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.





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




Representative Patricia Todd
Alabama House of Representatives, District 54




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




Kathy Webb
Vice Mayor
Little Rock City Board




Senator Toni Atkins
California State Senate, District 39


John Bauters

Vice Mayor



Jovanka Beckles
Richmond City Council


Kevin Beiser
Board Vice President
San Diego Unified School District


Sabrina Brennan
San Mateo County Harbor Commission


Mayor Christopher Cabaldon
West Sacramento


Adam Carranza
Mountain View Board of Education


Chris Clark
Mountain View City Council


John D’Amico
West Hollywood City Council


John Duran
West Hollywood City Council


Representative Susan Talamantes Eggman
California State Assembly, District 13


Joel Fajardo
Vice Mayor
San Fernando City Council


Ginny Foat
Palm Springs City Council


Larry Forester
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
Petaluma City Council


Geoff Kors
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
City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees


Gabriel Quinto

Mayor Pro-Tem

El Cerrito


Alex Randolph
City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees


Jeff Sheehy
Supervisor, District 8
San Francisco Board of Supervisors


Rene Spring
Morgan Hill City Council


Tom Temprano
City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees


Wanden Treanor
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




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


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




Heather Carruthers
Commissioner, District 3
Monroe County Commission


Lesa Peerman
Margate City Commission


Representative David Richardson
Florida House of Representatives, District 113


Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith                     
Florida House of Representatives, District 49


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




Representative John McCrostie                    
Idaho House of Representatives, District 16A




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
Oak Park Village Board


Deborah Mell
Alderman, Ward 33
Chicago City Council


Carlos Ramirez-Rosa  
Alderman, Ward 35
Chicago City Council


Debra Shore
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago


Mark Tendam
Alderman, Ward 6
Evanston City Council


Thomas Tunney          
Alderman, Ward 44
Chicago City Council




Representative Liz Bennett    
Iowa House of Representatives, District 65


Senator Matt McCoy
Iowa State Senate, District 21




Mike Poppa
Councilmember, Ward 4
Roeland Park City Council




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




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




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


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


Mayor Alex Morse


Mayor E. Denise Simmons




Mayor Jim Carruthers
Traverse City


Mayor David Coulter


Mayor Amanda Maria Edmonds


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




Representative Susan  Allen
Minnesota House of Representatives, District 62B


Carol Becker
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






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


Representative Randy Dunn
Missouri House of Representatives, District 23




Barbara Baier
Member, District 3
Lincoln Board of Education




Representative Nelson Araujo                       
Nevada State Assembly, District 3


Senator David Parks
Nevada State Senate, District 7


New Hampshire


Mayor Dana Hilliard


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
Borough of Neptune City Council


Edward Zipprich         
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


LaWana Mayfield
Councilwoman, District 3
Charlotte City Council


Damon Seils
Carrboro Board of Aldermen


North Dakota


Representative Joshua Boschee          
North Dakota House of Representatives, District 44




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


Sandra Kurt
Clerk of the Court
Summit County Clerk of Courts




Representative Karin Power  
Oregon House of Representatives, District 41




Mayor Matt Fetick
Kennett Square


Bruce A. Kraus
Councilman, District 3
Pittsburgh City Council


Robert Langley
Meadville City Council


Lori Schreiber
Commissioner, Ward 14
Abington Township Board of Commissioners


Representative Brian Sims
Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 182




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




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




Arlyn Bradshaw
Councilmember, District 1
Salt Lake County Council


Senator Jim Dabakis
Utah State Senate, District 2


Mayor Jackie Biskupski

Salt Lake City




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




Delegate Mark Levine
Virginia House of Delegates, District 45


Michael Sutphin
Blacksburg Town Council




Dave Kaplan   

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


Vancouver City Council


West Virginia


Kevin Carden
Councilmember and Town Recorder
Corporation of Harpers Ferry




Vered Meltzer
Alderperson, District 2           
Appleton Common Council


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




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