Activists are rallying to mobilise LGBT voters ahead of next month’s Presidential election.
Polling has shown that LGBT people overwhelmingly favour Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the upcoming election, by a margin of nearly four-to-one.
However, the election remain on a knife-edge nationally, and a lower-than-expected turnout in any demographic could flip the result.
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced the latest push in the organization’s largest get-out-the-vote effort in its more than 35-year history.
It’s a multi-state targeting campaign that for the first time reaches well beyond the nation’s nearly 10 million LGBTQ voters to mobilize the growing ranks of allies and others with a history of supporting equality.
HRC President Chad Griffin said: “Our new model allows us to reach out directly to hundreds of thousands of voters not yet affiliated with HRC, but who have demonstrated an openness to creating a more equal and fair society.
“LGBTQ equality is no longer a wedge issue, but one embraced by a clear majority of Americans, and particularly younger Americans. In fact, being anti-LGBTQ is now a liability.”
HRC’s dynamic new model, developed with the elections data firm Catalist, makes possible some of the most sophisticated targeting ever of potential pro-equality voters. It allows direct outreach to hundreds of thousands of potential pro-equality voters in crucial swing states through both new and traditional means.
In North Carolina alone, HRC expects to reach more than 400,000 voters through phone calls and an online persuasive advertising campaign unprecedented for the organization.
Potential pro-equality voters have been identified using years of HRC polling, public voter files and other available data. HRC is initially targeting five states – North Carolina, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Pennsylvania – with more to come.
HRC says that it could replicate the model in years to come to reach the “growing ranks of equality voters to help fuel ongoing efforts to ensure full equality for LGBTQ people”.
LGBT rights are critical in next month’s Congressional, Gubernatorial and Presidential races, with the GOP running on their most anti-LGBT platform in years.
HRC has endorsed Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump – who has made a string of concerning concessions in recent months.
Trump claimed he would “consider” appointing ultra-conservative Supreme Court justices to repeal equal marriage, came out in favour of North Carolina’s anti-trans law, and confirmed he would sign a Republican-backed bill to directly permit religious homophobic discrimination.
On September 23, Trump confirmed he would sign the so-called First Amendment Defence Act, which bans the government from taking any “action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognised as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
The broadly written law would effectively legalise all discrimination against LGBT people in all sectors – from employment to retail to healthcare – as long as the person discriminating claims it was due to their religion.
The shocking move would require the repeal of Barack Obama’s landmark LGBT discrimination protections, which Trump also confirmed he would axe.
He said in a statement: “Religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
“It is our first liberty and provides the most important protection in that it protects our right of conscience. Activist judges and executive orders issued by Presidents who have no regard for the Constitution have put these protections in jeopardy.
“If I am elected president and Congress passes the First Amendment Defense Act, I will sign it to protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.”