GLAAD RESPONDS TO SENATE FAILURE TO ADVANCE VOTING RIGHTS PROTECTIONS

June 22, 2021

(New York, NY - June 22, 2021) GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the failure in the U.S. Senate to open debate on the “For the People Act,” which would combat restrictions on voting that disproportionately impact people of color and LGBTQ people. 

The vote was 50-50, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, falling short of the 60 votes needed to override the filibuster.

The bill counters measures imposed in 14 states so far that could suppress the vote of vulnerable Americans. It mandates 15 days of early voting, allows no-excuse absentee voting, same-day registration, and eases “Voter ID” requirements that have also proven to impact people of color and transgender Americans.

Other legislation is threatened in the Senate by the filibuster, including The Equality Act, which provides comprehensive protections against discrimination for every LGBTQ American. The Equality Act passed the House in February.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded on Twitter, and here:
“Tonight’s vote proves how the arcane and undemocratic filibuster is blocking so much of what the American people want: equal access to the ballot box, equality for LGBTQ people, gun safety, and more. It’s way past time to revisit how the U.S. Senate does the business of the American people, and end the filibuster. It is not a tool to ensure deliberation and compromise. It is threatening our democracy and holding our country back from meaningful, necessary, desired safety and progress. It’s simply time for it to go.” 

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH

  • GLAAD research shows up to 91% of Americans believe it should be illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

  • Polls show the highest support in history, 76%, for laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, including support from Americans of all faith groups, ages and races. 

  • GLAAD’s poll of LGBTQ Americans in April shows 78% are concerned the filibuster will be used to block equality legislation; 47% believe the filibuster should be eliminated; 43% would be less likely to support a Senator who votes to keep the filibuster

  • LGBTQ voters were the deciding difference in key states in the 2020 election, including Georgia, which voted for a Democratic president for the first time since 1993 and two Democratic senators to give the party majority control of the Senate