Human Rights Campaign endorses re-election of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson

Lansing, Mich. – Today, the Human Rights Campaign PAC (HRC PAC) announced its support for the re-election of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. HRC PAC is committed to engaging our volunteers, members and supporters to mobilize nearly 1.2 million equality voters in Michigan to support pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot.

Amritha Venkataraman, Michigan State Director of the Human Rights Campaign, released the following statement:

“Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are clear advocates for equality. Attorney General Nessel is Michigan’s first openly gay attorney general and the nation’s second. She has spent her career uplifting marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ people. And Secretary of State Benson always advocated for pro-equality policies even before she was elected. She’s been targeted by Trump in the past for good reason — because she won’t give up pushing for progress.

“Their extremist Trump-backed MAGA opponents intentionally threaten democracy by spreading campaign lies and dangerous anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda. Only in a free society can we achieve full equality for LGBTQ+ Michiganders. We must elect Nessel and Benson to ensure the advancement and survival of Michigan democracy.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement:

“I’ve spent my career advocating for the rights of Michigan residents, and that’s also reflected in the work I’ve done since being elected Attorney General – like establishing the first of its kind unit on hate crimes and domestic terrorism.As we witness a disturbing upsurge in attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, fueled by a political party rooted in cruelty and division, my determination to fight for equality and basic democratic ideals does not has never been so strong.

A record as equal champions

Attorney General Nessel personally appeared before the Michigan Supreme Court to defend the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, which said Michigan law protects gay and transgender residents from discrimination because it prohibits bias based on gender. The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled in favor of protecting LGBTQ+ people. Nessel’s also launched various special units in Michigan to advance equal protection under the law, including the Hate Crimes Unit, Conviction Integrity Unit, Consumer Protection Division, and work on elder abuse. Earlier this year, she joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general to urge the US Supreme Court to uphold legal precedent that protects minority communities’ voting rights.

Prior to his current role, Nessel led DeBoer v. Snyder, who joined Obergefell v. Hodges and resulted in the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage by the United States Supreme Court. She is the founder of the Fair Michigan Justice Project, which investigates and prosecutes hate crimes in the state, including crimes against LGBTQ+ people.

Secretary of State Benson significantly streamlined the process allowing transgender Michiganders to easily update the gender listed on their identification documents. She led Governor Whitmer’s Task Force on Uplifting Women in Sport. Benson has deployed multiple initiatives and policies to advance democracy and the right to law. In 2021, she unveiled Advancing the Vote, Protecting Democracy, a legislative agenda that outlines a number of initiatives designed to provide equitable voter access, strengthen Michigan’s election infrastructure, and ensure election security. Earlier this year, she rejected an attempt by some state lawmakers to restrict voting rights. She also testified before the U.S. Senate in support of the For the People Act and the need to preserve access to the vote amid attempts by state legislatures to curtail the franchise.

Prior to his election as Secretary of State, Benson was CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, a national nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice, and improve race relations.

HRC’s Commitment to Michigan

Equality voters, including nearly 1.2 million in Michigan, are a demographically and geographically diverse electoral bloc of Americans who are united by the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality. Equality Voters are younger, more racially diverse and more female than the general electorate, they recognize and trust the HRC brand, and they are more likely to identify with issue-specific organizations than to candidates or political parties.

The HRC PAC works every day to elect pro-equality leaders who advocate for policies that will support the rights and lives of LGBTQ+ people. During the 2020 election cycle, HRC field staff in Michigan recruited 875 individual volunteers nationwide who completed 12,000 hours of voter contact at more than 231 volunteer events across the state. HRC has engaged in strong digital and online GOTV efforts, including sending more than 120,000 calls to Michigan voters. The HRC will continue to build on these efforts by Hate won’t winan unprecedented coalition to mobilize nearly 1.2 million Equality Voters in Michigan.

Paid for with funds regulated by Human Rights Campaign PAC, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20036. Not authorized by federal candidate or candidate committee.

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