Ahead of Thursday night's LGBT town
hall, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris have
announced their plans for increasing LGBT rights.
Support for passage of the Equality
Act, ending the military's ban on transgender troops, and banning
therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender
identity of LGBT youth were similarities found in all three plans.
“I will fight to pass the Equality
Act to explicitly guarantee that no LGBTQ+ person in America is
discriminated against for who they are or who they love,” Warren
wrote. “Today, federal law still does not expressly prohibit firing
a transgender person because of their gender identity, evicting a
bisexual person because their same-sex partner moves in or
deliberately misgendering a non-binary student in the classroom.
There should be absolutely no question that LGBTQ+ Americans have
equal rights under law.”
“Twenty years ago, an awkward
teenager at St. Joe High, who didn’t know a single out LGBTQ+
student there, never would have imagined how far we would come,”
Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana. “And
yet discrimination and the ever-present fear of it continue to govern
aspects of LGBTQ+ people’s lives who question if they can be who
they are and keep their job, or come out at school knowing they might
be bullied for it. When I’m President, we will implement solutions
bold enough to meet the challenges the LGBTQ+ community faces while
bringing the American people together to understand that our freedoms
are bound up in each other.”
“Every LGBTQ person in America should
grow up knowing they can not only get married but also live, work, go
to school, access affordable health care, and be supported, embraced,
safe, and celebrated,” Harris said. “When I’m president, change
will start from the top. We will lift people up through inclusion and
put in place policies that create opportunity and ensure
representation at the highest levels of government.”
Buttigieg's plan also includes a pledge
to end the HIV epidemic in a decade. Warren and Harris, on the other
hand, pledged to combat the epidemic but did not offer a timeline.
Harris' plan also includes a pledge to
establish a “Chief Advocate for LGBTQ+ Affairs” in the White
“Kamala will establish a Chief
Advocate for LGBTQ+ Affairs in the White House,” the
document states. “From acts of violence and hate targeting
transgender Americans, to bias-motivated killings in Poway,
Pittsburgh, and El Paso, hate crimes are on the rise in America. As
president, Kamala will appoint and fund a new office to ensure a
whole of government approach and strategy to address these alarming
problems in partnership with the LGBTQ+ community, as well as broader
issues to ensure prosperity and full equality. This includes having
the Chief Advocate work across agencies with the Department of
Education, Health & Human Services, the Justice Department, and
the Department of Homeland Security, among others, to ensure that the
LGBTQ+ community has the support it needs.”
Democratic presidential candidates on
Thursday will discuss LGBT issues at a town hall hosted by the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC) and broadcast during prime time on CNN. The
event, titled “Power of Our Pride,” will take place at The Novo
in Los Angeles.
Two openly gay journalists – Anderson
Cooper and Don Lemon – are among the town hall's four moderators.
Dana Bash and Chris Cuomo will also participate.
Nine presidential candidates are
scheduled to appear, including former Vice President Joe Biden,
former Texas Representative Beto O'Rourke, businessman Tom Steyer,
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former U.S. Secretary of
Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and Senators Cory
Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren. Hawaii
Representative Tulsi Gabbard and businessman Andrew Yang cited
scheduling conflicts in declining HRC's invitation to participate.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was scheduled to participate but is
recovering at home following a heart attack. In a video posted
Thursday, Sanders said that he would participate in a presidential
debate next week.