Metro Weekly

Equality Virginia Advocates endorses Democrats in races for statewide office

Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala, and Mark Herring endorsed for their past records on LGBTQ nondiscrimination and marriage equality.

(Left to right) Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala, and Mark Herring – Photos: Facebook.

Equality Virginia Advocates, the political action arm of the commonwealth of Virginia’s top LGBTQ organization, has endorsed the three Democrats running for the three statewide offices appearing on this November’s ballot.

Equality Virginia Advocates endorsed former Gov. Terry McAuliffe for his second, non-subsequent term in office as the commonwealth’s chief executive; State Del. Hala Ayala (Woodbridge) for lieutenant governor; and Attorney General Mark Herring for re-election to his current post.

Equality Virginia Advocates also noted the historic candidacy of Princess Blanding, an independent who is the first out LGBTQ person to run for governor in the commonwealth, even though the organization declined to endorse her.

“It is imperative that we elect leaders committed to LGBTQ equality, especially as anti-LGBTQ proponents continue to make headlines by attacking transgender students,” Vee Lamneck, the executive director of Equality Virginia Advocates, said in a statement. “We do not take for granted the significant legislative advancements that we have made over the past two years because we know that these hard-fought victories could easily be rolled back. These candidates have been true champions of our issues and we are confident that with their continued leadership Virginia will become a more welcoming place in the South for LGBTQ people.”

See also: Loudoun County School Board passes policy protecting transgender students’ rights

McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, was the first gubernatorial candidate to openly support LGBTQ rights on the campaign trial, the first governor to recognize June as Pride Month, and the first to include gender identity and gender expression in an executive order prohibiting discrimination in state employment and discrimination by state contractors.

“Every Virginian deserves to be treated equally, live free from fear, and thrive regardless of who they are or who they love,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “As Virginia’s 72nd Governor, I was proud to fight every single day to make Virginia the most open and welcoming state in the nation. I will always fight for LGBTQ+ rights, provide all Virginians with equal opportunities, and work to lift up the LGBTQ+ community. I have laid out a clear plan to make Virginia more inclusive and I’m grateful to have the endorsement of Equality Virginia Advocates. Together, we will build a stronger Commonwealth for all.”

Ayala, first elected to office in 2019, has consistently earned scores of 100 on Equality Virginia Advocates’ Legislative Scorecard for her support of pro-LGBTQ legislation during her two terms in office. She was a co-patron of the Virginia Values Act, landmark legislation that prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ Virginians in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

I am honored to have earned the endorsement of EV Advocates, a tireless champion for Virginia’s LGBTQ+ community,” Ayala said in a statement. “As lieutenant governor, I’m committed to ensuring every Virginian is seen, celebrated, and uplifted.”

Herring, who fought to declare Virginia’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, has been a longtime ally to the LGBTQ community, working to protect LGBTQ youth in public schools and fighting to ensure LGBTQ Virginians are protected from various forms of discrimination.

I am both honored and thankful to receive the endorsement of EV Advocates for my re-election campaign,” Herring said in a statement. “I will continue to fight every day for stronger protections for our LGBTQ+ and minority communities in education, public housing, and against hate crimes as I always have, and work tirelessly to make equality real in our Commonwealth.”

See also:

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New Hampshire school board member has meltdown, calls police “f—-ts” following traffic stop

Man punches two teenagers and a woman in anti-gay attack on New York City subway

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