House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi revealed the support of more than 100 LGBTQ leaders and advocates Friday as part of her campaign to reclaim the speakership, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Pelosi, who led her party to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the midterm elections, hopes to return to the speakership position she lost after Republicans took the House in 2010.
The endorsement letter, joining a series of testimonials from various national groups, emphasizes the San Francisco congresswoman’s “tireless” work for LGBTQ rights, including her efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic and pass hate crimes legislation.
Signatories include Jim Obergefell, outgoing HRC president Chad Griffin, and first openly gay U.S. ambassador James Hormel.
In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats. If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
Pelosi, 78, served as the 52nd Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011, becoming the first woman to hold the position. The appointment also made her the highest-ranking female politician in U.S. history.
Despite a growing number of Democratic detractors, Pelosi is a favorite to retake the speakership.
Pelosi also made a surprise appearance Friday at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s National Dinner Gala in Washington, D.C., the Washington Blade reports.
“The American people elected a Democratic majority,” Pelosi told the crowd at the National Building Museum. “We are proud that so many new LGBTQ members… represent every corner of our country. LGBTQ members look like America: They’re mothers, business owners, people of color, and members of the native nations.”
Criticizing Trump’s transgender military ban and noting that 2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Pelosi emphasized the Equality Act will be “a top priority” for the Democratic majority, adding, “We must finally give sexual orientation and gender identity the full civil rights protection they deserve.”
Pelosi’s potential Democratic challenger for the speakership, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, is one of two House Democrats who have not sponsored the proposed Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Fudge issued a statement Thursday explaining she wants to replace the Civil Rights Act with “a new and modern” bill on civil rights including LGBTQ issues.
“I would put my record of support for the LGBTQ community against anyone else’s and challenge anyone to refute it,” Fudge said. “I fully support equal rights for the LGBTQ community. There is not one vote that I have ever taken that is anti-LGBTQ.”
Democrats will pick party leaders November 28 in a caucus vote. The speaker must then be confirmed by a majority on the House floor in January when the new Congress is sworn in.
Pelosi memorably visited the workroom earlier this year on an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.