Down-ticket Democrats needed to gain ground in LGBT rights 

Two politicians at Wednesday’s Pennsylvania delegation breakfast preached the importance of getting Democrats in offices besides the presidency to push for LGBT rights.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota recalled the 2013 Senate vote that passed the Employment Nondiscrimination Act by a vote of 64-32. At least 60 votes were needed for it to be successful.

“By four votes, we pushed through our law that protects LGBT people in the workplace,” Klobuchar said. “That happens all the time.”

Congress has never taken up the law.

Klobuchar added a Donald Trump presidency could usher into office even more conservative representatives.

“With Donald Trump we’re seeing historic levels of hate,” she said.

Josh Shapiro, who is running for Pennsylvania Attorney General, credits local politicians with nudging the state into adopting marriage equality.

D. Bruce Hanes, register of wills in Montgomery County, was the first official in the state to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple in 2013, after the U.S. Supreme Court case that dismantled the Defense of Marriage Act. Pennsylvania made marriage for same-sex couples legal a year later.

Referencing his own campaign, Shapiro said, “We’ve got to make sure we’ve got an attorney general who stands up and protects the constitutional rights of each and every Pennsylvanian…I’m going to stand up each and every day as I did when we helped issue the first marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Montgomery County, and helped change the law in Pennsylvania so that you can no longer legally discriminate against our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.”

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