WASHINGTON, September 26, 2018 — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, and SAVE, South Florida’s foremost advocate for the LGBTQ community, announced their endorsements of Donna Shalala (D) in her bid to represent the people of Florida’s 27th Congressional District. Shalala is running to replace outgoing champion of equality Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), who is retiring from office at the end of her term.
“Donna Shalala is a proven leader who will stand up to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and help pull the emergency brake on their reckless agenda,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “With the experience and commitment needed to move LGBTQ equality forward, Donna will reject the politics of discrimination and fight for all of the hard-working families in her district, across the state of Florida, and throughout the country. HRC is proud to endorse Donna Shalala for U.S. Congress.”
In his fourth season with the Miami Dolphins, Kenny Stills has consistently utilized his position as a professional athlete to make an impact on and off the field. Stills has been a pioneer among athletes in addressing societal issues. The team captain has participated in every player driven community event for the last two seasons and helped organize a town hall meeting in 2016 that brought influential local leaders together with law enforcement to discuss actionable steps to address issues of racial inequality. Stills has won SAVE’s admiration and respect for being one of the most visible Dolphins in the community and a strong advocate to protest against racial inequality and systemic oppression.
“Retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is leaving behind a long legacy of championing LGBTQ equality, and we are proud to be supporting Donna Shalala to continue that legacy,” said SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima. “It is beyond doubt that Donna is the most qualified candidate in this race. She is ready to be our next champion in D.C. on day one.”
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign and SAVE, two organizations that have fought so hard for equality in Miami-Dade and around the country,” said Donna Shalala. “Though we’ve come so far in achieving basic equal rights for LGBTQ Americans, there is still much work to be done, and I look forward to getting to Congress to continue fighting.”
Donna E. Shalala has spent her entire career fighting to improve the lives of others. The former president of the University of Miami, she has advocated tirelessly for women’s rights, civil rights, increased access to health care, better education and schools and a clean, sustainable environment. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) where she served for eight years, becoming the longest serving HHS Secretary in U.S. history. In Congress, Shalala has pledged to support the Equality Act — critically important federal legislation that would finally add clear, comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people to our nation’s civil rights laws.
In Florida, HRC has identified nearly 700,000 LGBTQ voters and more than 3.2 million “Equality Voters” — meaning they are strong supporters of progressive LGBTQ policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Last year, HRC announced a coast-to-coast campaign to mobilize these voters for the midterm elections called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.