Equality was a big winner in the 2020 election even before the race was called for Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America.
Biden, a champion of LGBTQ rights, promises to make the Equality Act a top priority and hopes to sign what would be a landmark civil rights law within 100 days of being in office.
The Human Rights Campaign released a statement after Biden’s win saying, “President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are not just willing to be our allies, but they are true advocates for equality. And they’ve done it for decades. From Biden’s work championing hate crimes protections in the 1980’s to Harris performing some of the first marriages for LGBTQ couples after Prop 8 was overturned, these leaders have a clear vision that centers unity over division.”
Across the country, LGBTQ candidates made progress with notable firsts in the 2020 election, including a historic win for Democrat Sarah McBride, who became the first trans state senator, winning a seat in Delaware. Songwriter Justin Tranter, tweeted, “ICON” at McBride’s twitter page, while “Hamilton’s” Rory O’ Malley sent his congratulations.
Tyler Oakley wrote. “congratulations, senator! you make us all proud.”
“Connecting” actress Shakina was among the many celebrities who also sent in messages of congratulations on McBride’s historic win. “Hamilton’s” Javier Munoz also congratulated McBride, saying, “As a state senator, she will also be the country’s highest-ranking openly transgender official — and first elected official in Delaware’s history.”
Jabari Brisport became the first LGBTQ person of color elected to the New York State Senate, while Taylor Small was the first out trans person elected to the Vermont State Legislature, winning 41% of the votes.
Another significant win was by openly gay LGBTQ Afro-Latino candidate Ritchie Torres, who won the 15th Congressional District of New York. Torres said, “Tonight, a new era begins for the South Bronx. It is the honor of a lifetime to represent a borough filled with essential workers who risked their lives so that New York City could live.”
Mondaire Jones won the 17th Congressional district of New York, and along with Torres, they became the first two openly gay Black men to be elected to Congress. Jones tweeted, “The victories of Mr. Jones and @RitchieTorres also mean that by one measure, gay Black Americans may finally have representation in Congress that mirrors their representation in the broader population.”
With the wins of Jones and Torres, there will be nine openly LGBTQ members of the House as of January 2021. The seven incumbents all won their races.
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD wrote, “Our LGBTQ community did not sit this election out and we are seeing the results — some historic wins for LGBTQ candidates and many still to be decided.”
After Biden’s win was announced, she wrote, “LGBTQ people and all marginalized Americans came together to make this victory possible.”
Sam Manzella, a reporter at NewNowNext wrote, “May I recommend balancing your (v warranted) anxiety over the presidential race with some inspiring queer news? 160 LGBTQ candidates have already won races across the country, says Victory Fund.”
In Oklahoma, Mauree Turner made history in the race for state House, becoming the first openly non-binary person ever elected to a state legislature in the United States.
Annise Parker, CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund said, “Of all the states to achieve a milestone political moment for non-binary people, few would have thought it would be Oklahoma, where there are so few LGBTQ elected officials. But Mauree ran a tireless campaign focused on the issues that matter to their district while also being authentic and open about who they are. Mauree is now a trailblazer for non-binary people and their courage to run openly will inspire more non-binary people to pursue careers in elected office.”
Other wins include Michele Rayner, who is the first Black LGBTQ woman elected to the Florida legislature, and Kim Jackson as the first LGBTQ Georgia State Senator.
Sharice Davids (House of Representatives for Kansas), Brianna Titone (Colorado’s State House of Representative), Ryan Fecteau (Maine House of Representatives), Carlos Smith (Florida House of Representative), Scott Wiener (California State Senate) and Sam Park (Georgia’s House of Representatives) were also reelected.
Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, issued the following statement: “We celebrate the election of our fellow Californian, Kamala Harris, to the office of vice president. Senator Harris will become the first Black woman—indeed, the first woman—and the first Indian-American elected to one of the two highest offices in the land. The historic significance and symbolic magnitude of her election and what it represents to all people who have lived in the shadow of discrimination and inequity cannot be overstated.”
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