WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced its endorsement of Ben Jealous (D) in his bid to become the next governor of Maryland.
“Ben Jealous is a proven leader with the vision and commitment needed to continue moving Maryland forward as a welcoming and inclusive state,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “As a longtime civil rights champion, Ben is passionately committed to putting people over politics and fighting to expand and protect the civil rights of every individual. HRC is proud to endorse Ben Jealous for governor, and we look forward to working with him to advance LGBTQ equality.”
“In 2012, as national President of the NAACP, I worked closely with the Human Rights Campaign to help make marriage equality law in our state, mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Marylanders to the polls,” said Ben Jealous. “Today, as the Trump administration continues to roll back protections for the LGBTQ+ community, we need leaders at the state level to protect civil rights and civil liberties. I'm proud to receive the endorsement of HRC and as governor, I look forward to working with them to move all our families forward.”
Ben Jealous has extensive experience as a non-profit executive, serving as the past president of the Rosenberg Foundation, and the founding director of Amnesty International’s U.S. Domestic Human Rights Program. At age 35, he was named the youngest ever National President and CEO of the NAACP. During the depths of a national recession, Jealous guided the NAACP through an unprecedented era of growth. He used his background as a community organizer and executive to press the NAACP forward in expanding and protecting the civil rights of all Americans. Throughout his NAACP tenure, Jealous worked with governors from California to Iowa, developing plans to help end mass incarceration and expand civil rights, and helped to pass numerous landmark pieces of legislation during President Obama’s first term in office. In 2013, he was named Marylander of the Year by the Baltimore Sun for helping to lead the successful efforts to abolish the death penalty, pass marriage equality, pass the DREAM Act, and expand voting rights.
In Maryland, HRC has identified more than 1.7 million “Equality Voters,” meaning they are strong supporters of progressive LGBTQ policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Last year, HRC announced a coast-to-coast campaign to mobilize voters for the midterm elections called HRC Rising, which represents 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.
Authority: Friends of Ben Jealous, Jason Small, Treasurer.
Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized or approved by any federal candidate or candidate’s committee.
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