Nine U.S. Democratic Presidential Hopefuls to Tackle LGBTQ Issues at Televised Forum

LGBTQ activists and supporters hold a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court as it hears arguments in a major LGBT rights case on whether a federal anti-discrimination law that prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex covers gay and transgender employees in Washington, U.S., October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
LGBTQ activists and supporters hold a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court as it hears arguments in a major LGBT rights case on whether a federal anti-discrimination law that prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex covers gay and transgender employees in Washington, U.S., October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Nine U.S. Democratic presidential candidates will appear at a televised town hall on Thursday focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, though top contender Bernie Sanders will miss the event as he recovers from a heart attack.

The Los Angeles event is the second major presidential forum dedicated to LGBTQ issues during the Democratic nominating campaign, following an event in Iowa last month that drew 10 of the 19 candidates vying to take on U.S. President Donald Trump.

Gay advocates have expressed dismay at the Trump administration’s record on LGBTQ issues, including a ban on transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military.

Earlier this week, lawyers for the Department of Justice argued at the U.S. Supreme Court that federal civil rights law does not prohibit employers from firing workers based on their transgender identity or sexual orientation.

The forum will include South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who would be the first openly gay U.S. president; former Vice President Joe Biden; U.S. senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar; former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke; former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro; and businessman Tom Steyer.

Ahead of the forum, both Warren – who has been rising in public opinion polls – and Buttigieg – who has spoken frankly about his own struggle with how to come out publicly as a gay man – released plans to secure equality for LGBTQ people.

Like most other Democrats, both candidates support the Equality Act, which would explicitly add LGBTQ protections to federal anti-discrimination law.

Buttigieg said he would eliminate the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, in part by restoring the White House Office of National AIDS Policy that has gone dormant under Trump.

Warren and Buttigieg both vowed to make pre-exposure prophylaxis, a drug that helps lower the risk of contracting human immunodeficiency virus, accessible to all – Warren by having the federal government manufacture it to lower costs, and Buttigieg by providing funding to ensure every patient can afford it.

“Twenty years ago, an awkward teenager at St. Joe High School in South Bend, Indiana, who didn’t know a single out LGBTQ+ student there, never would have imagined how far we would come as a country,” Buttigieg wrote in announcing his proposals. “But what does our country look like to a teenager in 2019, just starting to realize who they are?”

Thursday’s forum represents a fresh opportunity on the issue for Biden, who has seen his lead in polls wiped out by Warren’s recent surge. At last month’s event in Iowa, Biden found himself defending his LGBTQ record, including his 1993 vote for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that barred openly gay individuals from the military.

Biden later backed repeal of that policy, and while he voted for a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, he backed same-sex marriage before President Barack Obama, under whom he served.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Tom Brown)

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Tom Bodine
Member

LBGTQRSPZ any comment I make would be deemed racist or something.

Becky
Guest
Becky

Who gives a shit what you do. Dont flaunt the shit. I don’t flaunt that I like variety Grow up, Boo hoo on some one else’s time. Another attention seeking behavior. Really instead of fighting. Think about the stupidity of it all

Phoenix
Member

Allen, dress without shame? You know how many men shamelessly walk around topless? What sluts! Silly things aside (seriously, is that what you think womens rights boil down to women wanting the right to dress slutty?)…It IS about equal. You are either so used to more that you can’t imagine that anyone has less OR you feel that you should have the right to discriminate against others since you wouldn’t be impacted. People shouldn’t need to be scared they will accidently let slip at work that they are dating someone of the same sex. I talk about my family all… Read more »

William Conley
Member

So they are allowed to marry can adopt children get preferential treatment, and still they want more? What in the hell do they want exactly? They get a freaking month and parades don’t they? I mean what do they want seriously like a pedestal to stand up on high above us and look down on us in superiority? Honestly they got it pretty good and can literally ruin a person’s life and livelihood for not wanting to bake them a cake. So again explain to me what’s so damn terrible that they need more special treatment?

Steve Zinck
Member

Please explain to me how this isn’t an illegal campaign contribution.

Allen Zabel
Member

First, they wanted us out of their bedrooms.
Now, they bring their bedrooms out in public.
Like the so called, “women’s movement.”
Where they hated being treated like sex objects.
Then they dress up like sex organs and march without shame.
It’s NEVER about equal.
It’s ALWAYS, about getting more and better than others.

Mark Simmons
Member

When are they holding the townhall on the economy? Job creation? The First and Second Amendment? Uprooting the Deep State? Eliminating Pay for Play? Voter fraud?

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