The Agenda

LGBTQ elected officials inspire hope in victory speeches

Above: Carlos Guillermo Smith speaking during his victory speech.
In the wake of the presidential election, many in the LGBTQ community are discussing what happens next. As we collect our thoughts and plot a path forward, we thought it important to hear some words from those LGBTQ elected officials who won on Tuesday. Openly LGBTQ elected officials will play an even more important role in the coming months and years — working to prevent anti-LGBTQ legislation and push forward equality. 
A total of 87 Victory Fund endorsed candidates secured wins this election and several broke historic barriers. Here are the words of a few — in social media posts and speeches where they thanked supporters and offered their thoughts on the road ahead. 
Carlos Guillermo Smith, newly elected representative for Florida House District 47 and first openly LGBTQ latinx member of the Florida legislature, said in a Facebook post:
“I know we have a tough road ahead given the rest of the election results…but we cannot give up, especially after everything we have been though. We can NEVER STOP challenging homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia. In fact, our commitment to disarming bigotry, uprooting hatred and reversing the normalization of racism and misogyny must be STRONGER now that it ever has been.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who became the first openly LGBTQ person elected governor in U.S. history, in her victory speech recalled fearing losing her job as an attorney in the 80’s because she was dating a woman:
“I vowed I would do everything in my power to make sure that no one — no one in this state — would have to face that level of fear or face that level of discrimination.”
David Richardson, re-elected openly LGBTQ Florida House Representative for District 113 said on Facebook:
“Even though my general election opponent ran a very negative campaign, he was wise enough to not claim my sexual orientation as a negative. This is telling. The people have looked at my record and my dedication to my community and they cast their votes accordingly. Tomorrow we have to wake up and continue to fight for the issues and causes we believe will move us forward.”
David Cicilline, re-elected openly LGBTQ Representative for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District wrote on Facebook:
“While I will work with our next president, make no mistake about it, I will never stop fighting for…the inherent dignity of every person and equality and justice for all Americans. If the history our nation teaches us anything, it is that there is nothing we cannot do when we come together as one. We have seen enough partisanship, enough gridlock, enough division in Washington. Now is a time for unity and common purpose.”
Mark Takano, re-elected openly LGBTQ Representative for California’s 42nd Congressional District, said in his victory speech:
“Today we begin the important process of finding unity in the love we share for this country. Donald Trump said in his election night speech that he would be the president for all Americans. As a representative in Congress, it is my job to make sure he stays true to those words.” 

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