Nashville, Tennessee – Today, the Human Rights Campaign PAC (HRC PAC) announced its endorsements of State Representatives Justin Jones (District 52) and Justin Pearson (District 86) in their upcoming special elections on August 3rd.
Earlier this year, extremist lawmakers in the Tennessee House of Representatives abused their legislative powers to expel Reps. Jones and Pearson for protesting gun violence on the House Floor. Their protests followed a mass shooting in Nashville and calls for meaningful action by legislators. The same Tennessee lawmakers who expelled Reps. Jones and Pearson and are refusing to take action on gun violence have instead chosen to focus much of their time and energy on advancing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Since 2015, Tennessee has enacted 19 anti-LGBTQ+ laws, more than any other state.
Rep. Gloria Johnson protested alongside Reps. Jones and Pearson, and when later asked why she was not expelled, she stated “Well, I think it’s pretty clear. I’m a 60-year-old white woman, and they are two young Black men.”
Rep. Jones has a history of activism and was a community leader on issues of race and police violence before becoming a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. He is a staunch advocate for gun control, and is proudly pro-equality and pro-choice.
A native of Memphis, Rep. Pearson has been a consistent activist on issues of racial justice, and is pro-equality and pro-choice. Reps. Jones and Pearson voted against every anti-LGBTQ+ bill in Tennessee last session.
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