More than 400 LGBTQ candidates are running for public office in the United States this year, an unprecedented number, according to data from the Victory Institute’s 2018 “Out for America” report.
According to the report, 559 known LGBTQ elected officials are currently serving in the U.S., which is up from the 448 LGBTQ elected officials that held positions in the previous year.
However, the report concluded that Americans need to elect 22,827 more LGBTQ people to public office to achieve “equitable representation.”
“LGBTQ elected officials in positions of power are fundamental to moving forward equality legislation and policies, but their unique experiences also bring an authenticity and values framework that makes them better public servants,” Annise Parker, the first openly LGBT mayor of Houston and president and CEO of the Victory Fund and Victory Institute, said in the report.
“At a time when many Americans are questioning both the motivation and seriousness of the nation’s politicians, LGBTQ elected officials bring a refreshing sense of openness, empathy and drive to get results,” Parker added.
The Institute’s report comes as more women and minorities express renewed interest in running for public office this year.
The Hill added:
EMILY’s List, a group that works to elect women who support abortion rights, said last year that it has heard from more than 25,000 women who are interested in running.
President Trump vowed during his campaign to “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” after an attack at a gay nightclub in June 2016 that killed 49 people.
But members of the LGBTQ community have expressed concerns over administration policies, including banning transgender people from serving in the military.