Election 2024

Out Attorney General Dana Nessel nabs victory in tight race

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Photo: Dana Nessel for MI AG

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) has won her race for Michigan Attorney General.

It was expected to be an extremely close race, and ultimately, Nessel beat extreme MAGA Republican Matthew DePerno, who she called “incredibly radical and just flat-out dangerous for the state of Michigan” in a recent interview with LGBTQ Nation. 

Nessel said DePerno has nicknamed her “General Groomer.”

“Dana Nessel thinks parents who stand up to her drag queen agenda are domestic terrorists,” DePerno posted last week. The same attack earned chants of “Lock her up!” at a rally over the weekend.

Nessel, an LGBTQ Nation Heroes nominee, has spent her career fighting for LGBTQ rights.

As an attorney, she was part of a pivotal marriage equality case in Michigan. As only the second out attorney general in the United States, she has used her position to call out anti-LGBTQ injustices and make life better for LGBTQ people in her state.

In July, Michigan’s Supreme Court ruled that employers, landlords, and others in the state can’t discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity, a major victory for the LGBTQ community. And it was due in big part to Nessel, who argued the case before the court in March.

Nessel has also been advocating for the adoption rights of LGBTQ couples. In 2021, she enacted a transgender policy for her department to ensure trans and nonbinary employees, clients, etc., were treated with respect.

This past summer, Nessel was one of 16 state attorneys general to sign a court brief opposing Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law.

Nessel is also known for her sense of humor and unapologetic bluntness.

When Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) tweeted odiously in March, “Rachel Levine is a man,” Nessel clapped back: “Paxton is a walking hate crime.”

In 2021, she made waves for her refreshing apology after getting drunk at a tailgate party.

She also recently blasted the numerous Republicans who have sought to criminalize child attendance at drag queen performances, calling it a “not a problem” and a needlessly divisive wedge issue.

“Drag queens are entertainment,” she added, according to The Detroit News. “And you know what I’ll say that was totally not poll-tested, I’d say this, ‘A drag queen for every school.’”

“Dana’s win is a clear and resounding victory for all Michiganders – and the country. Voters chose an LGBTQ leader who defends democratic institutions over an anti-LGBTQ activist who aimed to undermine them,” Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said. “Despite a continuous barrage of hate, Dana stood steadfast in her work to safeguard election results and protect LGBTQ people and abortion rights in Michigan. We are confident she will continue being one of the most pro-equality, pro-choice champions in the country. Our rights were on the ballot this year – and Michigan voters delivered.”

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