Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe
Biden on Tuesday picked Kamala Harris as his running mate. But where
does the U.S. senator from California stand on LGBT rights?
Vice President Mike Pence and Harris
are scheduled to debate on Wednesday, October 7.
According to LGBT rights advocate
GLAAD, Harris is a “proven fighter” for LGBT equality.
"Senator Harris is a proven
fighter for equality, safety, and justice for all, and she should now
continue making LGBTQ acceptance a priority in her history-making run
alongside Joe Biden,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said
in a statement. “Her record stands in stark contrast to that of
Mike Pence and the Trump Administration, who have relentlessly
targeted LGBTQ people – 168 attacks in policy and rhetoric since
taking office, according to GLAAD's ongoing research – and the
number goes up every week.”
Harris scores 100 percent on the Human
Rights Campaign's (HRC) Congressional Scorecard, a measure of a
lawmaker's support for LGBT rights.
Harris has co-sponsored numerous
equality bills in the Senate, including the Equality Act, a federal
LGBT protections bill that stalled in the Senate after clearing the
House. President Donald Trump has signaled his opposition to the
legislation, while Biden has endorsed it. She also introduced
legislation that would ban the use of the so-called gay or trans
panic defense in criminal cases.
As California District Attorney, Harris
refused to defend Proposition 8, the voter-approved constitutional
amendment that defined marriage as a heterosexual union. Proposition
8 rolled back a California Supreme Court ruling that allowed gay and
lesbian couples to marry in the state. Harris later officiated the
wedding of Kris Perry and Sandra Stier, plaintiffs in the lawsuit
that challenged Proposition 8.
During a presidential forum last year,
then-presidential candidate Harris was asked about the policy she was
asked to defend as attorney general that prohibited transgender
inmates in California from receiving transition-related care.
Harris answered that she worked with
the California Department of Corrections to change its policy.
“When that case came up, I had
clients, and one of them was the California Department of
Corrections. It was their policy,” Harris explained. “When I
learned about what they were doing, behind the scenes, I got them to
change the policy.”
“I commit to you that always in these
systems there are going to be these things that these agencies do.
And I will commit myself, as I always have, to dealing with it,”
says he would make nationwide LGBT protections, “ex-gay” therapy
ban top priorities.)