Human Rights Campaign PAC Endorses Lauren Ashley Simmons for the Texas House of Representatives

by Cullen Peele

HOUSTON, TX — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) PAC, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, announced its endorsement of Lauren Ashley Simmons for the Texas House of Representatives. Simmons, a union organizer and an openly LGBTQ+ woman of color, is running in Texas’ 146th House district and will be facing anti-equality incumbent Rep. Shawn Thierry in the state’s primaries on March 5. All eyes will be on this race as the district is overwhelmingly Democratic, with no viable Republican currently running.

Incumbent Rep. Shawn Thierry has one of the worst records on equality in the Texas legislature, and has consistently voted against the well-being of LGBTQ+ Texans, which includes her support of many bills that target the transgender community.

Lauren Ashley Simmons knows that the people of Houston need a pro-equality champion who will always be on their side as a force for change, something that her opponent has clearly failed to be. In a state responsible for about 1 out of every 5 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced throughout the country last year, we need more advocates and community members like Simmons who will hold extremist lawmakers accountable, put our lived experiences at the table, and who will always stand up for LGBTQ+ Texans. The Human Rights Campaign will work tirelessly to mobilize our volunteers in Houston and get Equality Voters to the polls.”

Texas State Director Melodía Gutiérrez

The Human Rights Campaign sounded the alarm in Texas last year when more than 100 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced in the state legislature, accounting for over 20% of the over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced throughout the U.S. at the time. Texas continues to struggle to achieve basic equality protections for its queer and transgender residents, as underscored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s State Equality Index released each year.

Rep. Shawn Thierry has helped several of these bills become law. Last year, she voted in favor of SB 14, which will now ban life-saving, medically necessary, gender affirming care for transgender youth. She also supported SB 15, which prohibits transgender students from participating on school sports teams aligning with their gender identity. Thierry has liked several social media posts from the anti-LGBTQ+ group Gays Against Groomers as well.

It’s a great honor to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign! Full LGBTQ+ equality is a fight worth having, and like you, I won’t stop until every member of our community can live their truth without fear and with equality. Thank you!"

Lauren Ashley Simmons

Lauren Ashley Simmons is a lifelong Houstonian who has spent her career in organizing, particularly for the Communication Workers of America (CWA). An out lesbian, she has the endorsements of Equality Texas, the LGBTQ Victory Fund and LPAC, Houston LGBTQ Political Caucus, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, state Rep. Julie Johnson, several unions, including CWA, the Houston Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO. Members of the HRC Houston community are already hard at work to help Simmons’ campaign.

HRC’s Commitment to Texas:

Equality Voters, including the more than 2 million in Texas, 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.

Pol. adv. paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC. [] and authorized by Lauren Simmons Campaign. Not authorized by any federal candidate or federal candidate’s committee.

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