LGBTQ PAC focused on gun safety reform makes endorsement in United States Senate Race in Virginia

March 26, 2018 -- Washington, DC -- Pride Fund to End Gun Violence PAC – America’s only national LGBTQ political organization focused solely on gun violence prevention – announced on a press call today its endorsement of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine for re-election to the U.S. Senate. Pride Fund endorsed Kaine for his longstanding commitment to fighting for LGBTQ equality and his backing of commonsense gun safety measures. Pride Fund's endorsement comes just 2 days after the historic March For Our Lives, where hundreds of thousands of committed activists marched in cities across the world to demand commonsense gun reform.

“Having served as the Governor of Virginia when the Virginia Tech shooting took place, Senator Kaine is uniquely familiar with the human cost of gun violence and the need for commonsense gun reform,” said Jason Lindsay, Executive Director of Pride Fund. “In the years since that tragedy, Kaine has worked tirelessly to close the loopholes that allowed the Virginia Tech shooter to purchase his weapon, and has fought to strengthen background checks to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons. Senator Kaine is a critical leader in the fight to pass gun safety measures, and we’re proud to endorse him for re-election to ensure that his voice and votes are heard in the Capitol.”

“To finally force action in Congress to reduce gun violence, it will take intense pressure from all of us who support gun safety measures, and I am so proud to have the Pride Fund’s support in my campaign,” said Senator Kaine. “Our country is finally being shaken from its complacency in the face of gun violence thanks to the advocacy of young people and groups like the Pride Fund, who are stepping up to say ‘never again.’ In my campaign, I will continue calling for making background checks universal, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and improving our mental health systems.”

Senator Kaine’s Republican opponents are radical, anti-LGBTQ ideologues who are bought-and-paid-for by the NRA and the gun lobby. They are pushing proposals to broadly expand guns in schools, including arming teachers, while attempting to advance policies that codify discrimination and hate in Virginia. Virginia voters rejected this kind of politics in 2017, and Pride Fund is confident they will do the same in 2018.

“Both leading Republican candidates, Corey Stewart and Nick Freitas, cannot be counted on to keep Virginians safe. They both have “A” ratings from NRA, and both champion the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a group too radical even for the NRA. It’s clear that they are unfit to serve the people of Virginia and would fail to adequately represent the many diverse people and communities that call the Commonwealth of Virginia home,” said Lindsay, who is an Iraq combat veteran.

Exit polls in Virginia showed that gun safety reform was the second most important issue for Democrats in the Commonwealth’s 2017 elections, coming in just behind health care. This is the continuation of a shift in recent election cycles where gun reform has increasingly ranked as a higher election priority for Democrats and Independents. Voters around the country are making it clear that they support candidates who speak out boldly and unapologetically against the dangerous agenda of the NRA. The Pride Fund is proud of Kaine’s longstanding willingness to stand up to the gun lobby, earning him a consistent F grade from the NRA.

Pride Fund looks forward to collaborating with Kaine and newly inaugurated gun reform state leaders in Virginia. In November 2017, Ralph Northam won the gubernatorial race in Virginia with the backing and endorsement of Pride Fund to End Gun Violence. He is a longstanding supporter of gun safety laws and a true champion of LGBTQ equality. Chris Hurst is a new member of the Virginia House of Delegates who understands firsthand the tragic impact gun violence has every day in the US. After his girlfriend, a news anchor, was shot and killed on live television, Hurst decided to run in order to prevent similar acts of senseless violence in the future. Pride Fund is proud to have endorsed him and supported him in his House of Delegates race.

Pride Fund will support Sen. Kaine’s re-election campaign in the following ways:

  • Recruit volunteers to phone bank using our national list of over 100,000 supporters and activists

  • Draw from Pride Fund’s volunteer base in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland to knock doors in targeted areas of Virginia

  • Promote Senator Kaine on Pride Fund’s social media platforms

Pride Fund has thoroughly reviewed the platform and record of Senator Tim Kaine to assess his commitment to protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community and improving the safety of Americans. Tim Kaine represents the kind of leader we need, who won’t prioritize the special interests of the gun lobby over the safety of the American people.