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 DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinFrustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply Democratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight MORE (D-Ill.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerExpanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks Trump signs order targeting social media firms' legal protections MORE (D-Va.), and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenThis week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting Open Skies withdrawal throws nuclear treaty into question GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill 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 FinkenauerGloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California The Hill's Campaign Report: Buzz builds around Warren for VP Gun control group rolls out House endorsements MORE (Iowa) and Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamGun control group rolls out House endorsements The Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary MORE (S.C.), and Virginia Reps. Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaGun control group rolls out House endorsements The Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 House GOP lawmaker breaks with party to back proxy voting MORE and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerGun control group rolls out House endorsements The Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary 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 BidenDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points Biden: 'We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us' 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 McConnellFor city parks: Pass the Great American Outdoors Act now US ill-prepared for coronavirus-fueled mental health crisis Schumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe 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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