Victory for HRC-backed candidates Rev. Raphael Warnock, Jon Ossoff in Georgia Senate runoffs
ATLANTA (January 6, 2021) - Yesterday, Human Rights Campaign (HRC)-endorsed candidates emerged victorious in Georgia. Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock won their elections to the United States Senate in the January 5th dual Senate runoff, defeating incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
Ossoff and Warnock committed that should they be elected, both would co-sponsor and vote in favor of the Equality Act, crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws.
"Georgians have made their voices heard and united for equality by electing Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, installing a new pro-equality majority in the United States Senate " said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. "We celebrate this incredible moment, and we are proud to have helped them across the finish line by deploying our staff to engage and mobilize the 1.3 million Equality Voters across the state. These victories ensure a pro-equality Senate majority alongside a pro-equality House majority and a Biden presidency, which will work together to pass the Equality Act and enshrine protections for all LGBTQ people."
The HRC deployed over a dozen staff to mobilize voters in Georgia for the runoff election, targeting more than 1.3 million Equality Voters, including Georgia's 356,000 LGBTQ adults. The HRC has 185,000 members and supporters statewide, making the Atlanta metro area home to one of the largest networks of HRC volunteers in the country. Its over 700 volunteers completed over 1,300 volunteer shifts, hosted 40+ trainings, made more than 105,000 calls, and sent more than 196,000 text messages on behalf of the Ossoff and Warnock campaigns throughout the election cycle, partnering with nearly a dozen organizations on the ground to ensure our work made the biggest impact possible. In the runoff specifically, our volunteers made more than 70,000 calls and sent more than 75,000 text messages. As a result, early vote data showed that a majority (52%) of Equality Voters turned out prior to Election Day, 12 points higher than the 40% early vote turnout rate of the general population.
Warnock defeated Loeffler, who hasn't had the opportunity to vote on much legislation but supported a Georgia bill that would have undermined nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people and is on the record with a number of virulent anti-LGBTQ statements. During the campaign, in her attempts to appeal to the most repugnant anti-equality forces in her base, Loeffler introduced legislation targeting transgender children.
Jon Ossoff defeated incumbent David Perdue, who received a zero on the 2020 HRC Congressional Scorecard, a report measuring support for LGBTQ equality in the 116th Congress. Perdue has a long history of opposition to same-sex marriage and in 2014 said, "I believe that we must protect traditional marriage, keeping it clearly defined as between one man and one woman." In addition to opposing the Equality Act, Perdue voted for a bill that would have dismantled the Obama administration's executive order that prohibits government contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. The HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.
Courtesy of the HRC