HRC announced its endorsement of Sen. Tina Smith for reelection.
This endorsement marks HRC’s first Senate endorsement of the 2020 cycle and underscores both the importance of reelecting Sen. Smith and preventing known anti-LGBTQ extremist Rep. Jason Lewis from bringing his harmful views to the Senate. Sen. Tina Smith has been a steadfast ally for the LGBTQ community throughout her history in public service. Just one week after joining the Senate in 2018, Smith signed on as a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our nation’s existing civil rights laws. Prior to joining the Senate, Smith was integral in the push for statewide marriage equality in 2013 and helped pass anti-bullying legislation. In Minnesota, HRC has identified more than 600,000 voters as likely “Equality Voters,” meaning they are strong supporters of progressive LGBTQ policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Senator Tina Smith has been one of our community’s most ardent advocates in the United States Senate, and we’re proud to stand by her side as she runs for reelection,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “From co-sponsoring the Equality Act to pushing for marriage equality in Minnesota, Senator Smith’s long history of support for LGBTQ families stands in stark contrast with Jason Lewis, who compared LGBTQ people to rapists and criminals. The Human Rights Campaign is committed to mobilizing the more than 600,000 Equality Voters across Minnesota to send Tina Smith back to the U.S. Senate to continue our work moving equality forward for all Americans.”
“I’m proud to work alongside the Human Rights Campaign – a leader in the continued fight for LGBTQ+ equality – and honored to have their support,” said Senator Tina Smith. “Congress must pass the Equality Act and ensure that LGBTQ+ Americans are protected in the workplace, in school, at home or wherever they are in the public sphere. It’s time for the Senate to take action. Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and I look forward to continuing to work with the Human Rights Campaign to pass these critical protections for LGBTQ+ Americans.”
Throughout his time in Congress, Rep. Jason Lewis never earned more than a 0 on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard. But his time before he entered Congress is even more troubling. While a radio host in Minnesota, Rep. Jason Lewis spewed horrifically anti-LGBTQ extremist language and opinions. He compared LGBTQ people to rapists, criminals, and polygamists. He also alleged that same-sex parents were potentially harming their children by identifying as LGBTQ. In a move of poetic justice, Lewis was ousted by LGBTQ mother, HRC-endorsed now-Rep. Angie Craig.
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