Today, GLAAD and Georgia Equality released voice messages from queer actor Tommy Dorfman and LGBTQ ally and actress Kat Graham which will be sent to LGBTQ voters and allies in Georgia. The messages remind Georgia voters about the runoff election for U.S. Senate on Tuesday, January 5, as well as issues at stake in the runoff election. GLAAD also joined with VoteAmerica and Georgia Equality for a series of text messages to LGBTQ voters in Georgia launched this week and continuing through Election Day.
Actor and LGBTQ activist Tommy Dorfman is a native of Atlanta. They starred in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, Freeform’s Love in the Time of Corona and also appeared in Hulu’s Love, Victor. Previously, they received GLAAD’s Rising Star Award at the GLAAD Gala Atlanta in 2017.
Kat Graham, a resident of Georgia, is a longtime LGBTQ ally who stars in the current Netflix holiday film Operation Christmas Drop and films including Cut Throat City and Emperor. Graham has volunteered with GLAAD in Georgia and hosted several GLAAD events in the state.
Listen to their messages below:
In the message, Dorfman and Graham say: “I’m working with GLAAD and Georgia Equality to make sure LGBTQ and ally voters make their voices heard in the runoff for the U.S. Senate. If you haven’t yet voted you can still do so Tuesday, January 5. Polls are open 7AM to 7PM. And if you’re in line by 7PM, you will be allowed to cast your vote. Just go to GLAAD.org/Georgia. You can find your polling place and make a plan to vote. Equality is on the ballot. Don’t sit this one out.”
The calls remind Georgia voters that early voting is ongoing now through December 31, or they can vote in person on January 5, 2021. Early voting in Georgia began earlier this month, with media reporting that more than 2 million people have already cast ballots. Calls direct voters to /georgia for ways to vote and to spread the word about what is at stake for LGBTQ people during this run-off election.
“According to exit polls, LGBTQ voters made up 7% of Georgia’s electorate in the general election,” said Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham. “Making sure these voters, along with our allies, vote in this runoff will send a strong message that pro-equality voters are a crucial voting bloc that can no longer be ignored.”
“Georgia’s LGBTQ community can make a real difference if they turn out for the Georgia senate runoff election, which will help determine many issues critical to the LGBTQ community including the Equality Act, as well as COVID-19 relief and healthcare in Georgia and around the country,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “It’s thanks to LGBTQ voters, our allies, and other diverse voters that a pro-equality candidate won the White House and will put an end to the Trump Administration’s persistent attacks on LGBTQ Americans and other marginalized communities. Now, Georgia voters are poised to determine control of the U.S. Senate. Tommy and Kat have been tremendous voices for LGBTQ people in Georgia and everywhere, and are continuing this important advocacy by rallying Georgia’s LGBTQ community during a critical time.”
GLAAD is also sending text messages to LGBTQ voters in Georgia this week in partnership with VoteAmerica and Georgia Equality. The messages read: “PSA from VoteAmerica, GLAAD and Georgia Equality: Join millions of people supporting diversity and inclusion by voting in the Jan 5th Senate runoff. Early voting is open now. Find your polling location here: /vote”
Earlier this week, LGBTQ Nation premiered a new GLAAD video, voiced by Billy Porter, on the LGBTQ community’s impact on the 2020 general election as well as the impact LGBTQ people are posed to have in the Georgia runoff:
Earlier this month, GLAAD and Georgia Equality published the anti-LGBTQ records of Sens. Loeffler and Perdue to GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project, which documents anti-LGBTQ histories and actions from the Trump Administration and other public officials. Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossof have both voiced support for the Equality Act. Neither Loeffler nor Perdue has addressed the Equality Act. Loeffler, however, supports “religious liberty” legislation that allows private organizations the right to deny services to LGBTQ people.
Loeffler introduced a bill in her months in the Senate targeting transgender athletes to prevent them from competing consistent with their gender identity, which could force transgender students to undergo invasive screenings of their genitals. Her bill was supported by anti-LGBTQ groups such as American Principles Project, which created anti-trans and inaccurate election ads that were removed by Facebook in Pennsylvania and Michigan. The Virginia-based APP is quoted in Sen. Loeffler’s release announcing the bill. The anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council says Loeffler “deserves a medal” for her transphobic bill. Loeffler has close ties to the anti-LGBTQ organization Family Research Council and hired a FRC executive as her Deputy Chief of Staff. More information can be found here.
Sen. Perdue’s votes have earned him a 100% rating by anti-LGBTQ groups Family Research Council Action and Family Policy Alliance. Perdue also voted to confirm Judge Andrew Brasher to the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta, despite Brasher’s view that same-sex marriage is “harmful to children.” He currently has a 100% rating with both Family Research Council Action and Family Policy Alliance.
GLAAD’s post-election poll found 93% of LGBTQ respondents voted in the 2020 national election, with 25% of those voting for the first time. The top issues for LGBTQ voters who participated in the poll were: the COVID-19 response, healthcare, racial justice and LGBTQ equality.