Human Rights Campaign Lauds 2008 Election Results

by HRC Staff

Pro-Equality Candidates Win Across the Country HRC still awaiting results from marriage amendments.

WASHINGTON-Today the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, celebrated the election of Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) as the 44th President of the United States and the election of pro-equality candidates across the country even as the organization awaits results from three states (California, Arizona, Florida) regarding discriminatory anti-marriage amendments. From the presidential primaries to state elections, during the 2008 election season the Human Rights Campaign carried out its largest electoral effort in the history of the organization. By helping to mobilize its members and the LGBT community, recruiting and training an army of grassroots political advocates, and strategically targeting high impact races, the Human Rights Campaign helped increase the number of fair-minded candidates that will support the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

"This election represents a paradigm shift. The pendulum has swung away from the anti-gay forces that dominated the political landscape for too long and toward new leadership that acknowledges our equality," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "For the past eight years, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was a dead end for our community. Now the LGBT community and the entire social justice movement will have a voice at the highest level of government. Our years in the wilderness are over and this really is a change we can all truly believe in."

During this historic election cycle, the Human Rights Campaign launched its nationwide $7 million "Year to Win" electoral initiative to mobilize 5 million LGBT and allied voters to help elect fair-minded candidates and defeat discriminatory ballot measures. HRC deployed staff to key election campaigns in 22 states and helped train hundreds of activists in 17 cities in crucial battleground states throughout the nation. In 2008, the LGBT community and the entire social justice movement are poised to make significant gains in the representation of fair-minded candidates throughout all levels of government.

"As we anticipate this historic administration and increased numbers of fair-minded lawmakers in Congress, we are mindful of the serious crises that immediately face our nation and our new president," continued Joe Solmonese. "We look forwarding to working with the Obama administration to help roll back eight-years of wrong-headed Bush policies and put our country back on track. That path includes full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people."

In 2006, the Human Rights Campaign flexed its political muscle in unprecedented and strategic ways that helped alter the political dynamic in key races across the country. Because of these efforts, HRC was ranked the second most successful political organization in the entire country by National Journal ("Reversal of Fortune", National Journal, 11/11/06).

The Human Rights Campaign played a significant role in the 2008 election cycle by raising money and allocating staff and volunteers to support fair-minded congressional candidates. HRC also worked to create fair-minded majorities in several targeted state legislatures and to defend the fair-minded majorities that the organization helped to secure in the 2006 elections.

Additional highlights of the Human Rights Campaign's strategic involvement in the 2008 elections include:

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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