(WASHINGTON D.C.)– The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced yesterday the endorsement of state Senator R. Creigh Deeds for Governor of Virginia. The decision was made by the HRC Public Policy Committee based on Senator Deeds’ support for equal treatment of LGBT Virginians and his overall record of commitment to civil rights.
“Electing Creigh Deeds must be a top priority for all fair-minded Virginians,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Senator Deeds will continue the work of Governors Warner and Kaine to eliminate barriers to equality for the LGBT community. HRC is pleased to be working with Equality Virginia to support Senator Deeds.”
Senator Deeds has vowed as Governor to codify into law the executive orders banning discrimination in the state workforce, ensuring private companies can offer benefits to the domestic partners of LGBT employees, and pursue principles of nondiscrimination and fairness. Recently, as a legislator, Senator Deeds voted to allow private employers to be allowed to include LGBT domestic partners in group life insurance policies.
Senator Deeds’ opponent, Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, argued that it is the government’s role to “restrain, punish, and deter homosexuality.” In his current role, AG McDonnell wrote opinions opposing executive orders banning discrimination in the state workforce based on sexual orientation and also opposing local governments’ ability to protect against sexual orientation- based discrimination. Last Tuesday, in a debate with Senator Deeds, McDonnell confirmed that he would rescind the executive order prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in the state workforce, claiming “I think it would be illegal to carry it forward."
“By pushing for more fair minded talent in both the Governor’s seat and in the legislature, Virginian’s will be able to access their basic civil rights. Creigh Deeds is the right person to continue our momentum,” said Solmonese. HRC has eight organizers currently working across Virginia and has dedicated to increase that number in the days leading up to the November 3rd election.