May 17, 2020 at 9:00 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Exclusive: Congressional LGBTQ Equality PAC endorses Biden
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) speaks at a press conference for the Equality Act. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Equality PAC, the political action committee led by openly LGBTQ members of Congress, has thrown its support behind Joseph Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

In a statement exclusive to the Washington Blade, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said the Equality PAC, which he co-chairs, is backing Biden because he “has been a strong leader on LGBTQ issues over his career and as president will continue to be a champion for our community.”

“Too many LGBTQ Americans can still get fired from their jobs or kicked out of their homes just because of who they are,” said Cicilline. “This is wrong and it’s why electing Joe Biden is critical in our fight for full equality.”

The endorsement was timed to coincide with the anniversary of U.S. House passage of the Equality Act, a comprehensive LGBTQ bill that a chamber of Congress approved for the first time in history last year, and the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia.

​One year ago the House made history and passed the Equality Act, which protects all LGBTQ Americans from discrimination — but the Senate has failed to act,” Cicilline said. “Joe Biden’s candidacy will help elect Democrats across the country to secure the pro-equality Democratic majorities needed in the House and Senate to see the Equality Act become a reality.”

Biden has indicated passage of the Equality PAC would be his No. 1 legislative priority if elected president.

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), another co-chair of the Equality PAC, recalled in a statement Biden declaring support for same-sex marriage on “Meet the Press” eight years ago.

“Throughout his career Joe Biden has been a fierce advocate and steady ally for LGBTQ people and those living around around the world, from supporting our right to marry when it wasn’t popular to promoting acceptance of our youth through his work as a private citizen at the Biden Foundation,” Takano said. “His commitment and character is desperately needed right now.”

Takano also drew on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia in declaring support for Biden.

“As we recognize ​International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia today, I say it’s time to fight back, it’s time to restore the soul of our nation, and it’s time we make the United States a global leader in human rights, and I say, ‘Let’s go, Joe!'” Takano said.

The Equality PAC is the latest LGBTQ group to endorse Biden. Others who declared their support this month alone are the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund.

Reggie Greer, LGBTQ+ vote director for the Biden campaign, said the former vice president is “deeply proud and honored to receive the support of Equality PAC.”

“For years, Equality PAC has worked tirelessly to ensure LGBTQ+ people have a critical voice in Congress to fight back against discriminatory policies and advance pro-equality measures,” Greer said. “Their leadership led to the most pro-equality Congress in history as well as the historic passage of the Equality Act in the House of Representatives, which occurred exactly one-year ago today.”

“As we work towards our shared mission of improving the lives of all LGBTQ+ people, we stand committed and ready to work with Equality PAC to ensure we usher in a wave of pro-equality champions into government this November and elect Joe Biden our next president,” Greer continued.

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

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