Human Rights Campaign Endorses Josh Shapiro for Governor of Pennsylvania

by Delphine Luneau

"In This Political Moment, His Candidacy is Particularly Urgent"

HARRISBURG — Today the Human Rights Campaign PAC (HRC PAC) announced its endorsement of Attorney General Josh Shapiro for governor of Pennsylvania. HRC PAC is committed to engaging our volunteers, members and supporters to mobilize the 3 million Equality Voters in Pennsylvania in support of Shapiro and other pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot.

Human Rights Campaign President Joni Madison released the following statement:

“Attorney General Shapiro would be an exceptional choice for the next governor of Pennsylvania regardless of the circumstances. His track record in standing up for everyday Pennsylvanians in his current role is unparalleled. But in this political moment, his candidacy is particularly urgent. The commonwealth faces a stark choice between Shapiro, who has been a reliable and passionate ally and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, and an opponent who has made a career out of opposing LGBTQ+ equality and disrespecting the right of LGBTQ+ people to simply exist. AG Shapiro is also someone who has a sincere belief in the rule of law and the power of the democratic process to ensure positive change in our society, while his general election opponent has loudly and frequently aired conspiratorial and anti-democratic lies relating to the 2020 presidential election. The stakes could hardly be higher, and the Human Rights Campaign is proud to put its enthusiastic support behind Pennsylvania’s next governor, Josh Shapiro.”

Human Rights Campaign Pennsylvania State Director Ryan Matthews released the following statement:

“HRC and our thousands of members and supporters in Pennsylvania will be working in communities throughout the commonwealth to make sure equality voters understand not only what is at stake in this election, but also the incredible champion we will have with Josh Shapiro as Governor. As we work to address the epidemic of violence facing trans women of color, fight back against hateful anti-LGBTQ+ attacks in the state legislature, and to finally pass comprehensive non-discrimination protections for our community, we will have a true ally in Josh Shapiro. That is why HRC will be knocking more doors and making more calls to PA equality voters in 2022 than we ever have before.”

Attorney General Shapiro released the following statement:

“Throughout my career, I have fought to protect and expand the rights of LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians, and I’m proud of my record helping some of the first LGBTQ+ couples marry in the Commonwealth and defending LGBTQ+ rights in court. Pennsylvanians’ rights – including the right to marry who you love – are at stake this year and the contrast between me and my opponent could not be clearer. As Governor, I will continue to advance equality and fight for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians, and I’m honored to have the Human Rights Campaign’s support in that effort.”

In his career as a state lawmaker, a Montgomery County commissioner, and most recently as Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro has been steadfast in defending and supporting the LGBTQ+ community. His track record on transgender rights is exemplary, including legal actions in support of transgender students using the bathroom that conforms with their gender identity and against Trump administration policies that banned transgender people from serving in the military and sought to allow discrimination against transgender people in housing and medical care. Shapiro also called for an end to the Food and Drug Administration’s discriminatory restrictions on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.

An Opponent With a Troubling Anti-Equality Record

Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator, is arguably one of the most anti-LGBTQ+ major party nominees on the national scene in decades — not to mention, someone who was present immediately preceding the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the U.S. Capitol that threatened to impede the rightful transfer of power between presidential administrations.

Mastriano’s opposition to LGBTQ+ equality has been constant, disgraceful, and offensive, and ultimately disqualifying. He has continued to oppose same-sex marriage, despite the national consensus in recent years in support of the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize it nationally, dismissing the ruling as “disinformation and political correctness.” He supports adoption agencies discriminating against same-sex couples, and he described educators engaging in any discussion of gender identity in the classroom as “grooming.” He has vowed that as governor, he will issue an executive order “on day one” in office to ban transgender kids from competing in school sports on the teams consistent with their gender identity, and suggested that he would impose a similar discriminatory restriction when it comes to bathroom access in schools.

When it comes to embracing other extreme political positions, Mastriano is comprehensive — including opposing abortion in all cases and not even allowing for exceptions in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the health of the mother. He is a committed proponent of the discredited conspiracy theory that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen,” despite the absolute dearth of compelling evidence that any widespread voter fraud took place. He has repeatedly spread Islamophobic lies, and he has threatened to cut funding for schools that don’t subscribe to his narrow perspectives on what is appropriate to teach when it comes to race and gender identity.

HRC’s Commitment to Pennsylvania

Equality Voters, including the 3 million in Pennsylvania, 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 has had staff and resources on the ground in Pennsylvania since 2017. 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

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC ( Authorized by Josh Shapiro. Not authorized by any federal candidate or candidate’s committee.

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