Tennessee Is Poised to Elect Its First Openly LGBTQ+ Law Makers

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Aug 10, 2020

Tennessee could be on the path to electing its first openly LGBTQ+ pols to the state legislature, following Torrey Harris’ primary win on August 7, the Victory Fund announced.

Harris and Brandon Thomas, who ran an unopposed race in the Democratic primary, will both be on the ballot this November. As the Victory Fund sees it, both candidates are likely to beat their incumbents, both of whom have anti-LGBTQ+ views. And Tennessee isn’t the only state in the country to have never elected an openly LGBTQ state legislator: Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana and Mississippi are all in the same boat. Of the current LGBTQ+ state legislators, the LGBTQ Victory Institute’s June 2020 Out for America report confirmed that only 14 are Black.

The former mayor of Houston and Victory Fund president Annise Parker said in the release:

Tennessee is one of just five states in the entire nation to have never elected an openly LGBTQ state legislator —but Torrey and Brandon will change that come November. Yet this is about more than shattering a rainbow ceiling. At a time when protests over racism and police brutality are inspiring the nation, both Torrey and Brandon are perfectly positioned to take that grassroots energy and turn it into legislation that can make lasting change. There are too few openly LGBTQ Black state legislators and we are thrilled that Torrey and Brandon will join their ranks soon.

To learn more about the candidates that the Victory Fund supports, check out their website.