Metro Weekly

HRC endorses Kirsten Gillibrand for re-election in 2018 midterms

U.S. Senator from New York has been an LGBTQ ally since her appointment in 2009

Kirsten Gillibrand – Photo: Ted Eytan, via Wikimedia.

The Human Rights Campaign has endorsed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) for re-election this year, noting her perfect 100 rating on the organization’s Congressional Scorecard since her appointment to the Senate in 2009.

Gillibrand, who is considered a potential presidential candidate in 2020, was involved in the push to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and recently introduced bipartisan legislation to protect currently serving transgender troops from being forcibly discharged after President Trump called for a ban on all transgender service members. She has supported marriage equality, the Equality Act, and has spoken out about the problem of anti-LGBTQ violence.

“Senator Gillibrand has spent her career fighting for equality — for LGBTQ people, for workers, for women and for families,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “From fighting back against Donald Trump’s transgender military ban to pushing for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections through the Equality Act, she fights for what’s right and she never backs down. New Yorkers and all Americans need her leadership now more than ever before as we pull the emergency brake on the Trump-Pence administration’s hate-fueled agenda.”

Gillibrand, who will speak at HRC’s 2018 Greater New York Gala later tonight, is the tenth politician to be endorsed by the LGBTQ rights organization as it ramps up for the 2018 midterms. HRC’s “HRC Rising” program is expected to push for pro-LGBTQ candidates running for election in battleground states, particularly in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Arizona.

While Gillibrand, and her fellow endorsee Gov. Andrew Cuomo, are not considered vulnerable, and New York is not a political battleground state, LGBTQ activists hope that increased turnout of so-called “equality voters” — those for whom anti-LGBTQ animus is a deal-breaker when deciding for whom to vote — for Gillibrand and Cuomo may help with down-ticket races and flipping control of the state senate, which is controlled by the GOP, resulting in major defeats of pro-LGBTQ legislation and forcing Cuomo to pursue executive actions to circumvent the state Senate.

Other HRC endorsees include Elissa Slotkin, running for Congress from Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, incumbent U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), U.S. Reps. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in their bids for U.S. Senate, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Angie Craig, a congressional candidate from Minnesota’s 2nd District, and Julie Johnson, a candidate for the Texas House of Representatives.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com