Human Rights Campaign Foundation & HIT Strategies Release Research on Voters of Color & Vote by Mail

Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and HIT Strategies released the first results of a national survey of voters of color, including LGBTQ voters of color, to determine voter sentiment in regards to vote by mail. Conducted in partnership with major advocacy organizations, including Latino Victory Foundation, the NAACP, UnidosUS, and Woke Vote, this survey shows key commonalities — as well as critical differences — in how voters from different communities view the current voting climate. 

Tonight at 7:30 PM EST, on the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Human Rights Campaign Foundation President Alphonso David, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, UnidosUS President & CEO Janet Murguía, and Latino Victory Foundation President and CEO Nathalie Rayes will discuss the results of this survey in a panel moderated by Jamal Simmons, CBS News analyst and host of #ThisisFYI on IGTV. Interested press should RSVP with matilda.young@hrc.org. 

“Voters across the country this fall will be facing unprecedented challenges in how to safely make their voices heard in the pivotal election ahead,” said Human Rights Campaign Foundation President Alphonso David. “As these results show, voters are hopeful, resilient and ready to cast their votes this November — from the ballot box to the mailbox. Along with our partners, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation looks forward to educating and empowering voters in how they can safely and effectively have their say in the future of our democracy. ” 

“Part of increasing voter turnout and engagement means meeting people where they are,” said Dejuana Thompson, Founder of Woke Vote. “We need to make sure voters are both empowered and excited to cast their ballots. The results of this survey provide meaningful pointers for how we can help voters navigate these uncertain times to safely and successfully cast their ballots.” 

“This year’s general election will present some unique obstacles. Our findings show how we can work to prepare and rise to this historic moment, and voting by mail is an important tool in doing so,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía. “The Latino vote will be a decisive factor in the electoral equation and we at UnidosUS, along with our sister organizations, are committed to making sure Latinos and all communities have the information and tools needed to make their voices heard in November.” 

“The 55th Anniversary of The Voting Rights Act reminds us that the right to vote has not come easy and was hard-fought,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP. “As we live through this COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that the governmental agencies responsible have the resources they need to create a safe and fair election environment without risking lives. The research tells us that in our communities, we need multiple options for every voter to cast a ballot by mail or in person. This year is vital for elections, and we must vote because our lives depend on it, otherwise what we fought for 55 years ago will be in vain.” 

“Latinos are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and that makes our communities especially vulnerable. We’re the second-largest voting bloc in this election, so we need to focus on increasing our efforts to ensure Latino voters are able to cast their ballots safely during this election,” said Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Foundation President & CEO. “The results of this survey will help guide Latino Victory’s and our partner organizations’ work to engage and mobilize Latino voters in this unprecedented election.” 

“Communities of color, being disproportionately impacted by this pandemic, are seeking safe and secure alternatives to make their voices heard in this election,” said Terrance Woodbury, HIT Strategies. “This research reveals the real and perceived barriers that voters of color have toward voting by mail, and the interventions that can be taken to overcome those barriers.” 

Key takeaways from the research include: 

76% of POC voters think the coronavirus crisis will affect who votes in the 2020 election, and 73% of POC voters think the protests following the death of George Floyd will affect who votes in the 2020 election. 

68% of POC voters will either vote in person early or by mail, including 59% of APPI voters stating that voting by mail is their current voting preference. 

75% of POC voters, including 76% of Black voters and 79% of POC LGBTQ voters, are more likely to vote by mail in November if we still don’t have a cure or vaccine for coronavirus. 

80% of POC voters, including 84% of Black voters and 80% of LGBTQ POC voters, favor allowing all voters the option of vote by mail or absentee ballot in this year’s election. 

In terms of voters’ feelings towards the November election, the highest rated feeling was hopeful, at 34% of those surveyed. 

The initial survey included a sample of over 800 individuals from across the U.S, including Florida, Wisconsin, Texas, and Georgia. This research is still ongoing, and results will continue to be released through November. 

For a link to a slide deck with results, click here.

For a link to tonight livestream at 7:30 PM EST, click here.

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Human Rights Campaign Announces First Slate of Pro-Equality Champions for Arizona Legislature

Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced its endorsement of four pro-equality candidates in the Arizona State Legislature. 

Arizona is one of 29 states that lack explicit state-level protections for all LGBTQ people. Of the four endorsed candidates, three are people of color and two identify as LGBTQ. 

“Right now, over 240,000 LGBTQ Arizonans live in a patchwork of protections,” said HRC Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe. “Driving from Yuma to Flagstaff, an LGBTQ person would have different rights in every town, city or county they drove through. That must change, and while the Bostock ruling has provided some workplace protections, LGBTQ Arizonans are still at risk of discrimination in a variety of areas including seeking basic services offered to the public, such as transportation and retail services. In the coming weeks, HRC will mobilize the over one million Equality Voters across the state to ensure we have the strongest slate of pro-equality candidates to elect in November as possible.”

Today’s endorsements include:

  • Felicia French (SD-06)

  • Rep. Daniel Hernandez III (HD-02)

  • Coral Evans (HD-06)

  • Rep. Cesar Chavez (HD-29)

In the closing weeks of the 2018 election, HRC had 18 staff on the ground organizing Equality Voters in  Arizona. In the midterm elections, HRC members and supporters completed over 1,149 volunteer shifts. In the final four days of GOTV alone, our staff and volunteers knocked on over 13,625 doors. HRC hosted over 130 volunteer events and six Equality Action Academy trainings to give HRC members and supporters the tools they need to take action locally in legislative advocacy and in support of pro-equality candidates. In 2018, HRC’s unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit volunteers, mobilize constituents, register voters and grow the organization’s grassroots army in an all-out effort to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable. In 2020, our engagement and mobilization efforts will only deepen. HRC will have at least 45 full-time staff in seven priority states (AZ, MI, NV, OH, PA, TX, and WI) and an additional 20 staff focused on a second tier of states and districts.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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100 Days Out: Trump v. Biden on LGBTQ Equality in Health Care

Over the coming days, HRC will be highlighting the key attacks from the Trump-Pence administration and the commitments from the Biden administration to undo those attacks and build a better future for LGBTQ people. These are Trump’s attacks on and Biden’s record and plans for LGBTQ equality in health care:

TRUMP’S ATTACKS

  1. Undermine Section 1557 of the ACA: HHS published a major change to the administrative rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to remove explicit protections for LGBTQ people in healthcare programs and activities, undermining protections for  LGBTQ people from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity.
  2. Advocated for the elimination of the entire Affordable Care Act: The Justice Department issued a legal filing arguing that the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be overturned. This move would have jeopardized health care for over 130 million people with preexisting conditions like HIV and eliminate non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
  3. Created a Religious Discrimination Division: HHS created a new office whose sole purpose would be to defend physicians and other medical professionals who decide to refuse care, including to LGBTQ patients.
  4. Proposed cutting over $1.35 billion from PEPFAR budget: In his proposed FY 2019 budget, Trump cut $1.35 billion from or 29% of PEPFAR’s budget. PEPFAR is the U.S. government program that fights AIDS abroad.
  5. Issued a “conscience rule”: Trump’s HHS Department issued rules designed to allow health care providers to refuse to treat a patient on religious or moral grounds, significantly impacting LGBTQ people who still deal with widespread discrimination in health care.
  6. Fired the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council: Trump fired the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS after half a dozen members resigned in protest to the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine LGBTQ people’s access to health care.

BIDEN’S RECORD AND PLANS 

  1. Promised to overturn Trump’s decimation of the ACA Section 1557 regulation: Biden has committed to restoring the regulation implementing section 1557 of the ACA to ensure protections for LGBTQ people from discrimination by health care and insurance providers. The Trump-Pence administration has radically revised the rule, encouraging health care providers to refuse service and discriminate against LGBTQ patients.
  2. Promised to ensure HIV medication and testing is covered by health insurance: Biden has dedicated his administration to fighting price gouging for HIV prevention medication like PrEP and treatments like PEP. He has also committed to federal health plans to provide coverage for these life-saving medications.
  3. Committed to update and implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy: Biden has committed to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025 and will update the nation’s comprehensive strategy to aggressively reduce new HIV cases and increasing access to treatment.
  4. Fight for truly science-based FDA blood donor regulations: Biden has committed to working with the FDA to implement blood donor rules that are based in science and risk factors rather than identity.
  5. Restore funding to Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood provides critical health care to millions of LGBTQ people across the country. Biden has committed to protecting Planned Parenthood and restoring funding to the critical health care they provide.

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Leading LGBTQ Rights Orgs Call on DOJ to Enforce SCOTUS’ Bostock Decision

Post also submitted by Tom Warnke, Lambda Legal, and Gillian Branstette, National Women’s Law Center

Today, several leading national advocacy organizations dedicated to achieving LGBTQ equality and ending sex discrimination sent a letter to the Department of Justice in regards to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the consolidated cases Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express v. Zarda and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC and urge the full implementation of this decision, including by instructing its departments and other federal agencies to withdraw any guidance or instruction that is inconsistent with the Court’s holding that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and transgender status is unlawful sex discrimination.

Signers include:
American Civil Liberties Union
Human Rights Campaign
Lambda Legal
National Women’s Law Center
Center for American Progress
Family Equality
Freedom for All Americans
GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD)
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National LGBTQ Task Force
PFLAG National
SAGE: Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders
Transgender Law Center

The full letter and list of signatories can be found here.

“The Department of Justice is not only appropriately positioned to coordinate implementation of the Bostock decision across the federal government, but has historically undertaken this role,” reads the letter. “It is imperative that the Department accept this responsibility and ensure that enforcement of this decision, as to the definition of sex discrimination through federal civil rights laws and regulations, is uniform across the federal government.”

On June 15, in a landmark ruling in the consolidated cases of Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express v. Zarda and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed that based on the text of our federal civil rights statutes, sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are prohibited sex discrimination.

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