Pride Fund to End Gun Violence PAC, America’s only national LGBTQ political organization focused solely on gun violence prevention, has announced its endorsement of candidate Elaine Luria (VA-2), Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), and Texas gubernatorial challenger, Lupe Valdez.
Pride Fund believes that Americans deserve leaders who will stand up for what is right, not what is profitable and, thus, will stand up to the gun lobby. With the approach of the 2018 midterm elections, the race for important seats in Congress and throughout the country is becoming more crucial than ever. Pride Fund is proud to stand and fight with Elaine Luria in VA-2, Josh Gottheimer in NJ-5, and Lupe Valdez in Texas, three leaders the political action committee is confident will stand up to the National Rifle Association (NRA), take action and make progress toward a safer America.
“Valdez has made history so far in her career, and will only continue to do so,” said Jason Lindsay, founder and executive director of Pride Fund. “We are excited to back her and watch her flip Texas into a better, safer state with her extensive experience and fresh approach. We can’t wait to see the way that her pro-equality, pro safety platform will shape Texas into a more progressive place.”
Valdez is a dynamic, spirited leader ready to guide the state of Texas onto a safer, more inclusive path. Unlike A-rated, NRA-endorsed governor Greg Abbott, Valdez will put the people ahead of the gun lobby’s profits. During his time as governor, Greg Abbott has been a puppet of the NRA. Simply accepting gun violence as an inevitable reality, Abbot has encouraged militarizing schools and arming teachers. While at first Abbott considered implementing Red Flag Laws in his state, he changed his mind when the NRA began touting their opposition to the law, showing where his commitments lie: with the profits of the gun lobby, not the safety of his constituents. Abbot is also a vehemently anti-LGBTQ Republican, pushing an infamous “bathroom bill” to humiliate transgender Texans and working to allow discrimination against LGBTQ families during his first term as Texas’s governor.
Valdez, however, believes in equality, opportunity and public safety. As a veteran and former Dallas County Sheriff, Valdez — a self-identified Latina lesbian — shows that she can be tough when necessary, but still lead with compassion. Her commitment to gun violence prevention includes banning assault weapons, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. She is also committed to keeping guns out off the wrong hands, including those on the terrorist watch list and those with a history of violent and hateful behavior.
On LGBTQ issues, her platform is equally impressive: Valdez will work to protect the rights of all LGBTQ Texans and their families to live, work, and exist in Texas equally as their true selves.
“We are proud to endorse Elaine Luria due to her commitment to making our communities better, safer, and more inclusive places for everyone,” said Lindsay. “As an Iraq war vet for the U.S. Army, I am confident that Elaine will use her background as a Naval Surface Warfare officer to guide her decisions about gun safety and, unlike Representative Scott Taylor, will prioritize the safety of her constituents over the gun lobby’s blood money.”
In Virginia’s second district, Luria, a Democrat, is challenging Republican incumbent Scott Taylor, a politician with troubling views on the rights of LGBTQ Americans and even more troubling ties to the gun lobby. One day before the infamous Parkland school shooting, Taylor accepted NRA cash for his campaign, which is a chilling reminder that he values the blood money of the gun lobby over the safety of children and communities. We know where his allegiance lies. Taylor is also reeling from a scandal that has shaken his candidacy, as 59 signatures on his petitions were found to be falsified, with four even belonging to constituents who had passed away before their signatures were supposedly collected. This is the kind of dishonesty and lack of character that has no place in Congress.
Luria, however, is different. On top of her commitment to protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community, Luria is committed to supporting common-sense gun safety legislation including measures such as bans on assault weapons, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. She also supports a ban on gun sales to those convicted of domestic violence, stalking and/or hate crimes, as well as those on the terrorist watch list. Finally she supports allowing the Centers for Disease Control to fully research America’s gun violence epidemic and providing adequate funding.
Voters are clearly seeing the difference between the two candidates, as well: In June, Luria was trailing in the polls by approximately four points. However, in September, Luria passed Taylor, leading by a resounding eight points. Pride Fund is excited to watch her progress continue as Election Day draws nearer.
Congressman Josh Gottheimer
“I’ve gotten to know Congressman Gottheimer since the 2016 election and he has proven himself time and time again to be a leader and a fighter,” said Lindsay. “When re-elected, he will continue to support legislation that ensures the safety, freedom, and inclusion of those in his district, state, and country. Pride Fund is proud to endorse Congressman Josh Gottheimer in his re-election campaign,” said Lindsay.
In 2016, Pride Fund proudly endorsed Gottheimer and fought tirelessly to get him elected, and the group is glad it did. During his time in Congress, he has represented his constituents with care and courage. As a part of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, Gottheimer has shown his pro-inclusion and pro-equality stance, and his voting record and platform on gun violence prevention are equally impressive. Gottheimer is a firm advocate for common-sense gun regulations, including expanding background checks, keeping combat-style weapons out of circulation and guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and allowing research on America’s gun violence epidemic.
Meanwhile, Republican challenger Steve Lonegan has been endorsed by the NRA, and will not fight for these necessary measures to ensure Americans’ safety and well being. Lonegan will vote on the side of the gun lobby and not the safety of his community.
About the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence
Pride Fund to End Gun Violence (“Pride Fund”) is the only national LGBTQ political organization focused solely on gun violence prevention. Pride Fund was founded by Jason Lindsay, a gay Iraq War veteran, in the days following the June 2016 mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. When it occurred, the Pulse nightclub shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Pride Fund supports sensible gun policy reforms while championing LGBTQ safety and equality by advocating for legislation and supporting candidates at the state and federal levels. To learn more, visit www.pridefund.org, Facebook and follow on Twitter @Pride_Fund.