LBGTQ Americans have the rights and protections they are due. In Congress, I will continue to stand with the LGBTQ community as we continue this essential work."
"I am thrilled and humbled to have the support of HRC," said Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41). "As the first openly-LGBT person of color ever elected to the House of Representatives, I know how important it is to have a seat at the table and to make sure that the diverse communities of our LGBT family are represented at the federal level. I look forward to continuing to work with HRC as we pursue a more equal United States."
"I will never back down from a fight for equality for all," said Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45). "Discrimination is an attack on personal freedom and has no place in America. I will always stand with our LGBTQ community and show them respect and dignity, which we don’t always see from the Trump Administration. I am proud to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign and fully embrace its values."
"The fight for true LGBTQ equality is far from won," said Rep. Harley Rouda (CA-48). "Unlike my opponent, whose donors spent millions to legalize LGBTQ discrimination -- I'll continue working to ensure all Americans, regardless of who they are or who they love, have equal access and protection under the law. I am honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign, an organization dedicated to achieving legal, economic, and social equality for millions of LGBTQ Americans."
"I am deeply honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign, one of our nation’s indispensable leaders in the fight for full economic, social and economic equality for the LGBTQ community," said Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49). "I pledge to continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, hopefully, under a new administration committed to justice and equality. Thank you for your support."
"The Human Rights Campaign is a critical ally in the fight for civil rights and protections for LGBTQ+ individuals," said Rep. Jason Crow (CO-6). "With their support, we won the pro-equality majority in 2018 and passed the Equality Act in the House of Representatives. As we continue to work for equality and civil rights protections, I am honored to have the support of HRC again this year."
"Equality has always been my core guiding principle," said Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-5). "Imagine true equality of access, equality of opportunity, and equality of treatment in all of our lives. I am so proud to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, and I look forward to continuing this fight together."
"I am honored to have earned the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign" said Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26). "One of my proudest moments in Congress was passing the Equality Act to provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community. Yet the fight for full economic, social and economic equality continues. I look forward to allying with the Human Rights Campaign on the important work ahead."
"Casting my vote for the Equality Act last year was one of the most moving moments of my first term in Congress," said Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA-1). "I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign and to be part of the movement for equality and justice for all Americans."
"I am so grateful for the continued support of the Human Rights Campaign," said Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-3). "It is increasingly important to use our voices to protect and empower all members of the LGBTQ community. HRC's advocacy is moving us toward a more equal and inclusive society and I am proud to have them in my corner."
"HRC was absolutely crucial to both helping elect me, and our new pro-equality majority in the House," said Rep. Sean Casten (IL-6). "This year, we need to make sure we elect more of our allies across the levers of government so that every LGBTQ person has the protections they deserve. I am deeply honored to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign."
"Everyone has a right to live and work free from discrimination and harassment, which is why I'm proud to support legislation to ensure all members of the LGBTQ+ community have full protections under the law," said Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14). "The Human Rights Campaign is an organization that boldly fights for equality and I am proud to stand with HRC and have their endorsement."
"Throughout my time in Congress I've been proud to partner with HRC to build a stronger, more inclusive country - from working to pass federal protections for LGBTQ people through the Equality Act to fighting the Trump Administration's discriminatory policies," said Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-3). "I'm honored to have the support of HRC in my reelection campaign as we continue in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality and justice."
"I’m honored to have earned the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, and I’m grateful for the work they do fighting for the rights of LGBTQ citizens," said Rep. Jared Golden (ME-2). "I was proud to support the Equality Act and will continue to work to protect all Americans rights."
"I have worked side-by side with HRC on important legislative priorities such as the Equality Act, and I’m grateful to have their endorsement again in 2020," said Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-8). "Issues of quality are deeply personal to me; my mother came out in the 1980s, so I am deeply aware of both the progress HRC has helped LGBTQ Americans make, and of the substantial work we have left to do. And with HRC’s help, I’m committed to continuing that work."
"I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign. Voting to pass the Equality Act last May was one of my proudest moments as a member of Congress and I am committed to the fight for equality and justice along side HRC and the LGBTQ+ community." - Rep. Haley Stevens (MI-11)
"I am so proud to receive the endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign," said Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-1). "HRC has been leading the way for LGBTQ Americans and our fight for equal rights. The House made history last year when we passed the Equality Act, and I look forward to working with HRC to ensure that it is passed and signed into law so that no individual will be a second class citizen because of who they are or who they love. Everyone deserves to be able to live their truth, and working with HRC we can realize a brighter future for all Americans."
"Equality means everyone has access to the core American freedoms, including those in the LGBTQ community who have had their freedom denied for far too long. I was proud to vote for the Equality Act last year, and I’m proud to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign today." said Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-3)
"I'm honored to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign," said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). "I'm proud to stand side by side with HRC to combat bullying, discrimination, and inequality. As I have throughout my time in Congress, we must continue to fight together for equality, acceptance, and respect for the entire LGBTQ community — here in New Jersey and across our country."
"I'm proud to work alongside the Human Rights Campaign to champion the rights and dignity of every American." said Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ-7). "The Trump administration would expel transgender individuals from our military and pack the courts with judges who oppose marriage equality. Now more than ever Congress must defend the progress our country has made and keep us moving forward."
“I’m honored to once again receive the endorsement of HRC and stand with them in their fight to ensure equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Congresswoman Sherrill. “Yesterday marked one year since the House passed the Equality Act. I was proud to support this landmark — and long overdue — legislation that guarantees equal protection under the law for all Americans. The Senate’s refusal to act underscores just how far we have to go in the fight for equality. I will continue to work with HRC to support every American, no matter who they love.”
"It’s been almost a year since the House passed the Equality Act, but the Senate has refused to even vote on it." said Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-2). "As we work together to fight COVID-19 and its economic impact, LGBTQ people should not have to face discrimination in health care, housing, employment, and beyond. Now, just as always, no one should be discriminated against because of who they love. I am honored to have the Human Rights Campaign’s endorsement and remain committed to working with them to protect the rights of all."
"I am proud to stand alongside the LGBTQ community and to continue the fight for their equality and protection under the law." said Rep. Max Rose (NY-11). "This community adds to the cultural richness of Staten Island and South Brooklyn, and I will always follow them into battle, no matter what it takes. I am proud to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, and I thank them for all that they do."
"It is an honor to have earned the Human Rights Campaign's endorsement for my work to advance LGBTQ equality in New York and across the country," said Sean Patrick Maloney, New York's first out Member of Congress. "We have come so far - but LGBTQ people are still fighting for our rights to live and love openly. I will continue to fight for full equality under the law and will work to undo the damage this Administration has wrought on our community."
"I am truly honored to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, and I will always be a strong ally of the LGBTQ+ community." said Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19). "From proudly voting for the historic Equality Act, to being a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, I have fought for, and will continue to fight for, expanded rights for LGBTQ+ communities. At the core of our American values is a commitment to ensure every one of us can live with dignity and be free from discrimination."
"I am honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign," said Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22). "Everyone deserves the right to live their lives openly and safely, no matter who they are or who they love."
"With the support of the Human Rights Campaign, we turned Oklahoma's 5th District from being represented by one of the most anti-LGBTQ incumbents in the nation to now being represented by an ally and proud supporter of the Equality Act," said Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-5). "Together, we pulled off what many pundits called the 'biggest upset in the nation,' and now thousands of Oklahoma families have a voice in DC where previously they had none."
"Whenever we discuss the issues that matter most to Americans –– like access to health care, affordability of housing, or workplace protections –– we must consider how our LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately at risk," said Rep. Susan Wild (PA-7). "At every turn, I've been proud to advocate for LGBTQ+ individuals both overseas through my work on human rights with the Foreign Affairs Committee as well as here at home through my work on mental health. I was so proud that in my first term, the House of Representatives was finally able to pass the Equality Act and take huge steps to enshrine equality for the LGBTQ+ community in law. I am honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign and look forward to continuing our work together in the years to come."
"The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has been leading the way on LGBTQ equality for years. I’m proud to have earned their endorsement," said Rep. David N. Cicilline (RI-01). "I worked closely with HRC on the Equality Act and they were instrumental in helping us secure bipartisan support for the landmark legislation when it passed the House. I look forward to continuing to work with HRC to promote equality and protect the safety of all LGBTQ Americans."
"A year ago, I was proud to help pass the Equality Act through the House but we still have more work to do," said Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-1). "I'm honored to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign and look forward to standing with them in the fight for equality for all."
"Throughout my career in public service - whether during my time in the Utah legislature, as Mayor of Salt Lake County, or now as a member of Congress- I’ve worked to build bridges in the community to ensure that all families are treated equally under the law," said Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-4). "I’m honored to receive HRC’s endorsement and look forward to more progress on these important issues."
"As a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, I've worked to bring full civil rights protections to the LGBTQ community and am honored to have earned the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign," said Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-2). "I will always be an ally to the LGBTQ community."
"I am proud to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign for my re-election," said Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-7). "During my first term in Congress, we have taken historic steps towards ensuring equality for our LGBTQ friends, family, and neighbors. By far, one of my proudest days as a Member of Congress was when we passed the Equality Act. We have plenty more to accomplish to make our country a safer, fairer, and more just place for everyone, and I am thankful for the support and partnership of the Human Rights Campaign as we work together to keep fighting for the equality of all."
"As a pediatrician, I am keenly aware that the risks of depression, homelessness, and suicide are far higher in LGBTQ teens," said Rep. Kim Schrier (WA-8). "I have helped my patients navigate the difficulties of coming out as LGBTQ and am committed to fighting for a future where every child will feel wanted, welcomed, and treasured. I am a proud cosponsor of the Equality Act because it is critical that we expand our country's civil rights protections to include the LGBTQ community."
"HRC was absolutely crucial to establishing our new pro-equality majority in the House and swelling the LGBTQ Caucus to the historic representation we have today," said Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-2). "Now, we must make sure to expand our pro-equality allies in both the House and Senate to ensure the Equality Act becomes law. I'm honored to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign and look forward to working with them to ensure Wisconsin votes pro-equality up and down the ballot."
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