Republican Glenn Youngkin is continuing to rally anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ extremists in his bid to become Virginia’s next governor. Most Virginians support legal equality, including marriage equality, and most Virginians believe abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, but Youngkin continues to seek and tout endorsements from groups that oppose LGBTQ equality and want to make abortion illegal. Youngkin has told activists that he will go “on offense” against reproductive choice once elected, and he has refused to say whether he supports marriage equality.
In a press release dated Oct. 8, Youngkin boasted about endorsements from the Family Research Council’s political arm, the Virginia Society for Human Life PAC, and longtime anti-abortion and anti-equality activist Penny Nance, head of Concerned Women for America.
FRC supports “total abortion bans” that criminalize abortion at all stages. The organization has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has long promoted anti-Muslim bigotry. None of that kept Youngkin from agreeing to speak at FRC’s annual conference for religious-right activists earlier this month, where speakers delivered Christian nationalist and bigoted messages. Delivering his own speech, Youngkin urged the activists, “Lock arms with me!”
A Youngkin campaign press release touting the latest endorsements included a long quote from FRC’s Tony Perkins smearing the Democratic nominee as a threat to religious freedom and claiming that Youngkin “understands the values that are important to Virginians.”
Nance has devoted much of her professional life to making abortion illegal and worked tirelessly to help former President Donald Trump pack the Supreme Court and other federal courts with like-minded judges. She spearheaded a $500,000 campaign backing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Nance is also a strident opponent of LGBTQ equality, even opposing reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act because CWA claimed it would create “new protections for homosexuals.” When the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at a gay couple’s wedding, Nance sent an email with the subject line, “Ruth Traitor Ginsburg.”
Even though Virginians soundly rejected Trump, Nance claimed that the Trump-endorsed Youngkin will “uphold the values of Virginians.”
The Virginia Society for Human Life is an affiliate of National Right to Life, which supports abortion bans, including the recent extreme Texas law that bans abortion as early as six weeks and is now being challenged in federal courts. In September, Youngkin’s campaign touted National Right to Life’s endorsement, along with that of the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List.