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GLAAD STATEMENT ON THE RESULTS OF GEORGIA’S U.S. SENATE RUNOFF ELECTION AND EXPANDED, PRO-EQUALITY MAJORITY
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the results of the Georgia Senate runoff election, returning Sen. Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate and expanding the chamber’s pro-equality majority.
GLAAD and Georgia Equality documented the LGBTQ records of the Senate candidates here.
Georgia’s LGBTQ and ally voters provided the deciding edge for the pro-equality presidential ticket in 2020 with a surge of new registrations, and sent two pro-equality senators from Georgia to the U.S. Senate in 2020. The Senate passed multiple pieces of legislation to improve the lives of LGBTQ Georgians including the Respect for Marriage Act, now pending final action in the House.
Statement from GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis:
“Georgia’s voters have spoken once again and chosen a leader who has demonstrated a commitment to equality. Sen. Warnock has skillfully and compassionately spoken up and acted to advance LGBTQ equality throughout his public life, including and especially as a faith leader. Voters in state after state sent an unmistakable message through the midterm elections that every elected official must now heed: protect and restore basic human rights and reject harmful rhetoric against LGBTQ people. An overwhelming majority of Americans support laws to protect LGBTQ people and our rights to not be discriminated against and targeted for violence. The expanded pro-equality majority in the Senate must also move to increase freedoms and protections so every LGBTQ American has a greater chance at safety and success, in Georgia and coast to coast.”
Sen. Warnock’s LGBTQ record includes:
- Co-sponsor of the Refund Equality Act offering same-sex couples the right to amend tax returns to file as married filing jointly for returns outside of the statute of limitations.
- Urged passage of the Equality Act: “The fierce urgency in the voices of LGBTQ people who have waited too long for equal justice under the law demands that we act now. It’s time that the U.S. Senate joined the U.S. House of Representatives in heeding the call of Americans across the nation for our Congress to pass legislation like the Equality Act to ensure that the ideals of liberty and justice enshrined in the Constitution truly extend to every citizen.”
- Supported LGBTQ people against religious exemption efforts and “those who will abuse the name of God to frame their perceived right to discriminate. They present a false choice between religious freedom and LGBTQ people. Here’s what I know from over 20 years as a Baptist pastor––while faith at its best can heal and bring us closer together, too often, I have witnessed it used to justify injustice against women, minorities, and especially LGBTQ people.”
- Stated: “Transgender women of color deserve equal justice under the law and federal protections for their health and livelihoods.”
- Promised to “work to make prescription drugs, including PrEP, accessible and affordable and support increased funding for HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and research.”
- Urged expansion of voting rights protections, called for filibuster reform to pass voting rights, and criticized voter suppression bills.
- Voted to impeach Pres. Trump for his role in the deadly insurrection on January 6th, stating: “If Donald Trump’s actions were not impeachable, then nothing is. My vote today reflects that deeply-held conviction. We witnessed firsthand a vile attempt to disenfranchise millions of voters, and an egregious interruption of the peaceful transfer of power by the President of the United States. Accountability is critical to our nation moving forward and addressing the challenges so many families and communities face. And as a voice for the people of Georgia in the Senate, I take seriously my duty to defend our Constitution and uphold the values of our democracy.”
- Tweets 6/1/2022: Happy #Pride Month, Georgia! As we reflect on how far we have come, let’s remember how far we have to go to create a world where we *all* feel safe to be our authentic selves. Every human being has inherent dignity, and I’ll always be an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Tweets 3/27/2022: As a pastor, I deeply believe in the sacred worth of all human beings, which is why I’ll always fight to protect the dignity and worth of our trans loved ones. #ProtectTransKids
Sen. Warnock’s HIV record includes:
- Delivered on a 2020 campaign pledge to make prescription drugs, including PrEP—the FDA-approved daily pill regimen used to prevent HIV acquisition—accessible and affordable when he and fellow Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff secured nearly $4 million in funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for several metro Atlanta AIDS service organizations.
- In 2010 he took an HIV test in front of his Ebenezer Baptist Church congregation saying, “We don’t like to talk about these things in church, but the church is precisely the place where we must confront this issue.”
- Addressed unequal vaccine access regarding the mpox (moneypox) outbreak that disproportionately affects Black gay and bisexual men, people with untreated HIV, and the homelessness, writing in a joint statement with Sen. Osoff, “Any federal targeted response and aid must not inadvertently stigmatize the ongoing public health crisis, but there should be intentional outreach to get resources to impacted communities.”
- Was arrested multiple times for peaceful protest actions including in 2014 outside the U.S. Capitol for protesting Republicans’ refusal to expand Medicaid, and in 2017 protesting then-President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts that would have slashed funding for PEPFAR which combats HIV/AIDS in the world’s poorest countries and totally eliminated federal funding for AIDS education and training centers.
Sen. Warnock’s gun safety record includes:
- Endorsed for reelection by Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, the organization founded by gun violence survivor Gabby Giffords, calling Warnock “a champion for gun safety in the Senate” who has supported “legislation that would close loopholes in our gun laws that allow people who have committed domestic abuse to access firearms, require background checks on all gun sales, and secure funding for community violence initiatives and gun violence research.”
- Supported the Bipartisan Community Safety Act, saying that the compromise gun legislation included “common-sense policies supported by a majority of Georgians and Americans.”
- Cosponsored the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 Act and the Background Check Expansion Act.
- Rated “F” by NRA for pushing to expand waiting periods, ban high-capacity magazines, and banning assault rifles, among other positions.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
Nex Benedict (they/them), a 16-year-old student at a public high school in Owasso, Oklahoma, died…