American Unity Fund announces endorsements in three U.S. Senate races and six U.S. House races where pro-LGBTQ incumbent conservatives are up for reelection in November.
"These nine elected officials provide an important voice on Capitol Hill for LGBTQ Americans, promoting freedom in areas from military service to the marketplace," said American Unity Fund president Margaret Hoover. "Gay and transgender Americans have made incredible progress but there is still no federal law that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination nationwide. The advances we have made toward freedom would not have been possible without the leadership and determined efforts of these elected officials. American Unity Fund is proud to support these bold leaders in their reelection efforts and looks forward to working with them again in the next Congress," Hoover said.
“Our top priority in the next Congress is to pass the Fairness For All Act, and these nine endorsed candidates will be crucial in that process,” said Tyler Deaton, Senior Advisor for American Unity Fund. “Fairness for All is an important and balanced legislative solution that advances LGBTQ civil rights nationwide and preserves our nation's commitment to religious freedom. When signed into law, it will represent the largest ever expansion of LGBTQ rights, the largest expansion of civil rights since 1964, and the largest expansion of religious freedom since the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993,” Deaton said.
The nine endorsed conservative incumbents are:
Sen. Susan Collins (ME) — American Unity Fund endorsed Sen. Collins in 2014, and she has earned an endorsement again in 2020 as she runs for a fifth term in the Senate. From repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to Senate passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, Ms. Collins is a longtime supporter of LGBTQ civil rights. She is an important, center-right voice in the Republican caucus, especially on issues that matter to gay and transgender Americans. Ms. Collins won reelection in 2014 with 68 percent of the vote.
Sen. Cory Gardner (CO) — Sen. Gardner was elected to the Senate in 2014 after serving three terms in the House of Representatives. Mr. Gardner upholds the values of the American West: fierce individual freedom coupled with the Golden Rule. Mr. Gardner recently introduced bipartisan, LGBTQ-inclusive legislation to designate the phone number 9-8-8 as a suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. American Unity Fund applauds Mr. Gardner’s proposal as an important step toward countering the high suicide risk of LGBTQ youth. Mr. Gardner won his Senate seat in 2014 with 48 percent of the vote, while Colorado went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a margin of 5 points.
Sen. Thom Tillis (NC) — Sen. Tillis is serving his first term as the junior senator for North Carolina following a successful career in business and as Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Mr. Tillis has distinguished himself in the Senate as a thoughtful legislator who can reach across the aisle to deliver results for all North Carolinians. He has championed an inclusive foreign policy and support for veterans regardless of their sexual orientation. Mr. Tillis won in 2014 with 48 percent of the vote, while Donald Trump narrowly won the state in 2016 with 49 percent.
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) — Rep. Fitzpatrick is serving his second term in the House of Representatives, representing suburban Bucks County, towns north of Philadelphia, and the vibrant LGBTQ community of New Hope. Mr. Fitzpatrick is an independent-minded problem solver and a champion for LGBTQ freedom. He supports the freedom to marry, open military service for all Americans, and comprehensive nondiscrimination laws for the LGBTQ community, and he is an original cosponsor of the Fairness for All Act. American Unity Fund proudly endorsed Mr. Fitzpatrick in 2018 and endorses his candidacy again in 2020 so that he can continue his leadership on behalf of LGBTQ Americans. Mr. Fitzpatrick won reelection in 2018 with 51 percent of the vote.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21) — Rep. Stefanik is serving her third term in the House of Representatives for rural upstate New York. Ms. Stefanik sets the standard for Republican leaders of her generation through her strong and reliable support of LGBTQ Americans. The youngest Republican woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, Ms. Stefanik has demonstrated that conservatism is consistent with support for LGBTQ equality. She is an original cosponsor of the Fairness for All Act. She also is an important voice on national security and is leading the Republican Party into the future with her efforts to recruit more women for elected office. Ms. Stefanik won reelection in 2018 with 56 percent of the vote.
Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02) — Rep. Stewart is serving his fourth term representing Utah’s second congressional district, which includes Salt Lake City and rural western Utah. Mr. Stewart is a respected Air Force veteran and accomplished author. He has been an essential ally in Congress as the lead sponsor of the Fairness for All Act in the House of Representatives, American Unity Fund is grateful for the leadership shown by Mr. Stewart and is confident he will continue the fight for equal rights for all Americans. Mr. Stewart won reelection in 2018 with 56 percent of the vote.
Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-25) — Rep. Díaz-Balart is serving his ninth term in the House of Representatives, proudly representing the inclusivity of South Florida. Mr. Díaz-Balart has long supported LGBTQ civil rights and equality. He consistently backs comprehensive nondiscrimination laws to protect gay and transgender Americans. Mr. Díaz-Balart was reelected in 2018 with 60 percent of the vote.
Rep. John Curtis (UT-03) — Rep. Curtis was elected to the House of Representatives in a 2017 special election after serving two terms as mayor of Provo, home of the Sundance Film Festival. During his time in local elected office, Mr. Curtis enjoyed approval ratings that consistently exceeded 90 percent. He continues to receive equally high marks for his leadership in Congress, where he is an original cosponsor of the Fairness for All Act. Mr. Curtis won reelection in 2018 with 67 percent of the vote.
Rep. John Katko (NY-24) — Rep. Katko is serving his third term in the House of Representatives. Mr. Katko entered politics after an impressive career fighting organized crime as an Assistant United States Attorney. As the leader of the center-right Tuesday Group caucus in the House of Representatives, Mr. Katko is a thoughtful and well-liked member of Congress. He has helped lead the charge to advance freedom for LGBTQ Americans. Mr. Katko was reelected in 2018 with 52 percent of the vote.