OutPower

164 LGBTQ elected officials urge President-elect Trump to support LGBTQ equality and represent all Americans

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, NY, speaks to the International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in Washington, DC on Friday, December 9, 2016. Maloney was one of 164 openly LGBTQ elected officials to sign a letter to President-elect Donald Trump.
When Donald Trump was elected to the presidency this past November, LGBTQ Americans, communities of color, women, people with disabilities, and Muslim Americans immediately felt its impact. The divisive rhetoric of his supporters sharpened, discriminatory campaign talking points became his 100-day goals, and candidates with notable anti-equality records were being selected for key positions in the new administration. However, as Americans searched for a way forward, LGBTQ elected officials took action.
Four weeks after the election, Victory Institute convened an emergency strategy session for LGBTQ elected officials at the 2016 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in Washington, DC to discuss how the LGBTQ community would respond to an administration that is potentially harmful to millions of Americans, specifically communities targeted throughout the 2016 election season. LGBTQ elected officials left this historic gathering committed to exercising their collective strength to defend progress, fight discrimination, and advance equality.
On Friday, January 13, 156 LGBTQ elected officials – representing millions of people across the country – sent an open letter to President-elect Trump asking him to join them in “embodying the highest ideals of our great and diverse nation,” fully supporting LGBTQ equality, and ensuring his administration represents all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, or class. That total grew to 164 LGBTQ elected officials over the weekend. Read the letter here.
“We wanted to send a clear message that our community – especially our elected officials – will be watching this administration to ensure they live up to their responsibility to represent all Americans,” said Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Co-chair of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus. Representative Maloney went on to say: “President Obama initiated some of the most important civil rights reforms in history for the LGBTQ community – and we have to make sure we protect those important gains.”
LGBTQ elected officials at the state and local level also seized the opportunity to address the President-elect. “As mayor of my community, I witness firsthand how decisions made at the national level affect individuals at the local level,” said Mayor Lydia Lavelle of Carrboro, North Carolina. “It is extremely important for our new President to not only be thoughtful about national policies that affect the LGBTQ community in this country, but to empathize with the potential impact those policies have on real people,” she added.
In his farewell address, President Obama implored Americans to heed the advice of our nation’s founding father, President George Washington, and be the “anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy”.
As Victory Institute continues to bring LGBTQ leaders together to advance a pro-equality agenda and protect the interests of vulnerable Americans, LGBTQ elected officials in communities across the nation are resolved to be “anxious, jealous guardians” of our institutions, our values, and our communities.  After all, they know that being on the right side of history requires this kind of leadership.

Elected Officials