Equality California endorses Mayor Pete Buttigieg for President.
BY VICTOR MELAMED
Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, and its Nevada-based affiliate Silver State Equality announced their endorsement of Mayor Pete Buttigieg for President of the United States last month.
The decision was reached unanimously by the groups’ joint presidential endorsement committee following a lengthy process that included a detailed questionnaire, thorough evaluation of the candidates’ viability and policy positions, staff engagement and interviews with the candidates.
“While we did not endorse Mayor Pete simply because he’s gay, the historic nature of his candidacy has already had a transformational impact on the LGBTQ community.”
Equality California and Silver State Equality released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Zbur:
“In our twenty-one-year history, we have endorsed hundreds of openly LGBTQ candidates, but never for president of the United States. That changes today.
From his comprehensive plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030 to his commitment to make our schools safe and supportive for LGBTQ students to his specific funding and policy priorities to protect and empower the transgender community—especially transgender women of color, who face an epidemic of violence and persecution—Mayor Pete Buttigieg has the boldest, most comprehensive agenda to achieve full, lived equality for all LGBTQ people of any presidential candidate in the nation’s history.
This will be the most important election in our lifetimes—and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Donald Trump and Mike Pence have spent every day of the last three years attacking LGBTQ people and the diverse communities to which we belong: immigrant communities, communities of color, the transgender community, women and religious minorities. Mayor Pete is the best candidate to take on
Donald Trump, win back the White House and help lead the fight to create a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ people.
While we did not endorse Mayor Pete simply because he’s gay, the historic nature of his candidacy has already had a transformational impact on the LGBTQ community. Electing the first openly LGBTQ president will send a message to millions of LGBTQ youth across the country that no dreams are too big and no leadership position is too high.
The challenges we face are great. But with the power of hope and a bold, progressive vision for the future, there is nothing we cannot achieve. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
In particular, Equality California and Silver State Equality were impressed by Mayor Buttigieg’s comprehensive plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, his understanding that making schools safe and supportive requires bold investments in teacher training and mentorship programs for LGBTQ students, his specific policy and funding priorities to protect and empower the transgender community, his plan to transform the criminal legal system into one that truly promotes justice and instead of one that furthers racial injustice and his proposals for fixing our broken immigration system by protecting refugees and asylum seekers and providing millions of LGBTQ undocumented people, their friends and family with a pathway to citizenship.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg released the following statement in reaction to Equality California and Silver State Equality’s endorsement:
“I’m honored to receive the endorsements of Equality California and Silver State Equality, two organizations that have been unrelenting in their fight for LGBTQ+ people and our push for full equality. My campaign is based around a shared future of belonging for all Americans, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. President Trump’s attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, especially our trans members, have shown us that the fight for equal rights did not end with marriage equality. I will be the President to continue that fight for equality for all Americans.”