qnendorsements_hillaryclintonHillary Clinton for president

In this year’s presidential election there are two choices: a candidate with the experience, knowledge and temperament to handle complex issues facing our nation, or an egomaniacal, low-information buffoon who has bragged about committing sexual assault, disparaged groups along racial and religious lines and mocked a disabled reporter. There is good reason for Donald Trump failing to land a single major newspaper endorsement. He is dangerous and unfit.

Hillary Clinton is not a perfect candidate, much like every single candidate that has come before her and every one that will follow. She has showed poor judgment at times, which she herself has admitted, but she has also shown the resolve and leadership abilities that Trump can’t touch even on his best days. Clinton can keep us moving forward as a country, whereas Trump would surely take us back, but not to a place of greatness as he claims.

Clinton supports the Equality Act, which would provide protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on a federal level.

Trump supports the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would legalize anti-LGBT discrimination across the board, including in employment, housing and health care.

Furthermore, Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, is rabidly antigay, having backed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) law that allowed for anti-LGBT discrimination. He has also stood in favor of conversion therapy and against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The choice could not be clearer.

qnendorsements_roycooperRoy Cooper for governor

Another clear choice: Gov. Pat McCrory, the man who signed anti-LGBTQ law HB2 into effect, or Attorney General Roy Cooper, who has consistently spoken out against it.

HB2, which invalidated non-discrimination ordinances throughout the state, taking away protections for the LGBT community, has cost our state millions of dollars and thousands of jobs. It has put a target on the backs of LGBT people, especially transgender people. It has turned our state into a laughing stock.

McCrory has campaigned on fear, claiming allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity will somehow put women and girls at risk. Meanwhile, he is supporting Trump for president, who has bragged of committing sexual assault and reportedly barged into the dressing rooms of beauty pageants he owned at the time, including one full of underage girls, to see them in various states of undress. Neither he nor McCrory are fit to hold office.

McCrory is a stain on our state and the sooner he is out of office the better. Cooper can provide the leadership we desperately need to pull out of the tailspin that McCrory’s incompetence and arrogance have led us into. The time to replace him is now.

qnendorsements_deborahrossDeborah Ross for senator

Deborah Ross is hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Richard Burr in the U.S. Senate, who has served since 2005. Burr has taken some stances that have been decidedly less anti-LGBT than most of his GOP colleagues. He has spoken out against HB2, saying it should not remain law in its current form. He also voted in favor of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. However, he has said that he is not in favor of allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms matching their gender identity. He said he would like to see the Charlotte City Council “reverse themselves” on the LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance. He has also spoken out against same-sex marriage.

Ross has said unequivocally that HB2 should be repealed. She spent a decade as a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, where she voted against having a statewide vote to establish marriage between a man and a woman as the only domestic legal union that North Carolina would recognize. She will be a key ally if she can manage to thwart Burr’s reelection.

qnendorsements_lindacolemanLinda Coleman for lieutenant governor

Coleman is hoping to unseat current Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, one of the architects of HB2.

Coleman was a vocal opponent of Amendment One, which defined marriage as between a woman and a man in the state constitution.

“I vocally oppose Amendment 1: the attempt by the legislature and the carriers of prejudice to penalize couples in domestic unions who are not married,” she said. “This is an unprecedented, discriminatory and dangerous intrusion into the private lives of our citizens. Had I been elected to the General Assembly in 2011, nothing would have stopped me from standing on the floor of the legislature to vote against this attempt to write discrimination into the constitution. It is too important.”

She served as chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, was elected three times to the North Carolina House of Representatives and served as the director of the Office of State Personnel from 2009 to 2012.

Coleman would be another important ally and would unseat someone who is actively working against our rights.

qnendorsements_joshsteinJoshua Stein for attorney general

Former Sen. Joshua Stein hopes to unseat Eldon “Buck” Newton. You may remember Newton from the infamous “Keep our state straight” video that went viral. Newton was speaking in favor of HB2, which he said he was glad to have his opponent call “Buck’s bill.”

Stein cosponsored legislation that would prohibit state and local governments from discriminating against gay and lesbian employees and has spoken out against placing discrimination into the state or federal constitution.

It is time to keep North Carolina free from the poor leadership of Buck Newton.

qnendorsements_elainemarshallElaine Marshall for secretary of state

Elaine Marshall is seeking reelection against Republican challenger Michael LaPaglia. LaPaglia has voiced upset over boycotts to the state due to HB2.

Marshall has been an advocate for LGBT rights. She has been against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as well as for enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). She is a proven leader and friend to the LGBTQ community and should be reelected.

— Jeff Taylor, qnotes staff writer contributed to this story.

Photo Credits: Hillary Clinton, Gage Skidmore, CC license,; Roy Cooper, N.C. Government; Deborah Ross, Anacostia1311 via Wikipedia, CC license; Linda Coleman, N.C. Democratic Party; Joshua Stein, N.C. Government; and Elaine Marshall, N.C. Democratic Party.