Metro Weekly

Pro-LGBTQ groups run full-page ads urging senators to vote against Kavanaugh SCOTUS nomination

Print and digital ads target senators in Alaska, Colorado, Maine and Nevada

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his family with President Trump – Photo: The White House.

The Human Rights Campaign and the National Women’s Law Center have launched a campaign this week to urge U.S. senators to vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The campaign’s strategy involves taking out four ads in major newspapers in the states of Alaska, Colorado, Maine, and Nevada to highlight the threat that Kavanaugh might pose to LGBTQ equality, reproductive rights, and affordable health care. The civil rights groups are hoping to energize liberal-leaning and moderate voters to take action and voice their concerns about Kavanaugh in an effort to persuade Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Angus King (I-Maine), and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to reject the controversial judge’s nomination.

The ads began running in print on Saturday and Sunday in the Denver Post, Maine Sunday Telegram, Reno-Gazette Journal, Anchorage Daily News, and Bangor Daily News. Digital ads will begin running on Sunday in the Las Vegas Sun, and in print on Thursday in Las Vegas Weekly.

The ads either thank senators for voting to preserve the Affordable Care Act, telling them “We need you to do it again!” or say Kavanaugh is a threat to the state, asking senators to “not rubber stamp Trump’s agenda.” All ads say Kavanaugh would pose a threat to “LGBTQ equality,” “reproductive rights,” and “affordable health care.”

Example of anti-Kavanaugh ad – Photo: Human Rights Campaign.

Kavanaugh has previously opined that an employer’s religious beliefs should take precedence over their workers’ access to birth control — and potentially other prescriptions — if the employer has a moral objection to a person’s lifestyle or health care choices. LGBTQ advocates note that taking away the Affordable Care Act, as Kavanaugh has suggested in past writings, could allow Americans, particularly LGBTQ folks to be denied health insurance for pre-existing conditions. And he has been a vocal critic of Roe v. Wade, alleging it was wrongly decided.

“In nominating Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump followed through on his threat to put forward a justice who will undermine LGBTQ equality, reproductive rights and affordable health care. This ad campaign will help expose Brett Kavanaugh’s record and urge voters to contact their Senators to reject his nomination,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.

“Kavanaugh was hand-picked by anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice groups in an explicit effort to undermine equality,” Griffin added. “If confirmed, Kavanaugh’s record makes clear that he would erode our nation’s civil rights laws, prevent brave transgender troops from serving this nation, and allow a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people.”

“We’re urging voters to contact their Senators in these critical states because all of our health and lives are on the line with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh,” Famita Goss Graves, the president and CEO of NWLC, said in a statement. “We believe Trump’s promises that anyone he nominates will overturn the right to safe, legal abortion, and repeal the Affordable Care Act. This nomination will dramatically shift the balance of the Supreme Court — we can’t afford to sit this one out.”

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

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