RAINBOW WAVE: GLAAD celebrates history-making midterm election outcomes

November 7, 2018

GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today celebrated the LGBTQ-affirming wave of elections in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as key victories in Governorships and Statehouses nationwide. GLAAD also applauded voters in Massachusetts for supporting a “Yes” vote on Question 3, upholding the state’s transgender nondiscrimination law which protects transgender people from discrimination in public spaces like restaurants, hotels and hospitals. The victory in Massachusetts marks the first statewide popular vote in favor of rights for transgender Americans.

The 2018 midterm elections were historic for LGBTQ, people of color and women candidates as several swept to victory in a wave of opposition to the Trump Administration’s anti-LGBTQ, hate-fueled, and anti-woman policies. As of this morning, the LGBTQ Victory Fund notes that LGBTQ people won 8 federal office seats, 86 state office seats, and 34 local office seats. Sharice Davids of Kansas became the first out Native American woman elected to Congress. Angie Craig of Minnesota and Chris Pappas of New Hampshire became their states’ first out officials elected to Congress. Jared Polis of Colorado became the first openly gay person elected Governor. Bi incumbent Governor Kate Brown of Oregon was re-elected to a new term and incumbent Senator Tammy Baldwin will continue to represent Wisconsin as an out U.S. Senator. Out incumbent members of Congress David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Mark Tacano of California were all re-elected.

“This election is shaping up to be truly historic for LGBTQ candidates and, coupled with the change in leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives, shows a rejection of the hate-fueled politics of the Trump Administration that have heartlessly targeted LGBTQ people, women, immigrants, Muslims and all vulnerable populations,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “The new House of Representatives is a critical check against the Trump Administration’s continued abuse of power and a strong signal that acceptance and inclusion are core American values. We must continue to grow the energy and enthusiasm from diverse voters across the country as LGBTQ Americans and our allies continue to push forward for equal protections under the law and grow support for writing explicit anti-discrimination into the U.S. Constitution.”

Last month, GLAAD launched its first-ever ‘Electing Acceptance’ candidate survey – the only national candidate survey dedicated to LGBTQ acceptance – which received responses from 356 candidates running for U.S. House and U.S. Senate seats, as well as for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, in the 2018 midterm election. 245 Democratic candidates responded and only 32 Republican candidates responded. 99% of the Democrats who responded are categorized as ‘allies,’ meaning they responded they are ‘comfortable’ across seven scenarios involving LGBTQ people.

In the lead up to the election, GLAAD launched the Amp Your Voice campaign and online action center, where users were encouraged to register to vote, take action on state and federal legislation, contact elected officials, and participate in other GLAAD actions to inspire LGBTQ Americans and allies to vote in the midterm elections. GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project has documented more than 81 direct attacks on LGBTQ people - and especially transgender people - since President Trump took office. These attacks include ongoing efforts to ban transgender soldiers from openly serving in the military, revoking non-discrimination protections for transgender youth at school, supporting religious exemptions that would lead to discrimination against LGBTQ people, and, most recently, attempting to erase transgender people's identities by redefining and restricting the legal meaning of “sex” to sex assigned at birth.

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