In heartbreaking ad, Christine Leinonen says: “You couldn’t have asked for a better child, a better son, a better friend. He had the kind of personality that brought people together — all people. And that's why he supported Hillary Clinton."
WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released a new digital ad featuring Christine Leinonen, the mother of Christopher “Drew” Leinonen — a young man shot and killed along with his boyfriend, Juan Guerrero, and 47 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
In the ad, Christine speaks directly to American voters, saying, “We have to continue moving forward as an inclusive society. If you love a gay person, if you know someone who’s gay, and you truly really love them, I don’t know how you could justify a vote for Donald Trump.”
“This heartbreaking plea from Christopher’s mother is a sobering reminder of the responsibility we have to the 49 LGBTQ people and allies who lost their lives in Orlando that tragic night at the Pulse nightclub,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We have a responsibility to not only find commonsense solutions to gun violence, but to ensure we continue moving forward as a nation towards full equality for LGBTQ people. While Donald Trump threatens to drag us backwards, time and again Hillary Clinton has demonstrated through her words and actions that she has the vision and leadership to unite us and move this country forward. Let’s make sure the voices of Christopher, Juan, and the countless others who have lost their lives to hatred are heard on November 8.”
In the digital ad, Christine says about her son, “He had the kind of personality that brought people together — all people. And that’s why he supported Hillary Clinton. He was impressed with her as a leader. She wants to bring everybody to the table.” In her appeal to voters, she goes on to say, “Think about Christopher. He lost his right to vote. You still have the right to vote. Vote for the future you would want Christopher to have. He’ll be happy you gave him his vote for Hillary Clinton. I would be happy that you gave Christopher a voice.”
In June, HRC made a significant policy announcement in the aftermath of the hate-fueled attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, endorsing common-sense gun violence prevention measures. They include limiting access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks, and limiting the ability of suspected terrorists and those with a history of domestic abuse to access guns. For decades, LGBTQ people have been a target for bias-motivated violence; easy access to deadly weapons has compounded this threat.
In addition to her historic pro-LGBTQ equality platform, Hillary Clinton has a long record of advocating for commonsense approaches to reduce gun violence. While making clear her support for the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, she has promised as President to expand background checks, take on the gun lobby, and keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and other violent criminals. More on her platform can be found here.
The new ad is part of HRC’s unprecedented get-out-the-vote digital campaign aimed at 10 million LGBTQ voters and millions more of potential pro-equality voters nationwide.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.
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