As Trump Heads to Erie in Support of Lou Barletta, Here’s What Their Anti-LGBTQ Agenda Means for PA

by Ianthe Metzger

ERIE, PA — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organization, responded to President Donald Trump’s scheduled trip to Erie, Pennsylvania to support anti-LGBTQ U.S. Senate candidate Lou Barletta. With deeply disturbing records undermining equality, Trump and Barletta remain out of touch with a majority of Pennsylvania voters who overwhelmingly support LGBTQ equality.

“Donald Trump, Lou Barletta and their anti-LGBTQ agendas are wrong and politically toxic for Pennsylvania,” said Campaign Director Geoff Wetrosky. “Both continue to stand on the wrong side of history, consistently undermining efforts to advance equality and protect the LGBTQ community, in a state with more than 2.3 million Equality Voters. With less than 30 days from the crucial midterm elections, HRC is on the ground mobilizing our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters in Pennsylvania to reject the politics of hate and re-elect pro-equality champion Bob Casey to the U.S. Senate.”

Here’s a snapshot of how Trump and Barletta have worked to undermine LGBTQ equality:

  • Long history of opposing marriage equality: Following the historic Obergefell v Hodges decision, Barletta said the Supreme Court “had no business defining marriage,” echoing similar comments he made after marriage equality was legalized in Pennsylvania in 2014. During the campaign trail in 2016, Donald Trump stated he would “strongly consider” appointing judges to overturn the same-sex marriage decision.
  • Support banning qualified transgender people from serving in the military: The Trump-Pence administration has led the effort to ban transgender troops, has rallied anti-equality leaders to support it and lobbied Congress to pass an amendment banning transition-related care for transgender servicemembers. Barletta sided with the administration's discriminatory policy.
  • Support a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people: The Trump-Pence Administration urged the Supreme Court to provide a license to discriminate against same-sex couples. In 2016, Barletta opposed an amendment that would have banned employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity by federal contractors.
  • History of opposing access to affordable health care: Since 2016, the Trump-Pence administration and their allies in Congress have led continuous efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act and strip healthcare away from millions of Americans, including low-income families, children, LGBTQ people and people living with pre-existing conditions such as HIV. Barletta consistently supported the administration’s attempts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.   

In Pennsylvania, HRC has identified more than 2.3 million “Equality Voters” -- voters who support LGBTQ-inclusive policies. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Pennsylvania, and has staff and resources on the ground in the state as part of the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community..


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


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