issues2000

Topics in the News: Gay Rights


Tulsi Gabbard on Civil Rights : Jun 26, 2019
No one in government should tell anyone who they can love

No one in our government at any level who has the right to tell any American who they should be allowed to love or who they should be allowed to marry. My record in Congress for over six years shows my commitment to fighting for LGBTQ equality. I serve on the Equality Caucus and recently voted for passage of the Equality Act. Maybe many people in this country can relate to the fact that I grew up in a socially conservative home, held views when I was very young that I no longer hold today.
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami)

Cory Booker on Civil Rights : Jun 26, 2019
Threats to LGBTQ people can no longer be ignored

We do not talk enough about trans Americans, especially African-American trans Americans and the incredibly high rates of murder right now. We don't talk enough about how many children, about 30% of LGBTQ kids, who do not go to school because of fear. It's not enough just to be on the Equality Act. I'm an original co-sponsor. We need to have a president that will fight to protect LGBTQ Americans every single day from violence in America.
Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami)

Beto O`Rourke on Civil Rights : Jun 24, 2019
Upgrade records of LGBTQ vets who were discharged

O`Rourke also says he would require the Defense Department to upgrade the service records of LGBTQ veterans who were discharged due to their sexual orientation.
Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: CNN coverage of 2020 Democratic primary

Joe Sestak on Homeland Security : Jun 23, 2019
More funding for veterans and for cyberspace

Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential campaign website JoeSestak.com

Steve Bullock on Civil Rights : May 15, 2019
Prohibit discrimination based on gender identity

Bullock has backed LGBT rights, including signing an executive order to prohibit discrimination of state employees, contractors and subcontractors based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Click for Steve Bullock on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour 2020, "Where the candidate stands on 9 issues"

Steve Bullock on Families & Children : May 11, 2019
Supports same-sex marriage in Montana

All three of Bullock's statewide victories were in presidential years that saw Montana's electoral votes go to the Republican at the top of the ticket. Bullock was also elected to lead the National Governors Association in 2018. Bullock has a simultaneously bipartisan and liberal reputation, courting Republicans with spending cuts while expanding Medicaid in Big Sky Country, raising the minimum wage, enacting campaign finance reform, defending abortion rights and supporting same-sex marriage.
Click for Steve Bullock on other issues.   Source: The Hill e-zine on 2020 Democratic primary

Amy Klobuchar on Drugs : May 5, 2019
Fund treatment & mental health with opioid tax

That means enough beds in this country for people with mental health problems if they're facing a crisis. That means doing something about our mounting suicide rate for farmers, for veterans, for LGBTQ youth. That means actually putting the money into treatment. I have a proposal for [a] 2 cents-per-milligram fee on these opioid pharma companies that have made tons of money off the backs of people who got addicted. You can also use it for these other drugs, as well as mental health.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls

Bill de Blasio on Civil Rights : May 2, 2019
NYC Unity Project: invest in LGBTQ youth

NYC Unity Project: First Lady Chirlane McCray announced an unprecedented investment in LGBTQ youth by creating the NYC Unity Project. The initiative will invest $4.8 million in new programs for LGBTQ youth, and will create a 24-hour drop-in center for anyone who needs it, regardless of gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Click for Bill de Blasio on other issues.   Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website BillDeBlasio.com

Pete Buttigieg on Civil Rights : Apr 22, 2019
If U.S. to address human rights, we need to be credible

Q: How would you cooperate with countries that view homosexuality as a crime punishable by death?

A: I think it's wrong to harm or punish people because they're part of the LGBTQ community. I get that not every country is there. In some dramatically milder respects, but still very bothersome ones, our own country is not there. I believe that this is an example of why the world needs an America that is strong, that's credible, and that people believe keeps its word. Does anybody think right now that the U.S. has an awful lot of moral authority in the world? And whether it's LGBTQ rights or, frankly, any kind of human rights, it's really important for the U.S. to be a credible messenger. I still believe that America can spread values related to freedom and democracy that'll benefit various minorities living in their home countries, but not if we're not credible.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 Democratic primary

Kamala Harris on Civil Rights : Apr 22, 2019
Ally of LGBTQ community; must end discrimination

I have been an ally of the LGBTQ community. We must have a country that agrees that no group should be treated without equality under the law. On day one would pass the Equality Act to make sure that we give LGBTQ people equal rights under the law. On the issue of transgender rights, we have a president who wants to kick them out of the military because they are transgender. It is absolutely unconscionable. And that is something I would reverse immediately when I am elected president.
Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall 2020: 5 candidates back-to-back

Bill Weld on Civil Rights : Apr 15, 2019
Supported domestic partners; amicus for same sex marriage

While governor, Weld recognized domestic partnership rights for same-sex couples and signed legislation protecting gay and lesbian students. He also signed a 2013 amicus brief in support of same-sex marriage.
Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020"

Marianne Williamson on Civil Rights : Apr 14, 2019
Attacks on gay rights is attack on us all

I want you to know why I would support you as a LGBTQ person. I would support you because you're an American. I don't want to just talk to you as a lesbian or as an LGBTQ. I don't want to talk to somebody else because you're black, you're white, you're gay, you're straight, you're a Jew, you're Christian, you're Muslim. I want to talk to you because you're an American. Martin Luther King said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. What you do to a lesbian, you do to me. Stop right there.
Click for Marianne Williamson on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 Democratic primary

Pete Buttigieg on Civil Rights : Apr 9, 2019
Problem about me being gay means problem with my creator

[On Buttigieg's status as openly gay]: "That's the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand," Buttigieg said: "That if you've got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me--your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."

Pete Buttigieg was campaigning to be re-elected mayor, when he came out as gay in 2015--a first for his state, which was then governed by Mike Pence, a self-described religious conservative. At the time, Pence, who has a history of anti-LGBTQ positions, spoke warmly of Buttigieg after his announcement about his sexuality. This was despite the fact that Buttigieg had criticized Pence's support of a controversial religious liberty law that some groups said would give legal cover to discrimination.

"If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade," Buttigieg said while speaking at an LGBTQ event this week, making a direct appeal to the same religious beliefs that Pence has said support his social conservative.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: People e-zine "LGBTQ History," on 2020 Presidential Hopefuls

Mike Gravel on Civil Rights : Apr 9, 2019
Include sexual orientation & gender identity as civil rights

America has a woeful legacy surrounding its treatment of LGBTQIA+ people. And yet they have shown remarkable perseverance, fighting back relentlessly. It is time for full equality for all of America's LGBTQIA+ people, with a special focus on transgender rights.

The United States should amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination due to sexual orientation and/or gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, and credit.

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: 2020 Presidential campaign website MikeGravel.com

Pete Buttigieg on Principles & Values : Apr 9, 2019
If I had been given a choice, I would have not been gay

Speaking at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch, Buttigieg said, "If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade," making a direct appeal to religious beliefs.

Buttigieg spoke emotionally of his journey toward accepting his sexuality. "If you had offered me a pill to me straight, I would have swallowed it before you could had time to get me a sip of water. It's a hard thing to think about now. It's hard to face the truth that there were times in my life when if you had shown me exactly what it was inside me that made me gay, I would have cut it out with a knife."

What a loss that would have been for him, he said. "If I had had the chance to do that, I would never have found my way to Chasten," he said referring to husband Chasten Buttigieg, whom he married in June. "Thank god there was no pill," he said. "Thank god there was no knife."

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: People e-zine "LGBTQ History," on 2020 Presidential Hopefuls

Mike Pence on Principles & Values : Apr 9, 2019
No problem with gays; they just say so for publicity

Pence, who has a history of anti-LGBTQ positions, spoke warmly [in 2015 of Pete] Buttigieg after his announcement about his sexuality. This was despite the fact that Buttigieg had criticized Pence's support of a controversial religious liberty law that some groups said would give legal cover to discrimination.

"I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard," Pence told local station WSBT in June 2015. "We have a great working relationship," he said of Buttigieg. "I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot."

Pence's team is pointing back to those compliments this week in the wake of new comments from Buttigieg--now an openly gay candidate for president.

Pence's wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, addressed Buttigieg's remarks during a radio interview: "They've always had a great relationship," she said. "I don't think the vice president does have a problem with him, but I think it's helping Pete to get some notoriety by saying that about the vice president."

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: People e-zine "LGBTQ History," on 2020 Presidential Hopefuls

Marianne Williamson on Civil Rights : Apr 8, 2019
Expand LGBTQ rights to end discrimination

Our Declaration of Independence holds that the inalienable rights of, "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," are endowed to ALL humans by their creator at birth. In 2015, marriage equality became the law of the land, yet there is still no federal law explicitly protecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities from discrimination. These communities, therefore, do not enjoy the full breadth of freedoms that this country espouses to guarantee to each and every citizen.

This is not only unacceptable; this is in direct violation of our founding principles.

Generation after generation, people have fought to rid our country of the "except for's." "Except for blacks," "except for women," and so forth. Today, we are challenged by the ongoing prejudice that seeks to repudiate the fundamental American dedication to freedom and equality for all. "Except for them" is a stain on our national character.

Click for Marianne Williamson on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential campaign website Marianne2020.com

Andrew Yang on Families & Children : Mar 29, 2019
Who you love and how you love are up to you

Sexual orientation and gender identity should be protected classes under the law, receiving all the federal protections afforded under the Constitution and law. Who you love and how you love are up to you. The law should recognize and protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans individuals. I've always been pro-gay marriage; why should straight people have all of the fun? People are people and all love is beautiful.
Click for Andrew Yang on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential campaign website Yang2020.com

Cory Booker on Civil Rights : Mar 27, 2019
Will fight for LGBTQ rights; everyone should feel safe

I'm an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act. I don't need to wait to be president to fight for the rights of my brothers and sisters in this country. Then I will take on the larger fight of uniting this country, like we did for civil rights, for workers' rights, for women's rights, I will unite this country in the fight to make sure that LGBTQ Americans and all Americans have justice and equality under the law.
Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls

Andrew Yang on Civil Rights : Mar 19, 2019
Supports LGBTQ rights

Click for Andrew Yang on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Beto O`Rourke on Homeland Security : Mar 14, 2019
Military should welcome transgender recruits

Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on Civil Rights : Mar 11, 2019
My time in the military changed my anti-gay views

Gabbard sought to explain her shift from advocating anti-gay policies in the early 2000s, saying her time in the military caused her to "go through some soul-searching."

"I was raised in a very socially conservative home. My father is Catholic, he was a leading voice against gay marriage in Hawaii at that time. Again, I was very young, but these are the values and beliefs that I grew up around," she said.

Gabbard said her views shifted when she deployed to the Middle East, "where I saw firsthand the negative impact of a government attempting to act as a moral arbiter for their people, dictating in the most personal ways how they must live their lives."

"Race or religion or orientation, these were things that didn't matter, because we were focused on our mission of serving," she said.

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: CNN KFile on 2019 SXSW conference in Austin

John Hickenlooper on Abortion : Mar 4, 2019
Supports access to abortion

On social issues; Hickenlooper supports gay marriage, LGBTQ rights, and access to abortion.
Click for John Hickenlooper on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

John Hickenlooper on Civil Rights : Mar 4, 2019
Supports gay marriage and LGBTQ rights

Hickenlooper supports gay marriage and LGBTQ rights. As governor, HIckenlooper called a special session of the state legislature in 2012 to challenge Republican opposition to legislation that would have legalized civil unions in the state. A few months later, Democrats won a majority in the state Assembly and Hickenlooper signed the legislation into law.
Click for John Hickenlooper on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Jay Inslee on Civil Rights : Mar 1, 2019
Backed legalizing same-sex marriage in his state

Inslee is a proponent of LGBTQ rights and backed legalizing same-sex marriage in his state.
Click for Jay Inslee on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders on Civil Rights : Feb 19, 2019
1983: Approved "Gay Rights Day" in Burlington Vermont

On LGBTQ rights, Sanders has touted his early moves in support of the gay rights movement. In 1983, as mayor of Burlington, he approved a resolution declaring "Gay Rights Day;" in 1993, he opposed the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy; and in 2000 he supported gay civil unions in Vermont. He opposes President Donald Trump's push to ban transgender people from the military, and laws that would block transgender people from using the bathrooms of their choice.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Civil Rights : Feb 19, 2019
Global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality

The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it's still illegal to be gay.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality--mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean. "It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBTI status or conduct," said a U.S. official involved in organizing the event.

Although the decriminalization strategy is still being hashed out, officials say it's likely to include working with global organizations like the United Nations and the European Union, as well as other countries whose laws already allow for gay rights.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Josh Lederman, NBC News, on 2019 Trump administration

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Feb 19, 2019
Denounce Iran's human rights record via focus on LGBT issues

U.S. officials tell NBC News that the Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality, in a bid aimed in part at denouncing Iran over its human rights record.

Narrowly focused on criminalization, rather than broader LGBT issues like same-sex marriage, the campaign was conceived partly in response to the recent reported execution by hanging of a young gay man in Iran.

While the Trump administration has had some success in pressuring Iran through stepped-up U.S. penalties, efforts to bring the Europeans along have thus far largely fallen flat.

Reframing the conversation on Iran around a human rights issue that enjoys broad support in Europe could help the US and Europe reach a point of agreement on Iran.

Yet by using gay rights as a cudgel against Iran, the Trump administration risks exposing close US allies who are also vulnerable on the issue and creating a new tension point in the Arab world.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Josh Lederman, NBC News, on 2019 Trump administration

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Feb 19, 2019
Ban on transgender people serving openly in the US military

Trump, after being elected, also said he was "fine" with same-sex marriage. But since he took office, his administration has scaled back some workplace protections for gay people and has argued in court that a federal anti-discrimination law doesn't protect gay employees. He has also announced a ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military, which the Supreme Court last month said could be implemented even as lower-court challenges play out.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Josh Lederman, NBC News, on 2019 Trump administration

Bill Weld on Civil Rights : Feb 15, 2019
Supports gay marriage

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Julian Castro on Civil Rights : Feb 15, 2019
Protections for GLBTQ; benefits to same-sex partners

Castro also led the creation of one of the country's strictest anti-smoking laws, drafted a successful resolution denouncing Arizona's racist 2010 immigration law, supported extending benefits to same-sex partners of city employees and , after years of reluctance, eventually supported an update to anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation.
Click for Julian Castro on other issues.   Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders

Pete Buttigieg on Civil Rights : Feb 12, 2019
Someday, politicians won't have to come out as gay

How to reconcile my professional life with the fact that I am gay? I was not eager to become the poster child for LGBT issues; I had strongly supported these causes but did not want to be defined by them. Before explaining it to the world, I had to explain it to some people in my life. In my case, the top of the list was my Mom and Dad.

If any disappointment surfaced at the table that night, it came after my mom looked at me, with a little light in her eyes, and asked, "Is there someone?" Only after answering no, and seeing the light fade a little, did I realize that the tone of her question had been one of hope. No, there wasn't someone at the moment. But I wished there were.

Someday politicians won't have to come out as gay any more than one "comes out" as straight. Someone like me would just show up at a social function with a date who was of the same sex, and everyone would figure it out and shrug. Maybe it's already getting to be like that, in some coastal cities. But not in Indiana.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p.264-7

Pete Buttigieg on Corporations : Feb 12, 2019
Companies are not persons; should not have religious rights

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act said that "a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion." But "person" was defined to include companies, building on the legal theory of the 2014 Supreme Court Hobby Lobby case, which interpreted federal law as giving corporations the same religious rights as people.

Effectively this meant that any place of business, from a restaurant to an auto shop, could refuse an LGBT individual or couple, provided its owner cited religion as the motivation for discriminating. It could even be interpreted to protect a physician denying care to a gay patient. And it would wipe out South Bend's own local ordinance, passed in 2012, which prohibited workplace discrimination against LGBT residents. Despite the name, its purpose was not to "restore" religious freedom--after all, religious freedom is already guaranteed in the Constitution. The bill's actual purpose, its sponsors would later reveal, was to legalize discrimination.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p.209-10

Amy Klobuchar on Civil Rights : Feb 10, 2019
Anti-gay discrimination is bad for business

When it comes to the LGBTQ community, Klobuchar has said discrimination is "bad for business." In a 2013 report, Klobuchar detailed how LGBTQ discrimination doesn't just hold moral implications, but can damage the economy as well.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Stacey Abrams on Abortion : Feb 5, 2019
Roe v. Wade achieved a measure of reproductive justice

With each generation, we have revisited our fundamental truths, and where we falter, we make amends. America achieved a measure of reproductive justice in Roe v. Wade, but we must never forget it is immoral to allow politicians to harm women and families to advance a political agenda. We affirmed marriage equality, and yet, the LGBTQ community remains under attack.

Our progress has always found refuge in the basic instinct of the American experiment--to do right by our people.

Click for Stacey Abrams on other issues.   Source: Democratic response to 2019 State of the Union speech

Cory Booker on Homeland Security : Feb 1, 2019
Transgender troops should be allowed to serve

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Kamala Harris on Civil Rights : Jan 21, 2019
Let transgender people access the bathroom of their choice

Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on Civil Rights : Jan 20, 2019
Views on LGBT rights evolved; 100% rating from HRC

Q: Let's talk about your record on LGBT rights. You spent years opposing LGBT rights?

A: I was raised in a socially conservative household with views and beliefs and things that I no longer hold today. My views have evolved, to the point where now you can look to my record over the last six years in Congress that reflect what's in my heart and my commitment to fighting for equality, my commitment to fighting for LGBT rights. I have a 100 percent legislative voting record with the Human Rights Campaign. I'm a member of the Equality Caucus, and, again, look forward to continuing to recognize the work that still must be done towards equality and working to make that change happen.

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: CNN 2019 "State of the Union" on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on Civil Rights : Jan 17, 2019
Early 2000s: supported father's antigay rights group

Gabbard in the early 2000s touted working for her father's anti-gay organization, which mobilized to pass a measure against same-sex marriage in Hawaii and promoted controversial conversion therapy. During her run for state legislature in 2002, Gabbard told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "Working with my father, Mike Gabbard, and others to pass a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage, I learned that real leaders are willing to make personal sacrifices for the common good. I will bring that attitude of public service to the legislature." Gabbard's father ran The Alliance for Traditional Marriage, a political action committee aimed at opposing pro-gay lawmakers and legislation that organized and spent more than $100,000 to pass an amendment in 1998 that gave the Hawaii state legislature power to "reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples." The amendment to the state's constitution passed.
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: CNN KFile, "Conversion Therapy," on 2020 Democratic primary

Tulsi Gabbard on Civil Rights : Jan 17, 2019
Actively supports equal rights on LGBTQ+ issues

[In response to her work in the early 2000s touted for her father's anti-gay organization, which mobilized to pass a measure against same-sex marriage in Hawaii and promoted controversial conversion therapy]: "Over the past six years in Congress, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to help work toward passing legislation that ensures equal rights and protections on LGBTQ+ issues, such as the Equality Act, the repeal of DOMA, Restore Honor to Service members Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Equality for All Resolution. Much work remains to ensure equality and civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ Americans and if elected President, I will continue to fight for equal rights for all."
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: CNN KFile, "Conversion Therapy," on 2020 Democratic primary

Kirsten Gillibrand on Civil Rights : Jan 16, 2019
End the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy

Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on Homeland Security : Jan 14, 2019
Allow transgender Americans in the military

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on Civil Rights : Jan 13, 2019
Regrets past anti-gay statements; now pro-LGBTQ+ rights

Gabbard said in a recent CNN interview that she will seek her party's nomination for president in 2020. Her past views and activism in opposition to LGBT rights in the late 90s and early 2000s, which put her out of step with most of the Democratic Party at the time, have come under more intense scrutiny since her announcement.

Although Gabbard's positions on LGBT rights have shifted dramatically in more recent years (she signed a 2013 amicus brief supporting a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act), the extent of Gabbard's past anti-gay activism has already drawn criticism from prominent Democrats and will likely be a major issue for her as she seeks the party's nomination.

In a statement to CNN provided after the initial publication of this story, Gabbard said, "First, let me say I regret the positions I took in the past, and the things I said. I'm grateful for those in the LGBTQ+ community who have shared their aloha with me throughout my personal journey."

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: Andrew Kaczynski, CNN.com, on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on Civil Rights : Jan 13, 2019
2004: We shouldn't represent views of homosexual extremists

[A CNN KFile review shows that] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's anti-gay efforts continued after she became a state representative. Shortly after Gabbard announced her presidential ambitions, her testimony at a hearing opposing a civil unions bill in 2004 resurfaced:

"To try to act as if there is a difference between 'civil unions' and same-sex marriage is dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful to the people of Hawaii," Gabbard said at the time. "As Democrats we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists."

The resurfaced comments drew condemnation from former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the first governor in America to support civil unions and who sought the Democratic nomination in 2004. "I was on the other side of this argument wearing a bulletproof vest while she was saying this," Dean tweeted.

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: Andrew Kaczynski, CNN.com, on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on Civil Rights : Jan 13, 2019
2012: Apologized for anti-LGBT past; pro-LGBT bills now

In 2012, when running for Congress, Gabbard apologized to LGBT activists in Hawaii for her past comments. "I want to apologize for statements that I have made in the past that have been very divisive and even disrespectful to those within the LGBT community," Gabbard said. "I know that those comments have been hurtful and I sincerely offer my apology to you and hope that you will accept it."

Since joining Congress in 2013, Gabbard has supported efforts to promote LGBT equality, including co-sponsoring pro-LGBT legislation like The Equality Act, a bill to amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect LGBT individuals.

"I grew up in a very kind of conservative household. A multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-faith home," Gabbard said in New Hampshire in December 2018, speaking to her shift. "Diverse in our makeup and diverse in our views. And I held views growing up that I no longer hold."

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: Andrew Kaczynski, CNN.com, on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Julian Castro on Abortion : Jan 12, 2019
Allow abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy

Castro is a Roman Catholic who supports legal abortion access and gay rights. He vigorously opposed a Texas law to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and limit facilities and access to abortions in general. Castro has long supported same-sex marriage, serving as Grand Marshal of the 2009 San Antonio Gay Pride parade. In 2017, he tweeted that the military should allow Americans of all gender identities to serve in the military.
Click for Julian Castro on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Kamala Harris on Families & Children : Jan 8, 2019
2004: Performed same-sex marriage despite state ban

In the year 2000, California voters approved a ballot initiative--Prop 22--that required the state to define marriage as a union between people of the opposite sex. For years we fought it.

During Valentine's Day week in 2004, then-San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom decided to allow marriages for same-sex couples to proceed anyway.

around the block, waiting to get in. They were counting down the minutes before a government would finally recognize their right to marry whomever they loved. The joy and anticipation were palpable. Some of them had been waiting decades.

I got out of my car and walked up the steps of City Hall, where I bumped into a city official. "Kamala, come and help us," she said, a glowing smile on her face. "We need more people to perform the marriages." I was delighted to be a part of it.

Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: The Truths We Hold, by Kamala Harris, p.111

Bernie Sanders on Principles & Values : Nov 27, 2018
All real change comes from grassroots activism

In 2016, I stated that the future of our country was dependent upon our willingness to make a political revolution. I stressed that real change never occurs from the top down. It always happens from the bottom up. No real change in American history--not the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the women's movement, the gay rights movement, the environmental movement, nor any other movement for social justice--has ever succeeded without grassroots activism, without millions of people engaged in the struggle for justice.

That's what I said when I ran for president. That's what I believe now. That's what I've been working to accomplish over the last several years. At a time of massive and growing income and wealth inequality, as our nation moves closer and closer to an oligarchic form of society, we need an unprecedented grassroots political movement to stand up to the greed of the billionaire class and the politicians they own. And the good news is, we're making progress.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Where We Go From Here, by Bernie Sanders, p.1

Mike Pence on Civil Rights : Aug 28, 2018
OpEd: supports conversion therapy & anti-LGBTQ extremism

Mike Pence has made virulent anti-LGBTQ activism the cornerstone of his political career. HRC's comprehensive "The Real Mike Pence" campaign includes a report, microsite and series of videos that shine a spotlight on Pence's decades-long crusade against LGBTQ equality, and inside-the-White House efforts leading the Trump-Pence administration's attacks on LGBTQ people, including those who bravely serve our nation in the military. It lays out his long record of support for the abusive practice of so-called "conversion therapy;" his relentless pursuit of a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people; his attempts to block hate crime legislation and funding for HIV and AIDS prevention; and his efforts to undermine access to health and reproductive care essential to LGBTQ people. He also keeps busy with his extremist agenda by working to undermine science, health, transparency, education, justice and public safety.
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: HRC.org on 2018 Trump Administration

Arvin Vohra on Civil Rights : Mar 30, 2018
Same-sex marriage ok; or any number of consenting adults

Q: What about same-sex marriage?

A: Strongly support. I support any number of any gender of consenting adults committing themselves to each other in any way. If 8 men and 5 women want to get married, that's their business and their right. Government should have no involvement at all. If elected, I will sponsor legislation to repeal any government involvement in marriage, including any law that interferes with gay marriage, polygamy, or any other form of commitment.

Click for Arvin Vohra on other issues.   Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Maryland Senate candidate

Joe Biden on Civil Rights : Oct 24, 2017
Marriage is all about "who do you love", of whatever gender

On May 6, 2012, the Meet the Press interviewer asked Biden if his views on gay marriage had evolved. Biden spoke slowly, quietly, earnestly. "This is about... a simple proposition," he said, hands clasped. "Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that's what people are finding out is what marriages at their root are about. Whether they are marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals."

The interviewer wanted to clarify. "And you're comfortable with same-sex marriage now?"

"I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying one another, are entitled to the same exact rights," Biden said. "All the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction beyond that."

Whether he had intended to or not, Joe Biden had just made history, and we all know what happened next.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: The Book of Joe, by Jeff Wilser, p.147

Stacey Abrams on Civil Rights : Sep 1, 2017
No discrimination, including against LGBTQ

We must demand that our workplaces never discriminate based on a person's race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, or immigration status. A proud LGBTQ* ally, Stacey co-sponsored civil rights legislation in Georgia, fought against "religious freedom" legislation, and co-signed bills to prohibit employer termination of LGBTQ* Georgians based on their status.
Click for Stacey Abrams on other issues.   Source: 2018 Georgia Gubernatorial website StaceyAbrams.com

Stacey Abrams on Civil Rights : Aug 17, 2017
No discrimination, including against LGBTQ

We must demand that our workplaces never discriminate based on a person's race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, or immigration status. A proud LGBTQ* ally, Stacey co-sponsored civil rights legislation in Georgia, fought against "religious freedom" legislation, and co-signed bills to prohibit employer termination of LGBTQ* Georgians based on their status.
Click for Stacey Abrams on other issues.   Source: 2018 Georgia Governor website StaceyAbrams.com

Tulsi Gabbard on Civil Rights : May 27, 2017
Against gay marriage but no government morality

Her state Democratic Party LGBT caucus openly distrusts her and backed her primary opponent in 2016. When questioned why, the chairman cited two things. One was her less-than-stellar answers to a questionnaire they had sent. The other was a 2015 interview with Ozy, in which she confirmed that her personal views on gay marriage and abortion hadn't changed, just her view on whether the government should enforce its vision of morality. In 2013, the caucus asked Gabbard to send someone to testify at the legislative special session on same-sex marriage, only to be told that Gabbard "doesn't get involved in state politics." Gabbard's Hawaiian colleagues in Congress all sent a representative to testify in support. Gabbard does not actively work against gay rights. She's cosponsored and supported numerous bills favoring the LGBT community, from the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: Jacobin Mag., "Not your friend": 2020 presidential hopefuls

John Kasich on Civil Rights : Apr 25, 2017
Court has ruled on same-sex marriage & we have to accept it

When I was asked how I'd explain my opposition to same-sex marriage to a daughter who might be gay. I answered with my heart, and with the full force of my faith. I said, "Look, I'm an old-fashioned person, & I happen to believe in traditional marriage. But the Court has ruled, and we have to accept it. Just because somebody doesn't think the way I do, doesn't mean I can't care about them or I can't love them. If one of my daughters happened to be gay, of course I would accept her, of course I would love her. That's what we're taught when we have a strong faith. And I've got to tell you, issues like that are planted to divide us, but let's treat everybody with respect, and let them share in the great American dream we have here in this country. I'll love my daughters no matter what they do, because God gives me unconditional love, and I'm gonna give it to my family and my friends and the people around me." (My daughter Emma took the time to set the record straight and tweeted, "I am not gay.")
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Two Paths, by John Kasich, p. 159

Mike Pence on Civil Rights : Jan 15, 2017
No place in our administration for LGBTQ discrimination

Q: President Trump decided this week to let stand President Obama's executive order on LGBT rights. And it prompted questions from social conservatives.

PENCE: Throughout the campaign, President Trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration. He was the very first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community at our Republican National Convention and was applauded for it. And I was there applauding with him.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2017 interview by George Stephanopoulos

Mike Pence on Principles & Values : Jan 15, 2017
Repeal the Johnson Amendment: free speech from the pulpit

Q: Social conservatives object to Trump's acceptance of LGBT rights.

PENCE: This week [Trump] reiterated his commitment to repeal the Johnson Amendment, that's put a chilling effect on free speech in religious institutions around the country.

Q: Do think a new executive order is necessary on religious liberty?

PENCE: The Johnson amendment essentially threatens the tax-exempt status of churches and synagogues and religious institutions if they were seen to be involved in political expression. I don't think we'd have ever made it to these hallowed halls back in 1790 if the pulpits of this country had been silenced from speaking about what they thought was right and wrong. The president identified the Johnson amendment and he told people of faith of every background across this country that he would work to repeal it. And he's directed the administration to begin to look at ways, both legislatively and through executive action to do that.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2017 interview by George Stephanopoulos

Bernie Sanders on Families & Children : Nov 15, 2016
Real family values: time with newborn and sick relatives

The right has claimed the mantle of "family values" for far too long. When my Republican colleagues use this term they're usually talking about things like opposing contraception, denying a woman's right to choose, opposing gay rights, and supporting abstinence-only education. Let me give a somewhat different perspective on family values--on REAL family values.

When a mother cannot spend time with her newborn child during the first weeks and months of that baby's life, and is forced back to work because her employer doesn't offer paid family leave and she can't afford not to work, that is not a family value. That is an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for.

When a husband cannot get time off from work to care for his cancer stricken wife or gravely ill child, that is not a family value. That is an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for. And it should be an embarrassment to anyone who claims to speak for family values in this country.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.235

Hillary Clinton on Government Reform : Oct 19, 2016
We need Supreme Court to stand up to the powerful

I feel strongly that the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy. For me, that means that we need a Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women's rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, that will stand up and say no to Citizens United, a decision that has undermined the election system in our country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system. It is important that we not reverse marriage equality, that we not reverse Roe v. Wade, that we stand up against Citizens United, we stand up for the rights of people in the workplace, that we stand up and basically say: The Supreme Court should represent all of us. That's how I see the court, and the kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate in Las Vegas

Donald Trump on Civil Rights : Aug 23, 2016
1980s: personal lawyer gay & closeted & Trump kept secret

In the Fall of 1984, Roy Cohn fell ill, maintaining that he had liver cancer. But he was suffering from the effects of HIV infection. Trump had always known that Cohn was gay. Cohn was "invariably with some very good-looking young man," Trump wrote in his first book. "But Roy never talked about it. He just didn't like the image. He felt that to the average person, being gay was almost synonymous with being a wimp." If someone brought up gay rights, Trump noted, "Roy was always the first one to speak out against them."

As Cohn's health deteriorated, his unethical behavior as a lawyer caught up to him. A host of luminaries rose to defend Cohn's good character, including Trump, returning to his friend's side and inviting him to visit Mar-a-Lago.

In 1986, Cohn was disbarred. He was fifty-nine. His friends held a memorial service for him. Trump attended, standing silently in the back.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.111-2

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Jun 17, 2016
Include gender identity in anti-discrimination laws

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential hopefuls: iSideWith.com "Gender identity"

Donald Trump on Civil Rights : Jun 17, 2016
Sexual orientation is invalid reason for firing workers

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential hopefuls: iSideWith.com "Gender identity"

Stacey Abrams on Civil Rights : Apr 9, 2016
Welcome everyone, instead of "religious liberty"

Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed the "religious liberty" bill that triggered a wave of criticism from gay rights groups and business leaders. In a press conference at the state Capitol, Deal said House Bill 757 doesn't reflect Georgia's welcoming image as a state full of "warm, friendly and loving people"--and warned critics that he doesn't respond well to threats of payback for rejecting the measure.

The governor's veto infuriated religious conservatives who considered the measure, House Bill 757, their top priority. Last year's Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex weddings galvanized their efforts. In stark terms, the governor said earlier this year that he would reject any measure that "allows discrimination in our state in order to protect people of faith." Rooting his critique in biblical language, he urged fellow Republicans to "recognize that the world is changing."

Rep. Abrams voted NO; passed Senate 37-18-1 Mar.16; passed House 104-65-11 Mar.16

Click for Stacey Abrams on other issues.   Source: AJC on Georgia legislative voting records: HB 757

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Feb 11, 2016
LGBT people now married on Saturday & fired on Monday

I do not believe we live in a single-issue country. Yes, does Wall Street and big financial interests, along with drug companies, insurance companies, big oil, all of it, have too much influence? You're right. But if we were to stop that tomorrow, we would still have LGBT people who get married on Saturday and get fired on Monday.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin

Bernie Sanders on Principles & Values : Jan 30, 2016
Agrees with Hillary, but more fervently, on many issues

Where do Hillary and Bernie agree on the outcome, except for the level of fervency of pushing the issue, or recency in coming to the current stance?
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Bernie vs. Hillary On The Issues, by Jesse Gordon

Joe Sestak on Civil Rights : Nov 30, 2015
Anti-discrimination laws toward LGBT are long overdue

Laws protecting LGBT Americans from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations are long overdue, and we need trusted advocates - actually, warriors - in the Senate to move this fight forward. In my 31-year career in the U.S. Navy, I served alongside many LGBT Americans who were all committed to defending our nation. I had the fortune to lead and serve under some of these fine men and women who simply wanted to get the job done. They would have died for me, and I for them.
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader on 2016 Pennsylvania Senate race

Steve Bullock on Civil Rights : Oct 23, 2015
First MT governor to officiate same-sex wedding

Gov. Steve Bullock recently became the first governor in Montana history to officiate a same-sex marriage. He performed it Sept. 12 for Mike Wessler, his deputy communications director, and Wade Zolynski. About 100 people were in attendance. Wessler gave his boss kudos for a job well done. The state has recognized same-sex marriage since November.
Click for Steve Bullock on other issues.   Source: Great Falls Tribune on 2016 Montana gubernatorial race

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Oct 13, 2015
I'm a progressive who likes to get things done

Q: Plenty of politicians evolve on issues, but even some Democrats believe you change your positions based on political expediency. You were against same-sex marriage. Now you're for it. You defended Obama's immigration policies. Now you say they're too harsh. Will you say anything to get elected?

CLINTON: I have been very consistent. But I do absorb new information. I do look at what's happening in the world.

COOPER: Just for the record, are you a progressive, or are you a moderate?

CLINTON: I'm a progressive. But I'm a progressive who likes to get things done. And I know how to find common ground, and I know how to stand my ground, and I have proved that in every position that I've had, even dealing with Republicans who never had a good word to say about me, honestly. But we found ways to work together on everything from reforming foster care and adoption to the Children's Health Insurance Program. So I have a long history of getting things done, rooted in the same values I've always had.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Bernie Sanders on Principles & Values : Sep 27, 2015
Abortion & gay marriage secondary to addressing inequality

Q: You went to Liberty University, a fundamentalist Christian university. One of the things you said was that the audience, you knew you had a disagreement on the question of abortion and on same-sex marriage, but you asked them to put those disagreements aside and focus on the priority, which is the inequities in the economic system.

SANDERS: Well, look, I am pro-choice. I am strongly in favor of gay marriage. And I know that, at Liberty University, people there have honest disagreements with me on that issue. But what I said, look, at a time when we have a grotesque level of income and wealth inequality, when almost all of the new income and wealth in this country is going to the top 1 percent, when we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on Earth, can we not get together and talk about creating an economy that works for all of us, and not just millionaires and billionaires?

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 interview by Bob Schieffer

Mike Pence on Civil Rights : Sep 24, 2015
Religious Freedom Act is not about LGBT discrimination

The most hot-button issue of all during the 2015 General Assembly, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was signed in March. Proponents of the bill said it was designed to keep local and state laws from "substantially burdening" the deeply-held religious principles of individuals, businesses or religious institutions. Those against the bill felt it opened a Pandora's box for discrimination against minorities, especially the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) community.

"This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it," Pence said at the time. "In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than 20 years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation's anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana."

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Kokomo Tribune on Indiana Voting Records for bill SB101

John Kasich on Civil Rights : Sep 6, 2015
Government employees should comply with gay marriage ruling

Q: Mike Huckabee says that he stands by Kim Davis [the state official who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses], her decision not to issue those marriage licenses. Do you agree with that?

KASICH: No, I don't agree with him. I think, you know, the court has spoken. I believe in traditional marriage, but the court has ruled. Now, I respect the fact that this lady doesn't agree, but she's also a government employee. She's not running a church. I wouldn't force this on a church, but in terms of her responsibility I think she has to comply. I don't like the fact that she's sitting in a jail, that's just absurd as well. But I think she should follow the law.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders on Civil Rights : Sep 5, 2015
Vermont implemented ENDA 22 years ago; so should feds

Q: Despite progress, we have a ways to go with regards to LGBTQ issues in the workplace.

A: Unfortunately many LGBTQ people still feel uncomfortable or even unsafe coming out in their workplaces. And they can't be blamed--they're paid less and have fewer employment opportunities than non-LGBTQ Americans. Bernie voted in favor of the Employment Discrimination Act in 2009 to prohibit workplace discrimination as a result of sexual orientation. He commended Pres. Obama last year after he prohibited discrimination against gay and transgender federal employees saying:

"We've got to end LGBT discrimination in the workplace. Vermont did this 22 years ago when it passed one of the first state laws in the country protecting lesbian and gay workers. Congress should have acted long ago, House Republicans won't even allow a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act [ENDA] that the Senate passed last year. That's why Pres. Obama's executive order is an important step in the right direction."

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Bernie Sanders on Families & Children : Sep 5, 2015
LGBTQ values are family values

Bernie Sanders has been consistent in his belief that the LGBTQ community deserves equal rights, and has supported them long before it was politically expedient to do so.

In 1972 and 1976, when Bernie first ran for office in Vermont, he was an outspoken ally of the LGBTQ community; as a plank of his platform, he proposed the abolishment of all discriminatory laws pertaining to sexuality. In 1983, after he was elected to be mayor of Burlington, Vt., Bernie backed the city's first-ever pride march.

Throughout his decades of public service, Bernie has voted against measures that impede the LGBTQ community's rights and has supported those that protect them from discrimination.

LGBTQ Values Are Family Values: Bernie was an early supporter and continue to be a committed advocate for LGBTQ families. He has regularly fought for them to have the same rights as families formed by heterosexual couples, publicly equating family values with LGBTQ values.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Bernie Sanders on Families & Children : Sep 5, 2015
Violence Against Women Act applies to men and gays, too

The rates of sexual and domestic violence against women in this country are both shocking and tragic. Bernie believes that the rates of sexual and domestic violence against women--and men--is too high, and that "much more has to be done".

In 2012, Bernie co-sponsored the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, a bill that included additional provisions to protect LGBT victims, expand access to justice for victims on Native American reservations, and extend protection for immigrants.

After the renewal of the VAWA, Bernie said: "While we are reducing the incidence of domestic violence, much more has to be done. Too many girls and women are still suffering from domestic violence and sexual abuse and that must end."

Men are victims of domestic violence, and Bernie supports all victims of domestic violence. Although the title of this Act states that it is for women, the operative text is gender-neutral and applies to men and women, including transgender people.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Donald Trump on Civil Rights : Aug 19, 2015
After Supreme Court vote, gay marriage is a reality

Q: You say you would have liked the states, rather than the Supreme Court, to decide on gay marriage.

A: Some people have hopes of passing [Constitutional] amendments, but it's not going to happen. Congress can't pass simple things, let alone that. So anybody that's making that an issue is doing it for political reasons. The Supreme Court ruled on it [and hence only a Constitutional amendment can overrule that].

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Hollywood Reporter 2015 coverage: 2016 presidential hopefuls

John Kasich on Civil Rights : Aug 6, 2015
I attended a gay wedding; accept the Supreme Court ruling

Q: If you had a son or daughter who was gay or lesbian, how would you explain to them your opposition to same-sex marriage?

KASICH: I'm an old-fashioned person here, and I happen to believe in traditional marriage.

Q: How would you explain it to a child?

KASICH: The court has ruled, and I said we'll accept it. And guess what, I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because somebody doesn't think the way I do, doesn't mean that I can't care about them or can't love them. So if one of my daughters happened to be that, of course I would love them and I would accept them. Because that's what we're taught when we have strong faith.We need to give everybody a chance, treat everybody with respect, and let them share in this great American dream. So, look, I'm going to love my daughters, I'm going to love them no matter what they do. Because, you know what, God gives me unconditional love. I'm going to give it to my family and my friends and the people around me.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Bernie Sanders on Civil Rights : Jul 5, 2015
Right to love each other, regardless of sexual orientation

Q: On same-sex marriage, you have been way out in front when it comes to the rights of same-sex couples. What about the idea of taking away the tax exemption from any organizations, including religious ones, that do not recognize same-sex marriage?

SANDERS: I don't know that I would go there. Now, you know, we have religious freedom. And I respect people who have different points of view. But my view is that people have a right to love each other, regardless of one's sexual orientation. I voted against the DOMA act, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, way back in 1996 that was signed by President Clinton, because I think, if people are in love, they should be able to get married in this country in 50 states in America. And I strongly support what the Supreme Court recently said.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

John Kasich on Civil Rights : Jun 29, 2015
I support traditional marriage, but it's time to move on

In the wake of the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, most Republican presidential hopefuls came out swinging. But not Ohio governor John Kasich.

"I do believe in traditional marriage, but the court has ruled and it's time to move on," the Ohio governor said. Kasich was one of the original defendants in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that began in Ohio in July 2013 when James Obergefell and his partner, John Arthur James, filed a lawsuit against the state because of its refusal to recognize same-sex marriage on death certificates. But he's taking a much more cautious approach than many of his GOP presidential rivals in the wake of the court's ruling. "I think everybody needs to take a deep breath to see how this evolves," Kasich said. "But I know this. Religious institutions, religious entities--you know, like the Catholic church--they need to be honored as well. I think there's an ability to strike a balance."

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: National Review 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Apr 15, 2015
Pledged to sign Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Eight years ago, LGBT voters were hungry for Hillary Clinton to make major change on their behalf when she ran for president following two terms of anti-gay attacks under the Bush administration.

Pushing her along in making commitments to advance LGBT rights was her bruising primary with then-Sen. Barack Obama, who ultimately bested her to win the Democratic nomination.

Both were largely on the same page with major requests from the LGBT community, pledging to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and sign the Employment Non-Discrimination Act into law.

But as she begins her second attempt to win the White House, most of those requests have been accomplished after more than six years of the Obama administration, which gives her less to talk about in terms of LGBT issues.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Washington Blade coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on Abortion : Dec 10, 2014
Issues where Jeb Bush disagrees with Hillary

Where do Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton disagree on the issues? They do agree on some things, but they disagree on the core Democrat-versus-Republican list:
IssueJebHillary
Abortion Pro-lifePro-choice
Affirmative actionOpposes quotasSupports equal pay
Gay marriageOpposesPreviously opposed; now supports
School vouchers Supports along with Common CoreOpposes but charters ok
ObamaCareRepealExpand
Death penaltySupports Opposes
Second Amendment rightsSupports concealed carryBan assault weapons
Campaign finance reformNo limits but full disclosureBan soft money
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Jeb vs. Hillary On The Issues, by Jesse Gordon, pp. 227-8

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Dec 10, 2014
OpEd: Sincerely religious, unlike Bill Clinton

Hillary Clinton is a hard-core liberal (not a populist like Bill Clinton. But Hillary is sincerely religious; a member of the "religious left," which was a relevant force in the 1960s and may soon undergo a resurgence.

But Hillary's sincere religion does not apply to her stances on social issues: Hillary is fully pro-gay marriage; and fully pro-choice. Those stances are against those of the religious right, and exclude Hillary from consideration as a candidate for support. The religious left in the 1960s focused on economic issues such as welfare, and on war issues (Hillary credits 1960s Vietnam activism with converting her from Republican to Democrat).

If you are a religious conservative or a progressive and want a firebrand on social issues, that firebrand is neither Jeb nor Hillary. But both are sincere in their personal religious beliefs, and apply them to some (only some!) of their public policies.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Jeb vs. Hillary On The Issues, pp. 106,116,162,212 & 226

Seth Moulton on Civil Rights : Sep 1, 2014
Marriage equality is civil rights fight of our generation

Equality is the civil rights fight of our generation. My brother is gay, and it's fundamentally wrong that he and I don't share the same rights.

The 2013 repeal of DOMA was a good first step at the federal level towards ending marriage discrimination, but there is much more work to be done. LGBTQ citizens are still denied the right to marry in 31 states; I will fight to bring marriage equality to every citizen in America. I will also fight for the passage of ENDA to end discrimination in the workplace

Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: 2014 House campaign website, SethMoulton.com

Kamala Harris on Civil Rights : Aug 27, 2014
Eliminate "gay panic" tactic for criminal defendants

Legislative Counsel's Digest: A "gay panic" or "trans panic" defense allows a criminal defendant to claim that the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity provoked them to violence. This outrageous tactic sends the message that violence against members of the LGBT community is understandable or acceptable. These defense tactics also hurt survivors and loved ones of victims by asking the jury to find that the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity excuses the defendant's actions. AB 2501, the first bill of its kind in the nation, eliminates "gay panic" and "trans panic" as a tactic for criminal defendants, ensuring that attacks on members of the LGBT community can be seen for what they are.

Legislative Outcome: Co-sponsored by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris; 8/26/14: Passed Senate, 25-9-6; 8/27/14: Passed Assembly, 58-15-6; signed by Governor Brown

Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: California legislative voting records for AB 2501

Larry Hogan on Civil Rights : Aug 14, 2014
Respect state law on same-sex marriage (even if not my view)

To hear Maryland Democrats tell it, a victory for Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan could lead to the legalization of additional assault rifles, new limits on women's access to contraception and the clock being turned back on gay rights.

But Hogan isn't talking much about those issues on the campaign trail--and he says he respects existing state laws on guns, reproductive issues and same-sex marriage, even if they differ from his own long-held beliefs.

As he attempts an upset in a heavily Democratic state, the Anne Arundel County businessman is trying to fashion his bid around core issues that could draw voters across party lines: cutting taxes, creating jobs and expanding the economy.

Click for Larry Hogan on other issues.   Source: Washington Post AdWatch on 2014 Maryland gubernatorial race

Larry Hogan on Civil Rights : Aug 8, 2014
I evolved and will not repeal same-sex marriage law

Republican Maryland gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan said his position on marriage rights for same-sex couples has "evolved." In response to a question about whether he voted for the state's same-sex marriage law in a 2012 referendum on it that he was "originally for civil unions," Hogan responded, "I was a supporter of traditional marriage. It's an issue that I fully understand. The voters have made their decision. I support their decision and will uphold the law. I've evolved, I guess, on the issue."

Hogan said marriage rights for same-sex couples, extending in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants and other social issues "are really decided in Maryland. They have no part in this campaign whatsoever. We've been completely focused on the issues that all Marylanders are focused on right now, and that's economic issues."

"Hogan's evolution on marriage equality reflects the reality of many Marylanders who have kept an open heart and open mind on this issue," one pundit noted.

Click for Larry Hogan on other issues.   Source: Washington Blade AdWatch on 2014 Maryland gubernatorial race

Larry Hogan on Civil Rights : Aug 8, 2014
Opposes a transgender rights bill

Hogan, who was a member of former Gov. Bob Ehrlich's administration, told the Washington Post in June he would not seek to repeal Maryland's same-sex marriage law if elected governor. Hogan told the Baltimore Sun editorial board ahead of the June 24 primary that he opposes a transgender rights bill that Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law earlier this year.
Click for Larry Hogan on other issues.   Source: Washington Blade AdWatch on 2014 Maryland gubernatorial race

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Jun 12, 2014
I re-evaluated & changed my mind on gay marriage

Hillary Clinton defended her evolution on the issue of gay marriage, impatiently telling an interviewer to stop "playing with my words" after she was pressed to explain her change of heart.

Clinton now supports the right of same-sex couples to wed, but that was not the case during her time as first lady, senator, and secretary of state. When NPR's Terry Gross chalked up her changing positions to political expediency, though, Clinton pushed back.

"I think you're reading it very wrong," she said. "Just because you're a politician doesn't mean you're not a thinking human being. You gather information, you think through positions, you're not 100% set, thank goodness, you're constantly re-evaluating where you stand. That is true for me. One of my big problems right now is that too many people believe they have a direct line to the divine and they never want to change their mind about anything," she added.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Jake Miller, CBS News, "Don't Twist My Position"

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Jun 12, 2014
We have all evolved on gay marriage since 1990s

NPR's Terry Gross asked Clinton whether she was glad to see the Supreme Court strike down the Defense of Marriage Act--a law signed by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

"We are living at a time when this extraordinary change is occurring and I'm proud of our country," Clinton replied, but "that was not the case" during her president's stint in the White House. "I think that we have all evolved, and it's been one of the fastest, most sweeping transformations that I'm aware of," she said.

But after Gross pointed out that many people did support gay marriage during the 1990s, Clinton grew irritated.

"To be fair, Terry, not that many," she said. "Somebody is always out front and thank goodness they are. But that doesn't mean that those who join later--in being publically supportive or even privately accepting that there needs to be change--are any less committed."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Jake Miller, CBS News, "Don't Twist My Position"

Joe Biden on Civil Rights : Mar 1, 2014
Obama disbelieved 2012 gay-marriage support was "accidental"

Biden infuriated Obama by publicly declaring his off-message support for gay marriage, just as the 2012 campaign was entering the homestretch. Obama's team didn't buy Biden's explanation that the gay-marriage endorsement was accidental--and, until recently, Obama's team blocked Biden from doing much national media [after that event]. The freeze-out was not subtle: The V.P. was personally excluded from planning meetings he had been invited to attend 4 years earlier, and his people were treated with open contempt in the weeks following the gay marriage controversy.

Biden had no idea at the time that Obama's polling operation had begun inserting questions into focus groups about Clinton's viability as a vice presidential replacement, a revelation that surfaced only late last year in "Double Down." [An Obama aide] told me the dump-Joe polling never even led to a discussion among Obama's senior advisers (in part because Clinton seemed to offer no significant re-election benefit).

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Politico Mag profile, "Joe Biden in Winter"

Justin Amash on Civil Rights : Nov 30, 2013
Government shouldn't be defining marriage

And while Amash was an outspoken critic of the Defense of Marriage Act, arguing that such issues should be left up to the states, as a member of the Greek Orthodox Church he's personally opposed to same-sex marriage. "My position has stood since the beginning of time: I don't think government should be defining marriage."
Click for Justin Amash on other issues.   Source: Mother Jones magazine on 2018 Congress MI-3 election

Bill de Blasio on Civil Rights : Oct 22, 2013
Co-sponsored the Gender Based Discrimination Protection law

Ending Discrimination and Recognizing All Relationships: While on the City Council, Bill de Blasio co-sponsored the Gender Based Discrimination Protection law--one of the first laws in the nation to prevent discrimination against transgender New Yorkers.

He also co-sponsored the Domestic Partnership Recognition law, an important precursor to full marriage equality that required New York City to recognize same-sex marriages from other states

Click for Bill de Blasio on other issues.   Source: 2013 Mayoral campaign website, www.billdeblasio.com

Cory Booker on Civil Rights : Oct 21, 2013
Officiated same-sex marriage at first moment legally allowed

Newark Mayor Cory Booker officiated the weddings of nine gay, lesbian, and straight couples in City Hall shortly after midnight. Booker announced, "It is officially past midnight. Marriage is equal in New Jersey." Booker's office organized the 12:01 a.m. ceremony after a trial-court judge ruled that same-sex couples could begin marrying in NJ on Oct. 21.

When Booker reached the line to "speak now or forever hold your peace"--a man broke the silence. "It is unlawful in the eyes of God," he yelled, carrying a sign with bible script written on it. After the heckler had been removed from the room, Booker said, "Not hearing any substantive and worthy objections, I now will proceed with the vows."

For seven years as mayor of Newark, Booker has turned down requests to officiate weddings as a way of "protesting the painful reality that I could not marry all citizens equally. So I made a decision that I wasn't going to marry anybody until I could marry everybody."

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: Buzzfeed.com, "Booker Shuts Down Heckler," by Ruby Cramer

Cory Booker on Civil Rights : Oct 9, 2013
Supports gay marriage: We are all equal under the law

The two clashed sharply on just about every issue, including gay marriage and abortion. Booker said he supports same-sex marriage, saying "We are all equal under the law."

Lonegan said "marriage is the greatest institution made by man" because "it's about the children." Asked whether he believes gay couples should have children, he quipped: "That would be a biological phenomenon." He then added: "I have mixed feelings about that."

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: Newark Star-Ledger coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate

Cory Booker on Abortion : Oct 5, 2013
OpEd: In mainstream of NJ, supporting abortion rights

Booker and Lonegan each attacked the other with starkly different views on health care, gay marriage, abortion, education and job creation.

Lonegan was asked about his affiliation with the tea party, his support for the government shutdown and his opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

Booker's campaign is banking on the fact that Lonegan's views are far to the right of those of a majority of New Jersey residents, who support abortion and gay marriage and voted to return Pres. Obama to office.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: Newark Star-Ledger coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate

Cory Booker on Civil Rights : Oct 5, 2013
African-Americans & gays should both be equal under the law

A state Superior Court judge last week ruled New Jersey must allow gay couples to get married. Lonegan said the ruling on same-sex marriage should be made by the state Legislature or people of New Jersey, not a judge.

Booker disagreed and said that as an African-American, he would "not be standing here right now if judges didn't say everyone in America is equal under the law."

"The ability to marry the person you love is one of the most fundamental liberties in America," he added.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: Newark Star-Ledger coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate

Joe Biden on Civil Rights : May 9, 2013
I supported gay marriage and got criticized for saying so

Q: Your views on the gay marriage debate?

A: Remember, I got criticized for saying I support gay marriage. I just decided I couldn't be quiet about it anymore, and everybody was stunned that that's where the public is. And I'm not stunned; it's where the public's been for a while. Talk to any of your kids, for God's sake.

Q: Did you get blowback from the president or people in general?

A: I got blowback from everybody but the president. I walked in that Monday, he had a big grin on his face, he put his arms around me and said, "Well, Joe, God love you, you say what you think." I knew he agreed with me. It wasn't like he was in a different place.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Douglas Brinkley in Rolling Stone Magazine

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Mar 18, 2013
I support gay marriage personally and as law

Hillary Clinton endorsed gay marriage in a new video saying "that her views on the issue have evolved as a result of her experiences personally and as secretary of state," Politico reports.

Said Clinton: "I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law. Marriage is a fundamental building block of our society--a great joy and, yes, a great responsibility. To deny the opportunity to any of our daughters and sons solely on the basis of who they are and who they love is to deny them the chance to live up to their own God-given abilities."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: PoliticalWire.com, "Clinton backs same-sex marriage"

Eric Swalwell on Civil Rights : Nov 6, 2012
Full LGBT equality, including freedom to marry

I support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. This includes the freedom to marry and the freedom to openly serve in the US military. I also support the repeal of the California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: 2012 House campaign website, swalwellforcongress.com

Kirsten Gillibrand on Abortion : Oct 17, 2012
Let women make life-and-death decision about own body

Sharp distinctions were apparent Wednesday between Long and Gillibrand, who has championed same-sex marriage and women's rights. In one of the most animated exchanges, Long spoke against the mandate that President Barack Obama announced in January requiring most employers to provide health insurance that covers birth control, a move opposed by many Roman Catholic groups. "If I'm just a private person with a business, and I have faith that tells me that abortion, sterilization and contraception are evil, will I be forced to buy such a plan, to offer it to my employees?" Long asked.

Gillibrand countered that there is a movement to undermine women's basic rights. "To say that's evil shows disregard for the ability of a woman to make that personal life-and-death decision about her own body," Gillibrand said.

Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: New York Newsday on 2012 N. Y. Senate debate

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : May 9, 2012
Same-sex couples should be allowed to marry

Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer: I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I've always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I've talked to friends and family about this. I've thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I've gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2012 Presidential campaign website, barackobama.com, "News"

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : May 9, 2012
No federal laws should hinder state-based same-sex marriage

I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2012 Presidential campaign website, barackobama.com, "News"

Joe Biden on Civil Rights : May 7, 2012
I'm "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex marriage

Joe Biden became the highest-ranking government official to back same-sex marriage on Sunday, telling Meet the Press he was "absolutely comfortable" with the issue. Obama has appeared reluctant to take up the issue in an election year but has said his views are "evolving" on the subject.

The comments by Biden, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's support of same-sex marriage, opened up speculation that the White House is moving towards a new position of support for gay marriage, beyond its already stated backing for civil unions. But Obama's main political strategist played down the prospect of an imminent shift. In a conference call with reporters on Monday, he insisted that Biden's comments are "entirely consistent with the president's position, which is that couples who are married, whether they are gay or heterosexual couples are entitled to the very same liberties. When people are married, we ought to recognize those marriages and afford them the rights to which they are entitled."

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Adam Gabbatt & Ewen MacAskill in The Guardian (UK)

Elizabeth Warren on Civil Rights : Dec 10, 2011
Repeal DOMA; repeal DADT; support ENDA

Warren spokesperson Kyle Sullivan says: "I can tell you from hearing Elizabeth talk about these issues that she supports marriage equality, supports repeal of DOMA, and agreed with repeal of DADT. She also supports ENDA and believes strongly that LGBT individuals should have their rights protected."
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, elizabethwarren.com

John Hickenlooper on Civil Rights : Nov 9, 2011
Against amending Constitution to ban gay marriage

He backs legal recognition of same-sex couples. In 2004, he spoke up against efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage even though as Denver mayor he was under no obligation to address the federal issue.
Click for John Hickenlooper on other issues.   Source: WhoRunsGov.com, profile on John Hickenlooper

Elizabeth Warren on Gun Control : Aug 31, 2011
Supports gun control

Warren staked out traditional liberal Democratic positions on several big issues: She supports abortion rights, gun control, and gay marriage, but she opposes casinos. But she declined to offer specifics on where she differs with Brown or Obama.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: By Noah Bierman and Frank Phillips, The Boston Globe

Donald Trump on Civil Rights : Mar 7, 2011
No gay marriage; no same-sex partner benefits

On Thursday, Trump talked about "exploring" a presidential run, and was asked f he supports "allowing same-sex couples to marry."

Trump said "no," but didn't stop there. When asked whether gay couples should have access to "the same benefits as married couples," the mogul initially replied that his attitude on the issue was not yet "fully formed."

After thinking about it for a moment, however, Trump said: "As of this moment, I would say no and no" to gay marriage and civil benefits.

That answer may have resonated with Iowa conservatives who overwhelmingly opposed the Iowa Supreme Court's 2009 decision to overturn the state's gay marriage ban. But not in New York, home to one of the largest gay and lesbian communities in the US.

Trump was traveling Sunday and could not be reached for comment. Through a spokesman, he said only: "I'm opposed to gay marriage."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: New York Daily News, "Offends gay activist"

Joe Sestak on Civil Rights : Dec 25, 2009
Equal LGBT rights

Joe Sestak's position on the civil rights issues of the LGBT community is born out of his experience in the military, where he served alongside brave lesbian and gay service members. Having seen their dedication, their allegiance, and their sacrifices, he believes it is only fair that they receive equal rights when they return home.