From Equality Virginia:
Equality Virginia Advocates Announces 2021 LGBTQ-affirming Statewide Endorsements
RICHMOND, Va. (August 13, 2021) – Equality Virginia Advocates, the leading organization focused on ensuring that Virginia’s political landscape remains supportive of LGBTQ people, announced its endorsements today in the races for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.
Since 2009, no candidate has won the state’s highest elected offices without being publicly affirming of the LGBTQ community.
“It is imperative that we elect leaders committed to LGBTQ equality, especially as anti-LGBTQ proponents continue to make headlines by attacking transgender students,” said Vee Lamneck executive director of Equality Virginia Advocates. “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.”
Below are the Equality Virginia Advocates 2021 statewide endorsements:
For the office of Governor, EV Advocates endorses former Governor Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe was the first gubernatorial candidate to proudly run a LGBTQ inclusive campaign in 2013, plus he was the first governor to recognize June as Pride Month in the Commonwealth and open the doors of the Executive Mansion to LGBTQ people to celebrate. He was also the first governor to include gender identity and gender expression in state employment protections and to prevent LGBTQ discrimination from state contractors.
“Every Virginian deserves to be treated equally, live free from fear, and thrive regardless of who they are or who they love. 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,” said Terry McAuliffe.
For the office of Lieutenant Governor, EV Advocates endorses Delegate Hala Ayala. As a delegate, Ayala has consistently earned scores of 100 on Equality Virginia’s Legislative Scorecards for her unwavering support of LGBTQ issues. In addition, she was a co-patron of the Virginia Values Act, which provided LGBTQ Virginians with protection from discrimination 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,” said Delegate Hala Ayala, Democratic Nominee for Lieutenant Governor. “As Lieutenant Governor, I’m committed to ensuring every Virginian is seen, celebrated, and uplifted. I’m thrilled to have EV Advocates by my side in this critical fight.”
For the office of Attorney General, EV Advocates endorses the re-election of Mark Herring. One of Herring’s first official acts in office was to join the fight against Virginia’s constitutional marriage ban in 2014. Since then, he has worked to protect LGBTQ youth in Virginia’s public schools, and has used the full weight of his office to ensure that Virginians are protected against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
“I am both honored and thankful to receive the endorsement of EV Advocates for my re-election campaign. 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.” said Attorney General Mark Herring.
In addition to this being a high-stakes election, with much on the line for the LGBTQ community, it is also a milestone election. This year marks the first time an openly LGBTQ candidate, Princess Blanding, has run for the office of governor. While she was not selected for endorsement, her visibility and active support of LGBTQ issues is incredibly important and her historic efforts are applauded.
About Equality Virginia Advocates:
Equality Virginia Advocates (EVA) is a 501(c)(4) organization supporting Equality Virginia (EV)’s mission to advance equal rights for LGBTQ Virginians through direct lobbying, issue advocacy, and working to elect candidates who prioritize LGBTQ-policy making.