Ed Gillespie’s extensive anti-LGBTQ record foreshadows his agenda leading into Tuesday VA governor’s race

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today called on all media outlets covering the Virginia Governor race to report on Gillespie’s anti-LGBTQ record leading into next Tuesday’s election.

Gillespie’s actions during the 2017 gubernatorial race so far have proven that he is no “moderate” as he was once described, instead building his campaign on the racist stereotyping of the Latinx community and the foundation of a deeply troublesome anti-LGBTQ record.

“Ed Gillespie’s clear targeting of marginalized communities falls in line with the racist and anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump Administration,” said Zeke Stokes, Vice President of Programs at GLAAD. “His record of pushing anti-transgender legislation and opposing marriage equality – along with his dog-whistle campaign messaging – are out of line and out of touch with the values of the people of Virginia.”

The discriminatory anti-LGBTQ record of Ed Gillespie is an embrace of the same anti-LGBTQ agenda at the core of the Trump Administration, including Gillespie’s own push for a North Carolina-style legislation that would directly put transgender Virginians in harm’s way and his long record of opposition to marriage equality.


Opposition to Marriage Equality

  • Opposes marriage equality: “‘I believe in my faith,’ which says marriage is between a man and a woman, he said. ‘So I don’t believe in government sanction of same-sex marriage.’”
  • While chair of the Republican Party, called on the GOP to “pursue whatever policy is necessary” to stop marriage equality: “The Republican Party platform is clear: We believe marriage is the legal union of one man and one woman. We must pursue whatever policy is necessary to protect this institution, including a Federal Marriage Amendment to the United States Constitution."
  •  Reportedly pressed former president George W. Bush to add extra lines to a 2008 commencement speech that explicitly condemned marriage equality.
  • As senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, advocated for a federal marriage amendment.
  •  Classified judicial rulings on marriage equality as “unhealthy”: “We've had courts injecting themselves into this decision making process, into the political process, in a way I think is generally unhealthy for unelected judges to make decisions about whether or not government should sanction gay marriage or not.”

Support of Anti-Trans Measures/Policies

  •  Advocated for North Carolina–styled “bathroom bill.”
  • His campaign derisively said of his position on transgender bathroom access: “Ed doesn’t think girls should be compelled to share a locker room shower or hotel room on an overnight band trip with boys.” Gillespie believes that parents and local school boards should “enact common-sense policies to protect the safety and privacy of our children.”

Claimed Being LGBTQ as a “Choice”

  • Once claimed LGBTQ people are making a “choice” and that asking for acceptance is “religious bigotry”: “I accept people for who they are - and love them. That doesn’t mean I have to agree or turn my back on the tenets of my faith when it comes to homosexuality. I think when people say, ‘Well, no. That’s not enough that you accept me for who I am, you have to agree with - and condone - my choice,’ that, to me, is religious bigotry, and I believe that’s intolerant. I think they are the ones that are crossing the line here.’”