HARRISBURG — Today the Human Rights Campaign PAC (HRC PAC) announced its endorsement of John Fetterman for U.S. Senate. HRC PAC is committed to engaging its volunteers, members and supporters to mobilize more than three million Equality Voters across Pennsylvania in support of Fetterman and other pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot.
HRC PAC’s endorsement today comes as the U.S. Senate is poised to consider whether to pass the Respect for Marriage Act to codify federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Senator Pat Toomey, who Fetterman is running to replace, has not yet said whether he will vote in favor of the legislation. Fetterman will also pledged to support the Equality Act, which will enshrine protections against discrimination for LGBTQ+ people.
Human Rights Campaign Pennsylvania State Director Ryan Matthews released the following statement:
“We’re proud of John Fetterman’s record and delighted to endorse his campaign today. From his early support for marriage equality during his time as Mayor of Braddock to his current role as Lieutenant Governor, where he has continued to be a champion for equality and LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections, John Fetterman has always stood tall for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians. This November, we’re going to make sure he has a chance to stand tall for all LGBTQ+ Americans as a United States Senator.”
“We can’t say the same for his opponent, who would be just another vote for Mitch McConnell and his right-wing, anti-LGBTQ+ agenda in Washington. This is a pivotal moment for the direction of our country. We need John Fetterman in the U.S. Senate.”
John Fetterman released the following statement:
"I am so grateful to the Human Rights Campaign PAC for their endorsement. As your Lieutenant Governor and your next Senator, I’ll always support the LGBTQ+ community and fight against anyone who tries to roll back these critical rights. Some members of the Senate, like Pennsylvania’s own Pat Toomey, are claiming they’re ‘undecided’ on whether to support a new law to protect the right to a same-sex marriage. I find that unconscionable. When it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, I will be very clear where I stand – in favor of Equal Protection Under the Law always. I would proudly and swiftly vote to pass a bill guaranteeing the right to same-sex marriage, and I will vote to scrap the filibuster so we can finally pass additional legislation to advance LGBTQ+ rights like the Equality Act."
Throughout his time in public life, Fetterman has defined himself as an unwavering ally for the LGBTQ+ community. In 2013, as Mayor of Braddock, Fetterman was threatened with arrest by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett after he officiated the first same-sex marriages in Allegheny County in defiance of Pennsylvania’s ban. As Lieutenant Governor, he has regularly ordered the display of Pride Flags from the balcony at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, along with the Trans Pride Flag during Transgender Day of Remembrance. Republican lawmakers later passed legislation banning this practice, but Fetterman continues to fly the flags in defiance of the ban.
As Lieutenant Governor, Fetterman also fought for state and local laws to prohibit anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination; hosted a same-sex wedding when a wedding venue refused to do so; joined with lieutenant governors across the country to urge the lifting of restrictions on GBTQ+ men from giving blood; and fought for equality for LGBTQ+ couples in the provision of adoption services. In the U.S. Senate, Fetterman will help to pass the Equality Act and codify protections for the LGBTQ+ community into law.
An Opponent With An Anti-Equality Record
Fetterman’s opponent, Mehmet Oz, cannot be trusted to stand up at all for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians. During his time as a talk show host, Oz was slammed after he gave advocates of so-called “conversion therapy” a platform on his syndicated television show. As a candidate, Oz has praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ extreme “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law that censors classroom speech and ostracizes LGBTQ+ youth. Appearing on a recent podcast, Oz also falsely claimed that embracing transgender children for who they are has no impact on suicide rates.
HRC’s Commitment to Pennsylvania
Equality Voters, including more than 3 million across the Keystone State, 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.
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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