Human Rights Campaign Endorses Creigh Deeds for Virginia Governor
WASHINGTON– The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced today the endorsement of state Senator R. Creigh Deeds for Governor of Virginia. The decision was made by the HRC Public Policy Committee based on Senator Deeds’ support for equal treatment of LGBT Virginians and his overall record of commitment to civil rights.
“Electing Creigh Deeds must be a top priority for all fair-minded Virginians,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Senator Deeds will continue the work of Governors Warner and Kaine to eliminate barriers to equality for the LGBT community. HRC is pleased to be working with Equality Virginia to support Senator Deeds.”
Senator Deeds has vowed as Governor to codify into law the executive orders banning discrimination in the state workforce, ensuring private companies can offer benefits to the domestic partners of LGBT employees, and pursue principles of nondiscrimination and fairness. Recently, as a legislator, Senator Deeds voted to allow private employers to be allowed to include LGBT domestic partners in group life insurance policies.
Senator Deeds’ opponent, Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, argued that it is the government’s role to “restrain, punish, and deter homosexuality.” In his current role, AG McDonnell wrote opinions opposing executive orders banning discrimination in the state workforce based on sexual orientation and also opposing local governments’ ability to protect against sexual orientation- based discrimination. Last Tuesday, in a debate with Senator Deeds, McDonnell confirmed that he would rescind the executive order prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in the state workforce, claiming “I think it would be illegal to carry it forward."
“By pushing for more fair minded talent in both the Governor’s seat and in the legislature, Virginian’s will be able to access their basic civil rights. Creigh Deeds is the right person to continue our momentum,” said Solmonese. HRC has eight organizers currently working across Virginia and has dedicated to increase that number in the days leading up to the November 3rd election.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Equality Virginia PAC Endorses Deeds for Governor
RICHMOND - Equality Virginia PAC announced today its support for Creigh Deeds for Governor. “There is no question that for the GLBT community and Virginians who believe in equality for all, there is only one sensible choice for Governor, and that choice is Creigh Deeds,” stated Jon Blair, Equality Virginia’s CEO. “While no candidate is perfect, including Senator Deeds, Virginians must support the one candidate who truly understands that discrimination hurts our economy and our families.”
Blair drew the following contrasts in explaining EV PAC’s decision to support Deeds:
Deeds co-patroned legislation to ensure that all public employees will be protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and pledges that he will sign an executive order to that effect; as Attorney General, McDonnell ruled that such an executive order would be illegal, stated he would not sign one as governor, and has refused to support a change in the law to ban discrimination. To attract the best public and private employees, Virginia must be welcoming of diversity and avoid discriminatory practices. Anything else hurts employers and employees, stifles economic growth, and limits Virginia’s competitiveness.
Deeds ultimately opposed the Marshall-Newman marriage amendment; his opponent, Bob McDonnell wholeheartedly endorsed it.
Deeds says he will support opening up state health benefits to otherwise qualified adults living in the same household as GLBT employees; McDonnell says that’s for the legislature to decide.
"The number one job of the next governor will be to restore confidence in our economy and keep Virginia the best managed state in the country. I plan to make sure that every citizen of the commonwealth can contribute to the economy and to government to the fullest extent possible without fear of discrimination. I’ve had a lifetime of working against discrimination in the workplace and I’ll continue that work when I’m Governor,” Deeds responded in his acceptance of Equality Virginia’s endorsement.
About Equality Virginia PAC
The Equality Virginia Political Action Committee (EV PAC) supports EV in accomplishing its mission of assuring equality for all Virginians by helping to build the political relationships essential to effective public policy advocacy. The objective of EV PAC is to elect fair-minded candidates who have shown a commitment to EV’s mission and to help bring GLBT issues into the mainstream of Virginia politics. The PAC supports candidates for the Virginia General Assembly and statewide office, and out GLBT candidates running for local office.
About Equality Virginia
Founded in 1989, Equality Virginia is a statewide, non-partisan education, outreach and advocacy organization seeking equality for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender Virginians. Equality Virginia is comprised of three separate organizations that work together to accomplish EV's mission: Equality Virginia, Equality Virginia Advocates and Equality Virginia PAC. Equality Virginia is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia and can be found on the web at EqualityVirginia.org.
JON BLAIR, 804-643-4816
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