Mike Pence and Scott Walker’s Politically Toxic, Anti-LGBTQ Agenda is Wrong for Wisconsin

HRC is highlighting the anti-LGBTQ records of Vice President Mike Pence and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who are scheduled to campaign together today in Eau Claire. With deeply disturbing records undermining equality and peddling extremist ideologies, Pence and Walker both have made virulent anti-LGBTQ activism a cornerstone of their political careers, and remain out of touch with a majority of Wisconsin voters, who overwhelmingly support LGBTQ equality. 

“Mike Pence and Scott Walker’s extremist, discriminatory agendas pose a threat to Wisconsin and the nation,” said HRC Wisconsin State Director Wendy Strout. “From their opposition to marriage equality to their efforts to license discrimination against LGBTQ people, they do not represent Wisconsin values and our state’s more than 560,000 Equality Voters. With less than 30 days until the crucial midterm elections, HRC is mobilizing its hundreds of thousands of members and supporters in Wisconsin to reject the politics of hate and elect a pro-equality Governor in November.”

Here’s a snapshot of how Pence and Walker have undermined LGBTQ equality:

  • Long history of opposing marriage equality: Walker supported Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, vetoed a bill to give domestic partner benefits to workers and tried to kill a domestic partner registry. While in Congress, Pence proposed a constitutional amendment that would have imposed a federal ban on marriage in every state.
  • Support banning qualified transgender people from serving in the military: Pence is a lead architect of the effort to ban transgender troops, has rallied anti-equality leaders to support it and, with his staff, lobbied Congress to pass an amendment banning transition-related care for transgender servicemembers. Walker has said he “wouldn’t change” the Trump-Pence  ban on transgender service members.
  • Support a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people: In 2015, Pence’s bigotry received national attention when he signed a bill that could have given businesses, organizations, and individuals a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in employment, housing, education, and health care, as well as in access to services almost anywhere in the public square. Though the effort prompted widespread condemnation from both sides of the political aisle, Walker expressed support for the “principle” of Pence’s attempt to legalize discrimination.
  • Long history of opposing access to affordable health care: During his time in Congress, Pence was a leading voice opposing passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and voted to repeal the ACA —also known as Obamacare— in part or in full, more than 30 times. He also signed one of the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion laws which was later blocked by a federal judge and in 2017, he cast a tie-breaking vote to strip protections for reproductive health care. As governor, Walker rejected Medicaid expansion under Obamacare and also supported repeal of the entire law, which could have stripped health care from millions of Wisconsinites, including the 2.4 million Wisconsin residents with a pre-existing condition.

HRC’s comprehensive “The Real Mike Pence” campaign includes a report, microsite and series of videos that shine a spotlight on Pence’s decades-long crusade against LGBTQ equality, and inside-the-White House efforts leading the Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on LGBTQ people, including those who bravely serve our nation in the military. It lays out his long record of support for the abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy;” his relentless pursuit of a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people; his attempts to block hate crime legislation and funding for HIV and AIDS prevention; and his efforts to undermine access to health and reproductive care essential to LGBTQ people. He also keeps busy with his extremist agenda by working to undermine science, health, transparency, education, justice and public safety.

In Wisconsin, HRC has identified more than 560,000 million “Equality Voters” — voters who support LGBTQ-inclusive policies. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Wisconsin in the 2018 cycle, and has staff and resources on the ground in the state as part of the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.

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HRC Endorses Ben Jealous for Maryland Governor

HRC announced its endorsement of Ben Jealous (D) in his bid to become the next governor of Maryland.

“Ben Jealous is a proven leader with the vision and commitment needed to continue moving Maryland forward as a welcoming and inclusive state,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “As a longtime civil rights champion, Ben is passionately committed to putting people over politics and fighting to expand and protect the civil rights of every individual. HRC is proud to endorse Ben Jealous for governor, and we look forward to working with him to advance LGBTQ equality.”

“In 2012, as national President of the NAACP, I worked closely with the Human Rights Campaign to help make marriage equality law in our state, mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Marylanders to the polls,” said Ben Jealous. “Today, as the Trump administration continues to roll back protections for the LGBTQ+ community, we need leaders at the state level to protect civil rights and civil liberties. I’m proud to receive the endorsement of HRC and as governor, I look forward to working with them to move all our families forward.”

Ben Jealous has extensive experience as a non-profit executive, serving as the past president of the Rosenberg Foundation, and the founding director of Amnesty International’s U.S. Domestic Human Rights Program. At age 35, he was named the youngest ever National President and CEO of the NAACP. During the depths of a national recession, Jealous guided the NAACP through an unprecedented era of growth. He used his background as a community organizer and executive to press the NAACP forward in expanding and protecting the civil rights of all Americans. Throughout his NAACP tenure, Jealous worked with governors from California to Iowa, developing plans to help end mass incarceration and expand civil rights, and helped to pass numerous landmark pieces of legislation during President Obama’s first term in office. In 2013, he was named Marylander of the Year by the Baltimore Sun for helping to lead the successful efforts to abolish the death penalty, pass marriage equality, pass the DREAM Act, and expand voting rights.

In Maryland, HRC has identified more than 1.7 million “Equality Voters,” meaning they are strong supporters of progressive LGBTQ policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Last year, HRC announced a coast-to-coast campaign to mobilize voters for the midterm elections called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.
 

Authority: Friends of Ben Jealous, Jason Small, Treasurer.

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

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HRC Announces Historic Slate of Pro-Equality Endorsements in Arizona State Legislature

HRC announced its endorsement of a record 39 pro-equality candidates in the Arizona State Legislature. 

“While anti-equality politicians from the State House to the White House are hell-bent on dragging Arizona backwards, HRC’s endorsed candidates are fighting to ensure every Arizonan has a fair shot,” said HRC Arizona State Director Justin Unga. “Being LGBTQ should never be an impediment to success, and a pro-equality majority in our State Capitol means LGBTQ Arizonans can finally stop battling policies that harm us and start working toward reforms that help us. That’s why HRC is working harder than ever to turn out the vote for Arizona candidates who will champion equality.”

In the Arizona State Senate, HRC has endorsed Jo Craycraft for Senate District 1; Andrea Dalessandro for re-election to Senate District 2; Sally Ann Gonzales for re-election to Senate District 3; Lisa Otondo for re-election to Senate District 4; Wade Carlisle for Senate District 6; Jamescita Peshlakai for re-election to Senate District 7; Victoria Steele for Senate District 9; Steve Weichert for Senate District 17; Sean Bowie for re-election to Senate District 18; Lupe Contreras for re-election to Senate District 19; Douglas Ervin for Senate District 20; Daria Lohman for Senate District 23; Lela Alston for Senate District 24;  Juan Mendez for re-election to Senate District 26; Rebecca Rios for Senate District 27; Martin Quezada for re-election Senate District 29; and Tony Navarrete for Senate District 30.

In the Arizona State House, HRC has endorsed Rosanna Gabaldon and Daniel Hernandez for re-election to House District 2; Andres Cano and Alma Hernandez for House District 3; Charlene Fernandez and Geraldine Peten for re-election to House District 4; Randall Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley for re-election to House District 9; Hollace Lyon for House District 11; Mitzi Epstein for re-election to House District 18; Jennifer Jermaine for House District 18; Diego Espinoza for re-election to House District 19; Hazel Chandler and Chris Gilfillan for House District 20; Athena Salman and Isela Blanc for re-election to House District 26; Reginald Bolding for re-election to House District 27; Kelli Butler for re-election to House District 28; Aaron Lieberman for House District 28; Cesar Chavez and Richard Andrade for re-election to House District 29; and Robert Meza for House District 30. 

Arizona is one of 30 states in the country that lacks explicit state-level protections for all LGBTQ people. Both chambers have so far failed to show the leadership needed to pass non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Last year, four lawmakers — Rep. Daniel Hernandez, (D-Tucson), Rep. César Chávez (D-Phoenix),  Rep. Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete (D-Phoenix), and Sen. Robert Meza (D-Phoenix) — created the state’s first-ever LGBTQ caucus at the State Capitol, vowing to harness the collective power of the LGBTQ community and work to move equality forward.

In Arizona, HRC has identified more than 800,000 voters as likely “Equality Voters,” meaning they are strong supporters of progressive LGBTQ policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Arizona in the 2018 cycle, and has staff and resources on the ground in the state as part of the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.

 

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

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