by HRC Staff •
The Human Rights Campaign endorses Governor J.B. Pritzker and Lt. Governor Julaina Stratton for reelection
Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization – announced its endorsement of Governor J.B. Pritzker and Lt. Governor Julaina Stratton for reelection. HRC PAC is committed to engaging its volunteers, members and supporters to mobilize the nearly 3 million Equality Voters in Illinois in support of Gov. Pritzker, Lieutenant Gov. Stratton, and all pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot.
Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison released the following statement:
“Governor Pritzker and Lt. Governor Stratton have shown a strong, consistent, and impactful commitment to advancing LGBTQ+ rights across the state of Illinois. Gov. Pritzker signed a multitude of LGBTQ+ rights legislation to support a wide variety of pro-equality initiatives – from combating gender identity based discrimination in schools to promoting inclusivity and equity within the state government. And both leaders have consistently spoken out against the anti-LGBTQ+ political attacks taking place across our country. We are proud to endorse Gov. Pritzker and Lt. Governor Stratton for reelection and we’re ready to mobilize the people of Illinois this November.”
Governor J.B. Pritzker released the following statement:
“As dangerous right-wing politicians in Illinois and across the country take aim at the LGBTQ+ community, I am proud to stand up for equality and speak out against hate. During my governorship and long before, I have fought to pass meaningful legislation to ensure Illinois is a safe haven for all, no matter who you love or how you identify. I remain unwavering in my commitment to support LGBTQ+ Illinoisans and am honored to receive the Human Rights Campaign’s endorsement.”
A Record as a Champions of Equality
Following a successful campaign and a previous endorsement from HRC in 2018, Gov. Pritzker became the 43rd Governor of Illinois in 2019. Both Gov. Pritzker and Lieutenant Gov. Stratton, have enhanced their reputations as LGBTQ+ pro-equality allies, well exemplified through their support and enactment of a multitude of LGBTQ+ rights laws and executive orders. In June of 2019, Prtizker signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination and harassment based on gender identity in schools illustrating his commitment to promoting inclusivity and affirmation in public education. In July of 2021, Gov. Pritzker signed a package of 4 bills designed to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ Illinoisians. These bills addressed a wide range of concerns for Illinois’s LGBTQ+ community including expanding upon pre-existing infertility insurance law to include LGBTQ+ families and creating a process for LGBTQ+ couples to exclude gendered language on marriage certificates. Additionally, in 2021, Gov. Pritzker signed an executive order establishing the Office of Equity to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives across Illinois’s state government.
Gov. Pritzker has also taken a firm stance against the anti-LGBTQ+ legislative attacks taking place across the country, including Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law– “We cannot stand idly by as Republican governors wage incessant attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. Everyone deserves a state where you can be your authentic self. As long as I'm governor, the state of Illinois will see you, support you, and welcome you with open arms.” This sentiment of inclusivity, safety and equality for all has echoed throughout Gov. Pritzker and Lieutenant Gov. Stratton’s time in office. Together, they have followed through on their strong and consistent commitment to advancing LGBTQ+ rights– their pro-equality track record and his dedication to advancing the rights of Illinois’s LGBTQ+ community illustrates the positive impact their leadership will have if reelected.
An Opponent With Anti-Equality Records
Pritzker’s general election opponent, Senator Darren Bailey, has a consistent and dangerous history of promoting anti-LGBTQ+, anti-semitic, Islamaphobic and anti-equality sentiments. In a post from Facebook last year, Bailey wrote “Think about this: When a young girl decides she is too fat and develops an eating disorder, we get her psychological help. When a young girl decides she is a boy, we adjust reality to fit her desires.” Gender identity is not a choice.
Bailey also stated that there was a “sickness” in Chicago Public Schools when they followed U.S. Department of Education guidelines on protecting transgender children and allowed students to use the bathroom which they feel comfortable with.
In a video from 2017, Bailey said “I believe that abortion is one of the greatest atrocities of our day, and I believe it’s one of the greatest atrocities probably forever,” and that “The attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II doesn’t even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion since its legalization.”
Bailey’s wife, Cindy Bailey, has called on “red-blooded Americans” to end their Netflix subscriptions because of the streaming service’s LGBTQ+ content.
HRC’s Commitment to Illinois
Equality Voters, including the nearly 3 million in Illinois, are a voting bloc of demographically and geographically diverse Americans who are united by the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality. Equality Voters are younger, more racially diverse, and more female than the general electorate, they recognize and trust the HRC brand, and they are more likely to identify with issue-specific organizations than candidates or political parties. HRC helps inform these voters on candidates by keeping them up to date on political, legislative and LGBTQ+ related news found here.
Across the country, HRC PAC works every day to elect pro-equality leaders who support policies that will support the rights and lives of LGBTQ+ people. During the 2020 election cycle, HRC staff on the ground recruited 5,800 individual volunteers nationwide who completed 28,500 hours of voter contact in more than 2,650 volunteer events. HRC engaged in robust digital and online GOTV efforts, including sending over 2.7 million person-to-person text messages, a massive increase from 2018 when approximately 500,000 texts were sent. HRC sent over 2.5 million mail pieces, had over 930,000 phone conversations with voters, and engaged more than 200,000 voters through HRC’s voter dashboard at hrc.org/vote.
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