Raphael Warnock names LGBTQ advisors for Senate runoff

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Raphael Warnock is assembling an advisory council of two-dozen LGBTQ elected officials, activists and grassroots organizers to help carry his U.S. Senate campaign “over the finish line” in the Jan. 5 runoff. 

Warnock announced the Out for Warnock LGBTQ+ Advisory Council on Friday, the latest move from a campaign that is embracing LGBTQ equality issues as part of its effort to unseat U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

“The future of LGBTQ rights is on the ballot for this election. That is why bringing together so many hardworking LGBTQ+ Georgians to carry us over the finish line was a vital part of our campaign strategy,” Warnock said in a prepared statement.

During the campaign, Warnock said he’s been an LGBTQ advocate for years and would fight “mealy-mouthed” foes of LGBTQ equality in the U.S. Senate. His win – paired with a win by Jon Ossoff in the other U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia – would flip control of the U.S. Senate to Democrats and could pave the way for LGBTQ-inclusive legislation.

“As one of Georgia’s next Senators, I will help pass the Equality Act, fight to ban conversion therapy, work to address the epidemic-level violence against trans people, and expand access to PrEP,” Warnock said Friday.

The Equality Act, which passed the House in 2019, would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The 25 members of Warnock’s new LGBTQ council are a racially and ethnically diverse group of state lawmakers and other elected officials, transgender leaders, business people, civic activists and people of faith.

Members of the Out for Warnock LGBTQ+ Advisory Council:

  • Maryanne Adams, Founder & Executive Director, ZAMI NOBLA
  • Everton Blair, Gwinnett County School Board Member, District 4
  • Javier Brown, National Board of Governors, Human Rights Campaign
  • Park Cannon, Georgia House of Representatives, District 58 
  • Tony Conway, owner, Legendary Events (Atlanta)
  • Tori Cooper, trans activist 
  • Dr. Karla Drenner, Georgia House of Representatives, District 85
  • Matthew Duncan, member, Georgia Equality board
  • Jason Feldman, Board of Directors, Atlanta Jewish Music Festival
  • Mark Hill, Board of Directors, Georgia Equality 
  • Rev. Kim Jackson, Senator-Elect, Georgia Senate, District 41
  • Julie Jordan, Glynn County Democratic Party, Chairwoman
  • Stephe Koontz, Doraville City Council, District 3
  • Ben Ku, Commissioner, Gwinnett County, District 2
  • Patricia Lassiter, Democratic Party of Georgia, LGBTQ Caucus First Vice Chair
  • Jill Lockridge, activist
  • Jesse Pratt López, Founder, Trans Housing Coalition 
  • Reese McCranie, Former Georgia Deputy Campaign Director, Biden for President Campaign
  • Jaye Meggs, CEO and Founder, Trans Gentlemen of Excellence
  • Sam Park, Georgia House of Representatives, District 101 
  • Dr. De’Andre Pickett, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, Georgia Equality 
  • Kirk Rich, Commissioner, Atlanta Housing Authority
  • Angel Silva, Board Member, Georgia Equality 
  • Jen Slipakoff, National Board of Governors, Human Rights Campaign
  • Matthew Wilson, Georgia House of Representatives, District 80

Warnock’s LGBTQ advisory council comes as Georgia Democrats recently highlighted its diverse coalition of supporters, including LGBTQ ones, to promote Warnock and Ossoff in a “first-of-its-kind” coordinated campaign.

In an October interview with Project Q, Warnock called for passage of the Equality Act. In a virtual meeting also that month, he discussed his support for LGBTQ issues with a group of influential LGBTQ civic leaders and elected officials.

In less than a year, Loeffler amassed an anti-LGBTQ track record since Gov. Brian Kemp appointed her to the U.S. Senate in January.

This story is made possible by a grant from the Election SOS Rapid Response Fund.

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