September 6, 2016 at 12:08 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Clinton endorsed by Pride Fund to End Gun Violence
Hillary Clinton, election 2016, gay vote, gay news, Washington Blade

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A newly formed political action committee seeking to support candidates that back gun safety measures and LGBT rights announced on Tuesday it has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Jason Lindsay, executive director of the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, announced in a statement Tuesday he would meet with the candidate on the same day to confer the endorsement.

“We are endorsing Hillary Clinton for the presidency because her record on gun policy and LGBT rights reflect the will of the American people, not the gun lobby,” Lindsay said. “Hillary Clinton has committed to achieving clear policy reforms, like putting comprehensive background checks in place and closing loopholes that put guns in the hands of violent criminals and terrorists.”

The Pride Fund’s decision to endorse Clinton isn’t a surprise. Upon formation of the political action committee, which happened shortly after the shooting at an Orlando nightclub that left 49 dead and 53 wounded, Lindsay said he expected the group would endorse Clinton in the presidential election.

Clinton’s platform includes support for LGBT rights — such as a pledge to sign the Equality Act, a call for increased transgender visibility and making LGBT human rights part of U.S. foreign policy — as well as support for gun safety measures, including expansion of background checks, “no fly, no buy” legislation and making the gun industry legally accountable for irresponsible actions.

In contrast, Donald Trump, who’s been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, has touted his support for Second Amendment rights on the campaign trail and supports national right to carry, fixing the background check system without expanding it and opposes gun and magazine bans.

Patty Sheehan, a member of the Orlando City Council and the Pride Fund’s board of advisers, said in a statement the difference between Clinton and Trump on both gun safety and LGBT rights couldn’t be more stark.

“Clinton’s opponent has espoused the most regressive, anti-LGBT platform in modern American history,” Sheehan said. “Florida voters are tired of hateful rhetoric that seeks to restrict the rights of LGBT citizens while allowing violent criminals and terrorists to have access to firearms. Clinton has vowed to close the ‘Charleston loophole’ which allows anyone to purchase a firearm after three days, even if their background check has not been completed. This is the kind of common sense legislation that Pride Fund supports.”

A Pride Fund spokesperson said the organization’s policy team unanimously decided on Aug. 28 to recommend the Pride Fund endorse Clinton. The Pride Fund’s leadership team approved the recommendation shortly afterward, the spokesperson said.

The Washington Blade has placed a call to the Clinton campaign seeking comment in response to the Pride Fund endorsement.

The endorsement from the Pride Fund adds to the long list of LGBT organizations that have thrown their support behind Clinton. Others LGBT groups that support her are the Human Rights Campaign, the Equality PAC and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. She’s also received endorsements from gun safety organizations, including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Newtown Action Alliance and Everytown for Gun Safety.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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