When Robert Byrd passed away on Monday, America, West Virginia, and the Democratic Party lost a committed servant.
Senator Byrd had served in the U.S. Senate for 51 years, and cast over 18,000 votes during that tenure. One of his final votes was in the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he was a deciding vote to move forward on repealing the military's ban on lesbian and gay service members known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Democratic West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin will be appointing Senator Byrd's replacement. The people of West Virginia -- and all Americans -- deserve a new Senator as dedicated as Senator Byrd. We also deserve a Senator who believes in the fundamental equality of all people regardless of sexual orientation, as Senator Byrd had come to by the end of his life.
Tell Governor Manchin to appoint a pro-equality Senator to replace Senator Byrd.
Just 17 years after he voted for the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, Senator Byrd voted in committee this year to overturn it.
The people of West Virginia deserve a Senator who believes in the fundamental equality of all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
As you begin the impossible process of finding a replacement for Senator Byrd, I urge you to select someone who is pro-equality and will fight for LGBT West Virginians.