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Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary

Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary

The Human Rights Campaign rolled out its latest House and Senate endorsements on Monday in a list released exclusively to The Hill, marking the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Equality Act in the House.

"These are candidates who have supported the Equality Act or will support the Equality Act," the group's president, Alphonso David, told The Hill. "Here, it's very important for us to send a loud and a clear message that the Equality Act is critical for us to pass next year, and we need to make sure that we have a Congress and Senate to make sure we get it passed." 

In the Senate, the group endorsed Kansas State Sen. Barbara Bollier (D) and former North Carolina State Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) in their U.S. Senate races, as well as incumbent Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinPolice reform talks hit familiar stumbling block Biden's internal polling touts public support for immigration reform The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting MORE (D-Ill.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBiden signs executive order to improve federal cybersecurity Overnight Defense: Former Pentagon chief to testify about Capitol riot Wednesday | Senate Intelligence chairman wants Biden to review US Space Command move Wyden: Funding infrastructure with gas tax hike a 'big mistake' MORE (D-Va.), and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenCongress may force Biden to stop Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline Kabul attack spurs fears over fate of Afghan women as US exits Bowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' MORE (D-N.H.). 

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Cunningham is challenging Sen. Tom Tillis (R-N.C.) in that state’s race, which the Cook Political Report — an independent, nonpartisan group — rates a “toss-up.”

Bollier is favored to win Kansas's Democratic primary and would take on the eventual winner of the GOP primary in what Cook rates as a “lean Republican” race.

In the House, the group has endorsed a number of Democratic lawmakers facing uphill reelection bids, including Reps. Abby FinkenauerAbby Lea FinkenauerGOP hammers Democrats over Iowa Democrat's election challenge Chamber of Commerce slams GOP effort to challenge Biden's win Iowa losses underscore Democrats' struggles with attracting rural voters MORE (Iowa) and Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamJoe Cunningham to enter race for South Carolina governor Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' Lobbying world MORE (S.C.), and Virginia Reps. Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaMcAuliffe holds wide lead in Virginia gubernatorial primary: poll Lauren Underwood endorses Jennifer Carroll Foy in Virginia governors race Northam backing McAuliffe in Virginia governor's race MORE and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerFive takeaways on the House's return to budget earmarks Lawmakers say companies need to play key role in sustainability On The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since lockdowns | Retail sales surge in March | Dow, S&P hit new records MORE. The Cook Political Report rates all of those races as toss-ups.

The Human Rights Campaign has previously endorsed a number of other House and Senate candidates, as well as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. 

The group is homing in on a number of key battleground states, including Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas. 

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Additionally, the group plans to rally its 57 million "Equality Voters," or voters who prioritize LGBTQ+ issues at the ballot box, in a number of its identified swing states and districts. 

"We believe that these voters are the keys not only to this election but to the elections of the future," David said. 

The latest endorsements come one day after the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Equality Act in the House, which has yet to pass through the Senate.

The legislation would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, jury selection or public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal McConnell: 'Good chance' of deal with Biden on infrastructure MORE (R-Ky.) has yet to hold a vote on the legislation, despite calls from Democratic leaders for him to do so.

The bill would likely face opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate due to conservative concerns about infringement of religious liberty.

The full list of House endorsements includes Democratic Reps. 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