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LGBTQ State Legislative Candidates Win in Pennsylvania; Primary Victories Elsewhere
From news releases
2018-05-16

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From The Human Rights Campaign:

PHILADELPHIA — Tonight, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released the following statement celebrating the victories of pro-equality candidates Senator Bob Casey, Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-2), Dwight Evans (PA-3), Matt Cartwright (PA-8), and Michael Doyle (PA-18), and Chrissy Houlahan.

"HRC was proud to mobilize our members and supporters across the Keystone State to turn out for these pro-equality champions, and we look forward to carrying this momentum to the general election in November," said HRC Pennsylvania State Manager Allison VanKuiken. "As Donald Trump and Mike Pence ramp up their attacks on the LGBTQ community, it's more important than ever to elect candidates who will pull the emergency brake on a harmful administration, and reject anti-equality politicians like Lou Barletta, who will only double down on their discriminatory agenda."

In the U.S Senate race, HRC has endorsed incumbent Senator Bob Casey, who will be facing Rep. Lou Barletta in the general election. Senator Casey has long been a strong supporter of LGBTQ equality. He is the lead sponsor of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would require school districts to adopt codes of conduct prohibiting bullying and harassment, including on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion. Casey is also a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's civil rights laws. A longtime opponent of equality, Rep. Lou Barletta has earned a zero on HRC's Congressional Scorecard each Congress since he was elected. His record includes opposing marriage equality, supporting a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, and a lack of support for the Equality Act.

Following tonight's primary, HRC will be examining races up and down the ballot to determine additional endorsements for the 2018 general election. In Pennsylvania, HRC has identified more than 2,005,000 "Equality Voters" — voters who support LGBTQ-inclusive policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Pennsylvania in the 2018 cycle, and has already put staff and resources on the ground in the state. Last year, HRC announced a coast-to-coast campaign called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization's 38-year history.

From The LGBTQ Victory Fund:

Washington, DC — Pennsylvania candidates Malcolm Kenyatta and Kristin Seale are on-track to make history after winning their primaries on Tuesday night. Malcolm will become the first openly LGBTQ person of color to serve in the Pennsylvania state legislature if elected in November, and Kristin Seale will become the first queer state legislator. Brian Sims, the first and only openly LGBTQ state legislator in Pennsylvania — won his race unopposed. Six of seven Victory Fund-endorsed candidates with primaries tonight won their races.

"Representative Brian Sims has been our lone LGBTQ voice in the state legislature — standing up to bigoted colleagues and putting forward pro-equality legislation — but he won't be alone much longer," said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. "With tonight's victories, we are poised to triple the number of openly LGBTQ state legislators in Pennsylvania — an important step in moving equality forward in the state. While these out leaders will be champions for our community, their campaign platforms are about improving the lives of all Pennsylvanians. That is why they won tonight, and why they will win in November."

Malcolm Kenyatta was awarded "Spotlight" status by Victory Fund in April — a designation given to state or local candidates in history-making races.

Beyond Pennsylvania, three Victory-Fund endorsed incumbents won their primaries: Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Oregon state Rep. Karin Power, and Idaho State Rep. John McCrostie.


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