TIP SHEET FOR JOURNALISTS COVERING THE GEORGIA RUNOFF RACES AND THE DEBATE BETWEEN SEN. KELLY LOEFFLER AND REV. RAPHAEL WARNOCK

December 4, 2020

Contact:
Barbara Simon
Head of News and Campaigns
bsimon@glaad.org

Attention will sharpen on Georgia’s Senate runoff races this weekend, with campaign appearances from Presidents Trump and Obama and the first head-to-head debate between Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rev. Raphael Warnock on Sunday.

GLAAD has contacted debate moderators to insist on questions to candidates about their LGBTQ records and on the issues important to LGBTQ people in Georgia and across the U.S. We will be monitoring the debate and reporting on the inclusion or absence of LGBTQ issues.

KEY STATS

Estimated LGBTQ adults in Georgia: 356,000
Estimated registered LGBTQ voters who voted in general election: 313,280
Estimated unregistered LGBTQ Adults: 42,720

The Washington Post reported this week that LGBT voters helped tilt Georgia for President-elect Biden: “Had LGBT voters stayed home, Trump might well have won the 2020 election.”

THE STAKES

  • 1 in 3 LGBTQ Americans live in the U.S. South, in states without comprehensive protections against discrimination. 11 municipalities in Georgia have passed protections, but in the other 524 municipalities statewide, LGBTQ people remain at risk, as they do in 28 other states without comprehensive protections.
  • LGBTQ voters in Georgia will help decide whether laws protecting LGBTQ people across the country come up for a vote, like The Equality Act. It passed the House in May of 2019, and hasn’t moved in the U.S. Senate.
  • The landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling expanding civil rights protections to LGBTQ workers is named for Clayton County, GA, resident Gerald Bostock. Yet a later Court ruling allowed greater latitude for religious employers to discriminate against LGBTQ workers.
  • At least 40 transgender people have been killed this year, including Felycya Harris in Augusta, Georgia, in October. Sen. Loeffler and Sen. Perdue have been silent on Felycya’s murder. A month before Felycya was killed, Sen. Loeffler introduced legislation to ban transgender athletes from competing consistent with their gender identity.

THE RECORDS

GLAAD and Georgia Equality have released the anti-LGBTQ records of Sen. Loeffler and Sen. Perdue:

  • In her brief Senate tenure, Sen. Loeffler has hired anti-LGBTQ staff, donated to anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion groups, sponsored anti-LGBTQ legislation and endorsed candidates who support the violent and anti-LGBTQ conspiracy movement QAnon.
  • Sen. Loeffler donated $3,800 to a Georgia-based foster care agency that explicitly rejects qualified same-sex couples and compares being LGBTQ to illegal and vile behavior.
  • Sen. Perdue has campaigned against marriage equality. He has been repeatedly investigated for making stock trades after learning classified information about the coronavirus, and trading on companies his committees have oversight on.
  • Sen. Loeffler has said she supports Pres. Trump 100% in everything he has done. GLAAD has tracked 181 attacks against LGBTQ Americans by the Trump administration via The Trump Accountability Project.
  • Sen. Loeffler has repeatedly campaigned in superspreader rallies with Vice President Pence, the most anti-LGBTQ politician in U.S. history.
  • While Sen. Loeffler has often falsely warned of “socialism,” she has remained silent about million dollar taxpayer-funded handouts to religious schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students and teachers, including the school where Vice President Pence’s wife Karen works.
  • Sen. Loeffler and Sen. Perdue’s anti-LGBTQ records are detailed within GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project: https://www.glaad.org/tap/kelly-loefflerhttps://www.glaad.org/tap/david-perdue

GLAAD’s post-election poll found 93% of LGBTQ respondents voted in the 2020 election, with 25% of those voting for the first time. The top issues for LGBTQ voters are: the COVID-19 response, healthcare, racial justice and LGBTQ equality.