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I was honored to be asked to be a host for a LGBTQ+ Happy Hour in support of Karen Carter Peterson, who is running for US Congress. She is seeking to fill the Louisiana 2nd District seat in the House of Representatives vacated by Cedric Richmond (who was appointed by President Biden to be Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement).

Joining me were recently elected Orleans Parish School Board member Dr. J.C. Romero, Democratic strategist Stephen Handwerk, Advocate Lester Perryman, and Congressman Mark Pocan, Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus AND the Congressional LGBTQ+ Caucus.

Such a great group sharing their reasons for supporting Karen! I was so pleased to hear from people I respect on why they are personally endorsing her.

Here are my remarks:

Karen Carter Peterson is with us in fighting against the forces that want to erase queer lives. I have always known her to speak truth to power as an advocate for marginalized people who most need a voice.

She understands how LGBTQ people’s gender identity and sexual orientation exist in relation to other social issues. Knowing LGBTQ employees are more likely to report being fired from a job or denied a position compared to their straight counterparts, LA Senator Karen Carter Peterson was a vital vote in getting the Louisiana Employment Non-discrimination Act out of committee in 2017 – it was the first time an LGBTQ nondiscrimination bill passed out of committee and moved to the Senate floor.

She won’t ever stop fighting for us. As she has pledged:

When you send me to DC, I will immediately go to work to pass fully inclusive employment non-discrimination legislation, including housing and public accommodation non-discrimination laws, I will support laws requiring contractors and organizations that receive public funds to not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and I will vigorously oppose the exemption of non-discrimination and other laws based on a stated religious belief for individuals. I will also fight to make sure that conversion therapy is outlawed in this country. It is barbaric, against all medical and psychological recommendations and must stop.

Sending her to represent Louisiana in the House will be instrumental in passing more legislation to finally and fully end LGBTQ discrimination once and for all.

Of no less importance is the need to elect more women.

67% of elected officials in Louisiana are white men – women make up 51% of Louisiana’s population but only 16% of the state’s elected officials. Only 6% of elected offices are held by women of color – this is despite women of color making up 21% of the state.

Currently no women represents Louisiana nationally – we rank 47 out of 50 states in gender parity of appointed and elected officials. Since Lindy Boggs left Congress in 1991, there hasn’t been a woman from Louisiana in the House! We can change that on March 20th!

This is a special election so it is imperative that we get out the word that the election is happening. Early voting is March 6-13 (excluding Sunday, March 7) from 8:30 am to 6 pm. Find your election information here at GeauxVote

Further, Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District has never before elected a Black woman to Congress. Karen Carter Peterson has what it takes to make history and that is why I’m supporting her in this important election with my time and money and I ask you to support her, too.

Donate at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/kcplgbtq

Volunteer at https://www.karencarterpeterson.com