156 LGBT Elected Officials Call On President-elect to Advance LGBT Equality During His Presidency

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By Elliot Imse, January 13, 2017

Update (1/18/17): Eight additional LGBT elected officials have signed the letter, bringing the total number of signers to 164. 

Today Victory Institute commended LGBT elected officials representing millions of Americans from across the country for calling on President-elect Donald Trump to respect LGBT Americans and continue efforts to advance equality. In an open letter to the President-elect, 156 elected officials express grave concerns about his Cabinet appointees, and implore Trump to “be a president for all Americans.” The letter is signed by U.S. Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Mark Pocan, as well as openly LGBT mayors, state legislators, city councilmembers and other LGBT elected officials.

The full letter and signatories is below and available for download here. More than 40 LGBT elected officials began work on the open letter during a closed-door strategy session at Victory Institute’s International LGBT Leaders Conference in Washington, DC on December 8, 2016.

Full text of open letter to President-elect Donald Trump:

January 13, 2017

Dear President-elect Donald Trump:

Congratulations on being elected the 45th President of the United States. We are 156 proud lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elected officials representing millions of constituents, and we urge you to join us in embodying the highest ideals of our great and diverse nation.

The long and divisive presidential campaign is over, and now more than 300 million Americans depend on you to bring our nation together. To do this, we ask you de-escalate the hostility and intolerance expressed by a small but vocal minority throughout the election season. We ask you appoint individuals with inclusive policy solutions that aim to better the lives of all Americans. And we ask you declare full support for LGBT equality, and remain true to earlier statements promising to be a president supportive of our rights.

We believe in an America that values and accepts everyone, and a country that strives to improve quality of life for all people, regardless of their background or beliefs. These principles are what distinguish America in an often-troubled world – they are what make America great. And it is the elected leadership of our nation that determines whether our government embodies or undermines those ideals. It is elected leaders like ourselves – from the U.S. president to city councilmembers – that either appeal to the better angels of our fellow Americans, or use fear and rancor to spur unproductive discord.

While we hope you appeal to those better angels and support inclusive and fair-minded policies, we have grave concerns given the individuals appointed to your administration thus far. Nearly all hold anti-LGBT views aimed at denying our community acceptance and inclusion in American society. Many proudly tout legislative records opposing basic rights for LGBT Americans, and others express disdain for our lives and relationships. Intended or not, these appointments signal a Trump administration preparing to rollback recent advances for LGBT people, and an administration opposed to LGBT people living open and free.

Our concern is not unfounded, given our historic gains are recent and vulnerable. Openly LGBT men and women can now proudly serve in the Armed Forces; committed same-sex couples can legally marry nationwide; federal contractors can no longer discriminate against LGBT employees or job applicants; the U.S. State Department is leading the world in advancing global LGBT equality; and more than 300 openly LGBT individuals were appointed to positions in the federal government over the past eight years. These hard-fought advances transformed our place in American society, and we are disturbed that most of your appointees opposed these efforts. 

Mr. President-elect, our nation will be weaker if LGBT military personnel are prevented from serving openly and equally. America will be worse off if discrimination protections for LGBT government employees or students are revoked. The entire country will suffer if there is a national attempt to implement “religious exemptions” that allow businesses to turn away LGBT customers. And the world will be a darker place without America speaking against anti-LGBT violence and injustices abroad. We need you to vocally reject our country moving backward – to reject the anti-LGBT positions of your appointees and promise a pro-equality Trump administration.

We also must emphasize the LGBT community is as diverse as our nation. We are black, we are Latino, we are white, we are immigrants, we are Muslim, we are Jewish, we are women, and we are people with disabilities. LGBT elected officials know well the sting and consequences of discrimination, injustice and intolerance, and we carry that lived experience into our policy positions, legislation and decision-making. We hold central the American values of fairness, justice and liberty – and ensure these values are the foundation for our work as public servants. As the nation debates economic security, immigration, women’s rights, voting rights, policing, and mass incarceration, we ask you also apply the American values of fairness, justice and liberty, and ensure the best interests of all communities are incorporated into your policies and positions.

Americans of every political party, ideology, race, ethnicity and religion support LGBT equality – it does not need to be a partisan issue. As elected officials, we understand support for LGBT equality as both morally appropriate and politically shrewd. History looks fondly upon leaders who stand for social justice when those around them argue otherwise. History also views harshly those who fail to recognize and support morally righteous causes – and history will undoubtedly view LGBT equality as both moral and righteous.  

We sincerely hope you aim to be a president for all Americans – including LGBT Americans of every race, ethnicity, gender and religion. As representatives of the LGBT community, we will hold your administration accountable for actions that infringe upon our rights and opportunities, and will oppose presidential appointees who denigrate or harm our community. But we much prefer to work with you to continue the incredible progress toward LGBT equality – to have you stand with us on the right side of history. We hope you voice your support for existing rights and protections for LGBT Americans, and commit to furthering LGBT equality during your presidency. We promise to be a strong and persistent voice for equality either way.

Sincerely,

 

Federal

  

Representative Sean Patrick Maloney
U.S. House of Representatives
New York, Congressional District 18

  

Representative Mark Pocan
U.S. House of Representatives
Wisconsin, Congressional District 2

  

Alabama

  

Representative Patricia Todd
Alabama House of Representatives, District 54

  

Arizona

  

Representative Daniel Hernandez
Arizona House of Representatives, District 2

  

Representative Otoniel "Tony" Navarrete
Arizona House of Representatives, District 30

  

Lawrence Robinson
Governing Board Member
Roosevelt School Board

  

Karin Uhlich
Councilmember, Ward 3
Tucson City Council

  

Arkansas

  

Kathy Webb
Vice Mayor
Little Rock City Board

  

California

  

Senator Toni Atkins
California State Senate, District 39

 

John Bauters

Vice Mayor

Emeryville

 

Jovanka Beckles
Councilmember
Richmond City Council

  

Kevin Beiser
Board Vice President
San Diego Unified School District

  

Sabrina Brennan
Commissioner
San Mateo County Harbor Commission

  

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon
West Sacramento

  

Adam Carranza
President
Mountain View Board of Education

  

Chris Clark
Councilmember
Mountain View City Council

  

John D’Amico
Councilmember
West Hollywood City Council

  

John Duran
Councilmember
West Hollywood City Council

  

Representative Susan Talamantes Eggman
California State Assembly, District 13

  

Joel Fajardo
Vice Mayor
San Fernando City Council

  

Ginny Foat
Councilmember
Palm Springs City Council

  

Larry Forester
Councilmember
Signal Hill City Council

  

Mayor Robert Garcia
Long Beach

  

Assemblymember Todd Gloria
California State Assembly, District 78

  

Georgette Gomez
Councilmember, District 9
San Diego City Council

  

Steve Hansen 
Councilmember, District 4
Sacramento City Council

  

John Heilman 
Mayor Pro Tem          
West Hollywood City Council

  

Gabe Kearney
Councilmember
Petaluma City Council

  

Geoff Kors
Councilmember         
Palm Springs City Council

  

Senator Ricardo Lara             
California State Senate, District 33

  

Steven Llanusa
Vice President, Board of Education
Claremont Unified School District

  

Assemblymember Evan Low
California State Assembly, District 28

  

Rafael Mandelman
Trustee
City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees

 

Gabriel Quinto

Mayor Pro-Tem

El Cerrito

  

Alex Randolph
Member
City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees

  

Jeff Sheehy
Supervisor, District 8
San Francisco Board of Supervisors

  

Rene Spring
Councilmember
Morgan Hill City Council

  

Tom Temprano
Trustee
City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees

  

Wanden Treanor
Trustee
Marin Community College District

  

Christopher Ward
Councilmember, District 3
San Diego City Council

  

Scott Wiener
California State Senate, District 11

  

Ken Yeager     
Supervisor, District 4
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors

  

Colorado

 

Representative Daneya Esgar

Colorado House of Representatives, District 46

 

Representative Joann Ginal
Colorado House of Representatives, District 52

  

Representative Leslie  Herod 
Colorado House of Representatives, District 8

  

Debra Johnson
Clerk and Recorder
Denver

  

Representative Paul Rosenthal
Colorado House of Representatives, District 49B

  

Robin Kniech  
Councilmember, At-Large
Denver City Council

  

Gwen Lachelt 
Vice Chair, County Commissioner, District 2
La Plata County Commission

  

Senator Dominick Moreno                
Colorado State Senate, District 21

  

District of Columbia

  

Jack Jacobson 
President, Ward 2
District of Columbia State Board of Education

  

Florida

  

Heather Carruthers
Commissioner, District 3
Monroe County Commission

  

Lesa Peerman
Commissioner
Margate City Commission

  

Representative David Richardson
Florida House of Representatives, District 113

  

Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith                     
Florida House of Representatives, District 49

  

Georgia
                               
Representative Park Cannon  
Georgia House of Representatives, District 58

  

Representative Karla Drenner
Georgia House of Representatives, District 85

  

Representative Sam Park
Georgia House of Representatives, District 101

  

Alex Wan
Councilmember, District 6
Atlanta City Council

  

Idaho

  

Representative John McCrostie                    
Idaho House of Representatives, District 16A

  

Illinois

  

James Cappleman
Alderman, Ward 46
Chicago City Council

  

Representative Kelly Cassidy
Illinois House of Representatives, District 14

  

Representative Gregory Harris
Illinois House of Representatives, District 13

  

Raymond Lopez
Alderman, Ward 15
Chicago City Council

  

Colette Lueck
Trustee
Oak Park Village Board

  

Deborah Mell
Alderman, Ward 33
Chicago City Council

  

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa  
Alderman, Ward 35
Chicago City Council

  

Debra Shore
Commissioner
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

  

Mark Tendam
Alderman, Ward 6
Evanston City Council

  

Thomas Tunney          
Alderman, Ward 44
Chicago City Council

  

Iowa

  

Representative Liz Bennett    
Iowa House of Representatives, District 65

  

Senator Matt McCoy
Iowa State Senate, District 21

  

Kansas

  

Mike Poppa
Councilmember, Ward 4
Roeland Park City Council

  

Maine

  

Senator Justin Chenette
Maine State Senate, District 31

  

Representative Ryan Fecteau
Maine House of Representatives, District 11

  

Representative Lois Reckitt
Maine House of Representatives, District 31

  

Representative Andrew McLean
Maine House of Representatives, District 27

  

Maryland

  

Delegate Luke Clippinger
Democratic Caucus Chair
Maryland House of Delegates, District 46

  

Delegate Bonnie Cullison
Maryland House of Delegates, District 19

  

Delegate Anne Kaiser
Majority Leader
Maryland House of Delegates, District 14

  

Byron Macfarlane
Register of Wills
Howard County

  

Senator Richard Madaleno
Maryland State Senate, District 18

  

Delegate Maggie McIntosh
Maryland House of Delegates, District 43

 

Delegate Mary Washington

Maryland House of Delegates, District 43

  

Mayor Jeffrey  Slavin
Somerset

  

Massachusetts

  

Senator Julian Cyr
Massachusetts Senate, Cape & Islands District

 

Representative Kate Hogan

Massachusetts House of Representatives, Middlesex District 3 

 

Representative Sarah Peake

Massachusetts House of Representatives, Barnstable District 4

 

Jeremy Micah Denlea
Vice President, Ward 5
Attleboro Municipal Council

  

Eileen  Duff
Councilor, District 5
Massachusetts Governor's Council

  

Mayor Kevin Dumas
Attleboro

  

Representative Jack Patrick Lewis
Massachusetts House of Representatives, Middlesex District 7

  

Mayor Alex Morse
Holyoke

  

Mayor E. Denise Simmons
Cambridge

  

Michigan

  

Mayor Jim Carruthers
Traverse City

  

Mayor David Coulter
Ferndale

  

Mayor Amanda Maria Edmonds
Ypsilanti

  

Representative Jon Hoadley
Michigan House of Representatives, District 60

  

Brian McGrain
Commissioner, District 10
Ingham County Board of Commissioners

  

Jason Morgan
Commissioner, District 8
Washtenaw County Commission

  

Representative Jeremy Moss
Michigan House of Representatives, District 35

  

Richard Renner
Township Supervisor
Pioneer Township

  

Mayor Kenson J. Siver
Southfield

  

Minnesota

  

Representative Susan  Allen
Minnesota House of Representatives, District 62B

  

Carol Becker
President
Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation

  

Representative Karen Clark
Minnesota House of Representatives, District 62A

  

Senator D. Scott Dibble                     
Minnesota State Senate, District 61

  

Representative Erin Maye Quade
Minnesota House of Representatives, District 57A

  

 

  

Missouri

  

Shane Cohn
Alderman, Ward 25
St. Louis Board of Alderman

  

Representative Randy Dunn
Missouri House of Representatives, District 23

  

Nebraska

  

Barbara Baier
Member, District 3
Lincoln Board of Education

  

Nevada

  

Representative Nelson Araujo                       
Nevada State Assembly, District 3

  

Senator David Parks
Nevada State Senate, District 7

  

New Hampshire

  

Mayor Dana Hilliard
Somersworth

  

Christopher Pappas
Councilor, District 4
New Hampshire Executive Council

  

New Jersey

  

Michael DeFusco
Councilman, Ward 1
Hoboken City Council

  

Assemblyman Tim Eustace
New Jersey General Assembly, District 38

  

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora
New Jersey General Assembly, District 15

  

Pamela Renee
Councilwoman
Borough of Neptune City Council

  

Edward Zipprich         
Councilmember
Borough of Red Bank Council

  

New Mexico

  

Senator Jacob Candelaria
New Mexico State Senate, District 26

  

Mayor Javier Gonzales
Santa Fe

  

Linda Siegle
Governing Board Secretary
Santa Fe Community College Board of Trustees

  

Senator Liz Stefanics
New Mexico State Senate, District 39

  

New York

  

Assemblymember Harry Bronson      
New York State Assembly, District 138

  

Matt Haag
Councilmember, At-Large
Rochester City Council

  

Gregory Rabb 
President, At-Large
Jamestown City Council

  

Michael Sabatino
Councilmember, District 3
Yonkers City Council

  

Assemblymember Matthew Titone
New York State Assembly, District 61

  

North Carolina

  

Representative Cecil Brockman
North Carolina House of Representatives, District 60

  

Mayor Lydia Lavelle
Carrboro

  

 
LaWana Mayfield
Councilwoman, District 3
Charlotte City Council

  

Damon Seils
Alderman
Carrboro Board of Aldermen

  

North Dakota

  

Representative Joshua Boschee          
North Dakota House of Representatives, District 44

  

Ohio

  

Representative Nickie J. Antonio                   
House Minority Whip
Ohio House of Representatives, District 13

  

Sandra Kurt
Clerk of the Court
Summit County Clerk of Courts

  

Oregon

  

Representative Karin Power  
Oregon House of Representatives, District 41

  

Pennsylvania

  

Mayor Matt Fetick
Kennett Square

  

Bruce A. Kraus
Councilman, District 3
Pittsburgh City Council

  

Robert Langley
Councilmember
Meadville City Council

  

Lori Schreiber
Commissioner, Ward 14
Abington Township Board of Commissioners

  

Representative Brian Sims
Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 182

  

Tennessee

  

Chris Anderson
Councilmember, District 7
Chattanooga City Council

  

Nancy VanReece
Councilmember, District 8
Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County

  

Brett Withers
Councilmember, District 6
Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County

  

Texas

  

Representative Mary González
Texas House of Representatives, District 75

  

John Turner-McClelland        
President, District 11-A
Denton County Fresh Water Supply Board of Directors

  

Sheriff Lupe Valdez
Dallas County

  

Utah

  

Arlyn Bradshaw
Councilmember, District 1
Salt Lake County Council

  

Senator Jim Dabakis
Utah State Senate, District 2

 

Mayor Jackie Biskupski

Salt Lake City

  

Vermont

  

Representative Bill Lippert
Vermont House of Representatives, Chittenden-4-2 District

  

Virginia

  

Delegate Mark Levine
Virginia House of Delegates, District 45

  

Michael Sutphin
Councilmember
Blacksburg Town Council

  

Washington

  

Dave Kaplan   

Councilmember
Des Moines City Council

  

Senator Marko Liias   
Washington State Senate, District 21

  

Representative Nicole Macri
Washington House of Representatives, District 43

  

Ryan Mello
Councilmember, At-Large Position 8
Tacoma City Council

  

Michael Scott
Councilor, Central Ward
Bainbridge Island City Council

 

Ty Stober

Councilmember

Vancouver City Council

 

West Virginia

  

Kevin Carden
Councilmember and Town Recorder
Corporation of Harpers Ferry

  

Wisconsin

  

Vered Meltzer
Alderperson, District 2           
Appleton Common Council

  

Michael Verveer
Alder and Council President, District 4
Madison Common Council

  

Wyoming

  

Representative Cathy Connolly
Minority Floor Leader
Wyoming State House of Representatives, District 13