The Human Right Campaign (HRC), the nation's top LGBTQ activist organization, will spend $26 million to nearly double its existing political structure and prepare for the 2018 election cycle.
"It's not enough to resist the hateful policies and attacks coming from the Trump-Pence regime--we've got to accelerate the pace of progress toward full equality and secure protections for LGBTQ people in states and communities across the country," said HRC president Chad Griffin.
HRC is targeting six states including the three that are widely credited with paving the way for Donald Trump to take the White House. Political analysts point to Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as supplying Trump with the 46 electoral votes needed to edge past Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. HRC will also target Ohio, Arizona and Nevada in its 2018 push.
HRC will hire at least 20 new full-time staff to work with 32 volunteer steering committees around the country. They will focus on ten million LGBTQ voters--five percent of all voters--as well as "equality voters" who support the LGBTQ political agenda.
In a news release HRC touted its digital outreach which includes an "Equality Voter Model" that allows the organization to target voters that, regardless or sexual orientation, are likely to oppose candidates that support traditional values.
HRC hopes to duplicate its success in North Carolina where it takes credit for defeating Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016 as punishment for his support of the bathroom bill known as HB2.
HRC research shows that 57 percent of those who voted againt McCrory cited HB2 as their top reason.
But Brent Keilen, director of Family Research Council Action, says HRC's record get-out-the-vote campaign on behalf of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton speaks for itself. The effort targeted Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and Keilen noted "although HRC heavily supported the candidacy of Hillary Clinton with this effort, Donald Trump won 64 of 74 electoral votes in those five states.
Keilen called HRC's announcement a good reminder that no election can be taken for granted. "FRC Action will continue to educate and mobilize voters across the country as we work for common-sense public policy that will protect family values, privacy and the freedom to believe," he said.
Tim Head, the executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition said it's no surprise that HRC has plenty of funding to hire new staff. "Organizations such as the HRC, the ACLU and the Center for American Progress are extremely well funded by corporations like Apple, Microsoft and IBM," he said. Head says he believes their long-term goals are less about fighting discirmination and more about undermining traditional values and marginalizing communities of faith.