Metro Weekly

HRC endorses California Sen. Dianne Feinstein for re-election

Feinstein has earned a 100 percent rating on HRC's Congressional Scorecard for the past two Congresses

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (front, second from left) at a press conference with other California officials – Photo: California National Guard.

Following in the footsteps of Equality California, the Human Rights Campaign endorsed U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein for re-election this November, even as she faces a fierce fight against a strong Democratic challenger with his own pro-LGBTQ voting record.

Feinstein is facing a challenge from former California State Senate President Kevin de León, who is being backed by liberal and progressive groups who are critical of Feinstein’s approach to the Trump administration, including what they claim is a failure to be more confrontational.

Yet, to be fair to Feinstein, she’s taken stands against some of the Trump administration’s anti-LGBTQ actions, including, most recently, the removal of critical LGBTQ health and economic information from federal websites run by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Management and Budget.

Because only the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election under the rules of the “top-two” primary in California, it is possible that Feinstein and de León could face off against each other in November.

Yet despite liberal criticism of Feinstein, LGBTQ groups are not abandoning the senator, who has amassed a pro-LGBTQ rating during her political career, from her time as a City Supervisor and Mayor of San Francisco to the U.S. Senate.

“From the earliest days of her career as one of California’s most devoted public servants, Senator Feinstein has been a stalwart supporter of the LGBTQ community,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “As Donald Trump and Mike Pence attempt to undo our progress and drag our country backwards, Senator Feinstein is standing up to this administration’s dangerous attacks on LGBTQ people and fighting for the equal dignity of all Americans. HRC is proud to endorse Senator Feinstein’s bid for reelection and we look forward to continuing to work with her to secure full federal equality.”

Feinstein earned a 100 percent rating on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for the 114th and 113th Congress. During her time in the Senate, she voted to include LGBTQ protections in federal hate crimes laws, repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and allot more federal funding to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. She was also an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, and was the lead sponsor of legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which she voted against wen it was first proposed in 1996.

“I want to sincerely thank the Human Rights Campaign for their powerful work promoting LGBTQ civil rights across America and for endorsing my re-election,” Feinstein said in a statement. “As Supervisor and Mayor of San Francisco, and as California’s Senator, I’ve always been proud to support the LGBTQ community, and I look forward to continuing my work with HRC in campaigns, courtrooms and Congress to achieve equality for all.”

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

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