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Maryland Elects First Black Governor, Pro-LGBTQ+ Wes Moore

Wes Moore

Wes Moore is only the third Black governor in the United States.

Maryland made history Tuesday when the state's voters elected Democrat Wes Moore as its first Black governor. He is only the country's third Black governor.

Alongside Moore, Aruna Miller earned the title of lieutenant governor-elect. She is the first Indian-American woman and the first immigrant to hold statewide office in the state.

"Maryland... you showed that if we stand divided, we cannot win -- but if we stand united, we cannot lose," Governor-Elect Moore said to an assembled crowd of about 1,000 supporters in Baltimore. "When I was an Army captain and led soldiers into combat in Afghanistan, we lived by a simple principle: Leave no one behind...Real patriotism means bringing people together. It means lifting each other up and improving each other's lives. Patriotism means knowing that our country is great -- and that if we do the work, it will be even greater. Tonight we celebrate, and tomorrow we get to work."

Moore's worldview comes from his experience as a combat veteran, best-selling author, small business owner, Rhodes Scholar, and former CEO of a nonprofit that fought poverty and homelessness.

Oprah Winfrey, former President Barack Obama, and President Joe Biden all endorsed Moore, despite his lack of public office experience.

Moore's election marks a Democratic gubernatorial pickup nationwide.

Maryland's current chief executive, Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, has led the state for the last eight years. However, Hogan refused to support Moore's Republican challenger, Dan Cox. Hogan called Cox a "QAnon whackjob."

Moore told The Advocate in September that his administration's mission will be to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people.

He promised to make LGBTQ+ rights a central component of his administration.

"I'm not just proud of, but we are full-throated in the support we have for LGBTQ+ youth, families, and individuals," he said. "We are going to fully implement the newly passed Inclusive Schools Act, ensuring that Maryland schools adopt LGBTQIA+ [affirming] policies."

He says his administration will work with organizations to create partnerships for LGBTQ+ youth by providing resources, support, access to health care, and other services to queer and trans Marylanders.

Moore promised that Maryland would expand access to care for transgender people while other states are trying to take it away.

"We support the passage of the Trans Health Equity Act to ensure that transgender Marylanders can have access to the gender-affirming health care they need," Moore said.

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