NORTHBROOK — The Human Rights Campaign announced their support for small businessman Brad Schneider (IL-10) in his race to defeat Republican Congressman Robert Dold. Schneider earned the endorsement for his support for full marriage equality, commitment to ensuring equal rights and benefits in the workplace, and his long record of advocacy for fundamental fairness and equality for all Americans.
"I'm proud to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign and the larger LGBT community," said Schneider. "We must end the two-tiered system created by the Defense of Marriage Act, eliminate discrimination in the workplace, and ensure that our schools are safe and welcoming for all children."
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
"Brad's passion and commitment to LGBT equality, along with his dedication to Illinois families, make him the strongest candidate for Congress," said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. "It's time that families in the new 10th District are represented by someone who shares their values of fairness and equality."
Schneider is challenging Congressman Robert Dold. During Dold's short tenure in Congress, his record on LGBT issues has been defined by his opposition to marriage equality, and his continued refusal to pass necessary workplace protections for LGBT employees.
Despite having more than 75% support from the American public and bipartisan support including Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, ENDA still has not passed Congress. Congressman Dold publicly opposes ENDA and has said, "I don't believe I would have voted with the Employee Discrimination Act, I don't believe they should be given any special rights". [Source: 890 AM WLS, January 3, 2010]
Background on Rep. Dold's record:
Dold Opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Dold indicated that he opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 (ENDA), which "gives homosexual and transsexual individuals protected class status in the workplace," in a candidate questionnaire for the Illinois Family Institute. [Illinois Family Institute Voter Guide for Illinois Primary Election, accessed 3/10/10; H.R.3017 & S.1584 - 2009]
The vast majority of Americans (79%) support ending employment discrimination for LGBT workers. [Source: National poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, July 26, 2011, http://www.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/HRCsummer2011pollmemo.pdf]
Dold's Opposition Contradicts Former IL-10 Congressman Mark Kirk: Dold's predecessor, Sen. Mark Kirk, co-sponsored ENDA in the 111th and 112th Congresses. [HR 2981, introduced 6/19/09; S. 811, introduced 4/13/11]
Dold Opposes Marriage Equality: In January 2010, Dold stated opposition to same-sex marriage during an interview on WLS 890 AM radio stating "I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. [Political Shoot-Out Interview WLS 890 AM Radio, 1/03/10]
Dold Supports the So-Called Defense of Marriage Act: While in Congress, Dold has voted twice to support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In 2011, Dold voted for an amendment, which would prohibit Department of Defense funds from being used to undermine DOMA. In 2012, Dold voted for an amendment, which would forbid the Justice Department from bringing suit against DOMA, and would forbid the President from directing the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in court. [2011 Vote #516, H. Amdt. 546 to H.R. 2219, 7/7/11; 2012 Vote #235, H.Amdt. 1096 to H.R. 5326, 5/9/12]
HRC Had Previously Endorsed Republican Congressman Mark Kirk in IL-10. The Human Rights Campaign had endorsed then Representative Kirk in 2006 and 2008.