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NH1 News: The HRC endorses Hassan in NH Senate race

August 3, 2016

NH1 News: The HRC endorses Hassan in NH Senate race

by Paul Steinhauser

CONCORD – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, Wednesday will endorse Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan’s bid for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, NH1 has learned.

In an email release obtained by NH1 News, the HRC writes that “Governor Hassan has always fought for the rights of all citizens to participate fully in the civic and economic life of their communities. As a State Senator, she worked tirelessly to achieve marriage equality, helping make New Hampshire one of the first states to pass legislation ensuring access to legal marriage for all.”

And the group points out that earlier this year, Hassan “took a bold and historic step” by issuing an executive order extending non-discrimination protections to transgender people in the Granite State with respect to government employment, contracts and programs.

“Maggie Hassan has stood with us and fought with us for years to ensure LGBTQ people are treated equally under the law,” HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof said in a statement. “We’re proud to endorse Maggie Hassan and look forward to working with her to pass the Equality Act so that everyone, including LGBTQ people, can live free from fear of discrimination.”

Hassan praised the endorsement, writing that “I am honored to accept the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign and thank them for their leadership in advocating for LGBTQ equality. I firmly believe that when we bring people in from the margins and ensure their full inclusion, we help unleash talent and energy that strengthens our democracy, our economy and our communities. I have proudly stood with our LGBTQ community and have worked hard to promote equality and inclusion here in New Hampshire during my time as Governor.”

But Hassan said there’s more to do, adding that “while we have made great strides towards equality in recent years, there remains significant work to be done. In the U.S. Senate, I will continue fighting for policies that help ensure that all citizens are fully included in all aspects of our society, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Hassan is challenging incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte in one of the most high profile, expensive, and negative U.S. Senate races in the country.

This isn’t the first time the HRC has backed Hassan. The group endorsed the then-former state senator in her 2012 election to the Corner Office.