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LGBTQ VOTERS URGED TO THE POLLS IN THE GEORGIA SENATE RUNOFF; POISED TO MAKE DECIDING DIFFERENCE FOR CONTROL OF U.S. SENATE
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
Georgia Equality, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) advocacy organization, and GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, are urging LGBTQ and ally voters to the polls to cast the deciding votes in the critical U.S. Senate runoff race ending December 6th.
Georgia’s LGBTQ voters provided the winning margin for pro-equality candidates in 2020, according to independent analysis. In the general election on Tuesday, Georgia voters elected six out LGBTQ candidates to the Georgia legislature and another as Gwinnett County Commissioner.
Early voting for the runoff will begin statewide on Monday, November 28 and end on Friday, December 2.
Day of voting will take place on Tuesday, December 6.
Early voting and December 6th voting locations can be found here.
For those who cannot vote in person, mail ballots should be requested immediately here.
The results of the runoff will determine whether incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock returns to hold or expand the pro-equality majority in the U.S. Senate, which passed legislation with allocations for Georgia that include $2.4 billion in COVID-19 relief; $11 billion in infrastructure investments; gun safety reform; the largest climate and clean energy investments in history; veterans’ health benefits; limits to prescription drug prices; and new investments in semiconductor manufacturing with education and job investments in Georgia’s Historic Black Colleges and Universities.
Media covering the runoff may find the candidates’ LGBTQ records below, and here.
Quote from Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality:
“Voters across Georgia and the entire country rejected extremist candidates Tuesday night handpicked by former President Trump, like Herschel Walker was. They voted no on those looking to ban books, our marriages and the right to choose. Georgia voters must return to the polls to make history again. There are just days to make a plan to vote in the runoff. Every LGBTQ voter must act now to keep moving forward on freedoms they fought so hard to win.”
Quote from Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO:
“LGBTQ and ally voters must do everything they can to again turn out for equality, liberty and justice. Media must demand answers from candidates about LGBTQ issues that went mostly unmentioned in the general election campaign. Our communities and those who stand with us have the opportunity to determine the outcome of this race, but only if we show up.”
The candidates’ LGBTQ records include:
Herschel Walker (R):
- During the only debate of the campaign, said he would support Donald Trump if he decides to run for president in 2024. Trump’s administration deployed more than 200 attacks in policy and rhetoric against LGBTQ Americans.
- On campaign website, calls himself a “compassionate conservative who is pro-life and pro-family.” Says he would vote yes on bill proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham to ban abortion nationwide, and supports abortion bans without any exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother: “There’s no exception in my mind.” Credible allegations surfaced from two women who say Walker repeatedly pressured them to have abortions, one of whom is now raising Walker’s child.
- Said of marriage equality: “Gay weddings, that’s something that you have to work with the Congress. I think that each state’s gotta determine that, that’s against stuff that I believe in, so that each state can just stop all that.”
- Did not answer when reporters asked if he would sign onto federal protections of marriage equality, saying: “we need to worry about what’s happening right now.”
- Questioned whether transgender youth will get into heaven: “When I get to heaven, I want the Lord to recognize me. Because I can tell you right now, they’re telling the young kids in school, you can be a boy tomorrow even if you’re a girl… I want the young kids to know, you go to heaven. Jesus may not recognize you. Because he made you a boy. He made you a girl. Why are we talking about things like that?”
- Criticized transgender youth access to school sports; has no record of advocating for women’s and girls’ athletics. Described “women’s issues” as “grocery prices” and “gas prices.”
- Divorce records reveal Walker’s ex-wife accused him of physical abuse and threatening to murder her. In 2001, Walker’s therapist called Texas police describing Walker as armed and “volatile.” Walker reportedly talked about having a shoot-out with police. Officers confiscated his gun and put him on a “caution list” because of his “violent tendencies.”
- Endorsed by former president Donald Trump, whose administration led more than 200 attacks in policy and rhetoric against LGBTQ Americans.
Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) (incumbent) :
- “Proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community” per campaign website
- 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 in interview with ProjectQ Atlanta: “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
- Tweets 2/26/2021: Wonderful to see the Equality Act pass the House and I hope we can see bipartisan support for this long overdue legislation in the Senate. It’s past time to protect our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
- Nearly a half-million LGBTQ people live in Georgia
- 27% of LGBTQ people in Georgia are raising children
- LGBTQ voters are expanding as a voting bloc, with nearly one in five voters out as LGBTQ by 2030
- Georgia has no statewide protections against discrimination in housing, access to credit and public accommodations
About Georgia Equality:
Georgia Equality is the state’s largest advocacy organization working to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for Georgia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender communities and our allies. For more information, please visit www.GeorgiaEquality.org or connect with Georgia Equality on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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.
For GLAAD Media Institute Alum Kevin Anderson, interviews with journalists have become increasingly prevalent in…