GLAAD, the largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today released the following backgrounder to the national media highlighting the pro-LGBTQ record of former Massachusetts Governor William Weld just after he announced his 2020 presidential campaign. Weld’s announcement now marks the first credible primary challenger to President Donald Trump, the most anti-LGBTQ United States President in recent memory.
Weld’s 2020 entry now makes President Donald Trump the only elected leader from a major political party to be fully anti-LGBTQ, lightning-speed progress from just a decade ago.
“Governor William Weld represents what is needed and has been missing within the Republican Party: a campaign message about acceptance for all marginalized communities, including LGBTQ people,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Anti-LGBTQ activists have hijacked the Republican Party for far too long, and it’s past time that voices like Governor Weld’s enter the dialogue. Weld can help usher in a new wave of acceptance for a political party that has been dominated by politicians who have fought against hard-won progress made by the LGBTQ community.”
The Trump Administration has issued more than 100 attacks against LGBTQ Americans in policy or rhetoric since 2017. To see the entire list of attacks on Trump’s attacks on LGBTQ Americans and for more information on GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project, go to www.glaad.org/trump.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: William Weld’s Pro-LGBTQ Record
—Touted his early leadership on LGBTQ rights: “In office, in my case, even though I was then a Republican and not a Libertarian, I was way out there by myself on gay and lesbian rights, starting my first month in office, in January 1991. And for 10 years, no one followed suit. I appointed the woman who wrote the decision holding equality of marriage as constitutionally compelled, which led to the Supreme Court case holding that.”
— Said “marriage equality is dictated by the due process clause and equal protection clause.”
— Created the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth.
— Has delivered homilies at multiple same-sex weddings, as early as 2004. “He could never ever understand why or how anyone could care that I was gay,” remembers [his former college roomate], who had Weld give the homily at his June 2004 wedding to Kevin Smith, a former Weld chief of staff. “And he could never understand how it was anyone else’s business but my own.”
— Signed an amicus brief calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8.
— Supported the Obama administration’s guidance on trans bathroom access: “If bathroom access for transgender people rises to the status of a right that needs protection, then why not?”