Human Rights Campaign Makes Endorsements to Expand the Pro-Equality Majority in Congress

by HRC Staff

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

Kicking off Pride Month, HRC endorses candidates in some of the most competitive races across the country.

Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced the endorsement of several candidates seeking to expand the pro-equality majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The full list of endorsements can be found below.

“HRC is proud to endorse these pro-equality champions for the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “In order to achieve real and lasting change, we must not only reelect a pro-equality majority, but build upon that majority and ensure that the People’s House reflects the diversity of our nation's people. These candidates represent that opportunity and we look forward to working with them to advance equality for LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities.”

In 2018, HRC was proud to support dozens of pro-equality congressional challengers who explicitly laid out their pro-equality positions in detail and in public.  These candidates largely ran against anti-equality incumbents in districts won by Donald Trump in 2016, but they understood the power of LGBTQ and Equality Voters and knew that support for LGBTQ equality is an asset as opposed to a wedge issue.  As a result of that election, not only do we have a pro-equality U.S. House majority, but we have younger, more racially diverse, more female House membership than ever before.  And 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. Never before had a comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination bill passed a chamber of the U.S. Congress.

In 2020, the candidates HRC is endorsing today will expand the pro-equality majority, pass the Equality Act, ensure access to quality, affordable health care is protected and common sense gun safety legislation is considered, and advance voting rights.

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.

Candidates endorsed include:

  • Joyce Elliott (AR-2)
  • Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-6)
  • Kai Kahele (HI-2)
  • Rita Hart (IA-2)
  • Marie Newman (IL-3)
  • Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (IL-13)
  • Christina Hale (IN-5)
  • Dan Feehan (MN-1)
  • Jill Schupp (MO-2)
  • Deborah Ross (NC-2)
  • Kathy Manning (NC-6)
  • Jackie Gordon (NY-2)
  • Eugene DePasquale (PA-10)
  • Wendy Davis (TX-21)
  • Sri Preston Kulkarni (TX-22)
  • Carolyn Long (WA-3)

“My campaign is supported by a broad coalition made up of people of all backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities,” said Joyce Elliott (AR-2). “We're working toward a common goal: cutting prescription drug costs, creating economic opportunity to recover from COVID-19, and ensuring dignified treatment for all under the law.”

“I’m honored to earn the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign,” said Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-6). “It is the inherent right of every human being to be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. I will be proud to work alongside HRC to ensure equal treatment of our LGBTQ+ communities in the eyes of the law, in schools and the workplace, and in every other aspect of society. Today and every day, I stand with love.”

“Like my father, the late State Senator Gil Kahele, who fought hard for legalizing same-sex marriage and saw the successful passage of the Hawai‘i Marriage Equality Act in 2013, I believe all people are created equal, and discrimination of any kind must not be tolerated,” said Kai Kahele (HI-2). “Equality is engrained in the Native Hawaiian culture. Our LGBTQIA+ ancestors were fully embraced as an integral part of our communities and same-sex relationships were not only recognized but were part of the very fabric of Native Hawaiian society. While we have seen great strides toward equality for the LGBTQIA+ community in recent years, there is still much work to be done. I will strongly support the Equality Act as a member of the U.S. Congress.”

“I am grateful for the support of HRC,” said Rita Hart (IA-2). “Iowa has a proud history in the fight for equality and I look forward to working together to pass the Equality Act and ensure equal rights for all Iowans”

“I am proud to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign and to stand with them in the fight for equality, justice and the freedom to live and love freely,” said Marie Newman (IL-3). “In America, we value our freedom and the ability to pursue our dreams uninhibited. It's time that we guarantee that same freedom to all LGBTQ+ Americans by passing The Equality Act and securing protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I am running for Congress to build an economy that works for everyone, and that means ensuring that every single American has a fair chance to succeed without fear of harrassment or discrimination."

“I am so proud to once again receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign and to join them in the fight for essential legislation like the Equality Act to ensure equal protection under the law,” said Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (IL-13).

“I'm honored to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign,” said Christina Hale (IN-5). “In Congress, I'll always stand as a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community to ensure equality for all.”

“I am humbled to receive this endorsement, especially on this 50th anniversary of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. HRC's commitment to, and advocacy for, civil rights is second to none,” said Dan Feehan (MN-1). “Throughout my time serving our country as a soldier, as a teacher, and as a policymaker at the Pentagon, ensuring equal rights for all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity is something I have fought tirelessly for. I will continue to be a champion and strong voice for equal treatment under the law when I get to Congress.”

“I've fought hard for equal rights for all Missourians, and I am proud to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign,” said Jill Schupp (MO-02). “Missourians deserve a representative who will stand up for them against discrimination wherever it arises. I will continue to protect the hard-fought gains we have made as a nation on LGBTQ equality, and will work towards those equality measures yet to be achieved.”

“I am honored to receive the Human Rights Campaign's endorsement,” said Deborah Ross (NC-2). “As the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, HRC strives to achieve fundamental fairness and end discrimination. Together, we must continue to promote equality by protecting people of all identities. As an attorney, civil rights advocate, and state legislator, I have spent my career fighting for equality, justice, and progress, and opposed laws that would take our state backward, including North Carolina's Amendment One and HB2. I look forward to advocating for these issues in Congress so our LGBTQ community can safely and proudly be themselves.”

“I'm proud to earn the endorsement of Human Rights Campaign and to stand for equality for all,” said Kathy Manning (NC-6). “In Congress, I'll support the Equality Act, fight for affordable healthcare, common-sense gun safety legislation, and voting rights. It's long past time that federal non-discrimination standards be enacted to guarantee permanent protections for LGBTQ people.”

“I am proud to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, and I look forward to standing side by side with them as we fight to build a more inclusive Long Island,” said Jackie Gordon (NY-2). “I will always be a strong voice for the LGBTQ community in Congress as we continue to work towards a more equitable nation.”

“Throughout my career as a public servant, I have used my platform to speak up for and defend the rights of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians because no one should be denied life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because of who they are or who they love,” said Eugene DePasquale (PA-10). “South Central Pennsylvanians value and celebrate the diversity of our region. I look forward to continuing the fight for full equality for the LGBTQ community and I am proud to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign in this race.”

“I am thrilled to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, TX chapter,” said Wendy Davis (TX-21) “The phrase “we the people” in the constitution refers to ALL of us. That’s why in Congress I will be a champion for human and civil rights, using my voice to protect and empower the LGBTQIA community.”

“We're honored to have HRC endorse our campaign to bring true representation to TX-22 and look forward to working with them to ensure the issues of TX-22's LGBTQ community are being heard and addressed,” said Sri Preston Kulkarni (TX-22). “Our LGBTQ community has suffered from blatant discrimination and deserves basic legal protections to protect them from blatant discrimination. In Congress, I won't stand down until equality is guaranteed for all.”

“The focus of my campaign is about building a better, stronger, more inclusive future for everyone in our communities,” said Carolyn Long (WA-3). “I’m honored to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign in this run for Congress and I look forward to working together to fight for the rights and equality of LGBTQ Americans.”


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