Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has a robust plan to help the LGBTQ community and a proven record of supporting its causes, Florida state Rep. Shevrin Jones said during the Democratic National Convention’s LGBTQ Caucus meeting on Thursday.
Biden will support LGBTQ youth, protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, and ensure equality in the criminal justice system and access to “high quality health care,” said Jones, who is openly gay and had previously documented his COVID-19 illness on social media.
He said he had traveled throughout the state of Florida to campaign for Biden.
“I was so proud to be an early supporter of [former] Vice President Biden last year. There is no question that Joe Biden is the most pro-equality presidential candidate in history and has a long record of fighting for our causes and everything we believe in,” Jones said.
“That commitment to dignity for all will be a sharp shift from Donald Trump and Mike Pence, who have encouraged hate against the LGBTQ+ community.”
Jones, a Broward County Democrat, joined several state lawmakers and others representing LGBTQ communities around the nation to endorse Biden and vice presidential pick Kamala Harris during the two-hour virtual meeting.
He is poised to become the first openly gay state senator in Florida’s history if elected in November, as Jones came out victorious in the Democratic primary race.
He will face a write-in opponent in November — Darien Hill, an independent who has been essentially inactive in the race, the Miami Herald reports.
As previously reported by the Florida Phoenix, in a field of six contenders for the Democratic nomination in Senate District 35, Jones led with more than 43 percent of the vote, despite attacks on Jones’ sexuality.
“Now we are on the path to make history, alongside Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, this November when Florida elects me as their first openly gay state senator,” he said in the meeting.
Jones also criticized the Trump administration and Gov. Ron DeSantis for failed leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we’ve seen, the White House and the governor’s office, they have failed to lead when we needed leaders the most,” he said. “Here in Florida, the consequences of our elections have been at the center of the national conversation these past few months as we’ve been at the center of the COVID crisis.”
Earl Fowlkes, the DNC’s LGBTQ Caucus chair, hosted the virtual meeting and said 635 LGBTQ delegates were represented at this year’s convention, the most ever seen.
“We’re gathered together virtually to nominate the most pro-LGBTQ+ equality ticket in the history of this great Republic, Vice President Biden and Sen. Harris,” Fowlkes said.