Equality California, the nation’s second-largest LGBTQ group by membership, is backing Pete Buttigieg in the Democratic presidential primary.
The Associated Press reports: While Buttigieg is the only openly gay candidate in the race, his endorsement by the organizations wasn’t a lock. Every candidate was asked to fill out a questionnaire, and the endorsement committee also considered supporting Elizabeth Warren or Tom Steyer, the only Californian still in the race. But Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, impressed the committee with his detailed policies for protecting LGBTQ youth in schools and ending the HIV epidemic by 2030. “When we had the combination of an LGBTQ candidate who had the most comprehensive and boldest policy agenda, and was also viable … it was an easy decision,” said Rick Zbur, Equality California’s executive director.
Buttigieg responded in a statement: “My campaign is based around a shared future of belonging for all Americans, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. President Trump’s attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, especially our trans members, have shown us that the fight for equal rights did not end with marriage equality. I will be the President to continue that fight for equality.”
Equality California has 900,000 members and recently launched Silver State Equality in Nevada, which will be the third state to vote in the primary, on Feb. 22.
The nation’s largest LGBTQ organization by membership, the Human Rights Campaign, does not plan to endorse in the primary. The Victory Fund, which backs openly LGBTQ candidates nationwide, has also backed Buttigieg.