Human Rights Campaign Endorses Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for Reelection

by HRC Staff

"We Must Elect Nessel and Benson to Ensure the Advancement and Survival of Michigan’s Democracy"

Lansing, Michigan — Today the Human Rights Campaign PAC (HRC PAC) announced its endorsements of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for reelection. HRC PAC is committed to engaging our volunteers, members and supporters to mobilize the nearly 1.2 million Equality Voters in Michigan in support of pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot.

Human Rights Campaign Michigan State Director Amritha Venkataraman released the following statement:

“Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are clear champions for equality. Attorney General Nessel is Michigan’s first openly gay Attorney General and the country’s second. She spent her career focused on uplifting marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ people. And Secretary of State Benson has consistently advocated for pro-equality policies even before she held elected office. She’s been targeted by Trump in the past for good reason - because she won’t give up on pushing for progress.
“Their Trump-endorsed, MAGA extremist opponents are intentionally threatening democracy by spreading election lies and dangerous anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda. Only in a free society can we achieve full equality for LGBTQ+ Michiganders. We must elect Nessel and Benson to ensure the advancement and survival of Michigan’s democracy.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement:

“I've spent my career defending the rights of Michigan residents, and that's also reflected in the work I've done since being elected Attorney General – such as establishing the first-of-its-kind Hate Crimes and Domestic Terrorism unit. As we see a disturbing revival of attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, fueled by a political party steeped in cruelty and division, my determination to fight for equality and fundamental democratic ideals has never been stronger.”

A Record as Champions of Equality

Attorney General Nessel personally appeared before the Michigan Supreme Court to defend the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, which stated that Michigan law protects gay and transgender residents from discrimination because it prohibits sex-based bias. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of protecting LGBTQ+ people. Nessel’s also launched various special units in Michigan to advance equal protection under the law, including the Hate Crimes Unit, Conviction Integrity Unit, the Consumer Protection Division, and the Elder Abuse Task Force. Earlier this year, she joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold legal precedent that protects the voting power of minority communities

Prior to her current position, Nessel led the DeBoer v. Snyder case, which joined Obergefell v. Hodges and resulted in the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court. She is the founder of Fair Michigan Justice Project, which investigates and prosecutes hate crimes within the state, including crimes against LGBTQ+ people.

Secretary of State Benson significantly streamlined the process for transgender Michiganders to easily update the gender listed on their identification documents. She led Governor Whitmer’s task force on elevating Women in Sports. Benson has rolled out multiple initiatives and policies to advance democracy and the right to right. In 2021, she unveiled Advancing the Vote, Protecting Democracy, a legislative agenda that outlines a number of initiatives designed to ensure equitable access for voters, strengthen Michigan’s elections infrastructure, and guarantee the security of elections. Earlier this year she rejected an attempt by some state legislators to restrict voting rights. She also testified in front of the U.S. Senate in support of the For the People Act and the need to preserve access to the vote amid attempts from state legislatures to roll back voting rights.

Prior to her election as Secretary of State, Benson was the CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, which is national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.

HRC’s Commitment to Michigan

Equality Voters, including the nearly 1.2 million in Michigan, 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.

The HRC PAC works every day to elect pro-equality leaders who advocate for policies that will support the rights and lives of LGBTQ+ people. During the 2020 election cycle, HRC staff on the ground in Michigan recruited 875 individual volunteers nationwide who completed 12,000 hours of voter contact in more than 231 volunteer events in the state. HRC engaged in robust digital and online GOTV efforts, including sending over 120,000 calls to Michigan voters. HRC will continue to build on these efforts through Hate Won’t Win, an unprecedented coalition to mobilize the nearly 1.2 million Equality Voters in Michigan.

Paid for with regulated funds by Human Rights Campaign PAC, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20036. Not authorized by any federal candidate or candidate’s committee.

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