- Cory Booker: The New Jersey senator called violence against the LGBTQ community a “national emergency” and noted that he has proposed an “Office on Hate Crimes and White Supremacy.” Booker said: “We live in a country where we still see regular, everyday violence and intimidation and bullying against Americans, because of who they are.” READ MORE
- Joe Biden: The former vice president spoke out about the need to root out discrimination, homophobia and the impact that a country’s approach to gay people should have on American foreign policy. Biden said in 2012 that he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage, a comment that put him – at the time – ahead of then-President Barack Obama. READ MORE
- Pete Buttigieg: The South Bend, Indiana, mayor said he would overhaul rules prohibiting gay men who have had sex within the last year from donating blood — recalling a poignant moment when his office led an annual blood drive. “So when I’m president, I will direct the FDA to revise the rules based on evidence, based on individual risk factors, and without regard to the prejudice that has driven the current policy.” READ MORE
- Elizabeth Warren: The Massachusetts senator said she was wrong, in 2012, to say “I don’t think it’s a good use of taxpayer dollars” to pay for a transgender inmate’s gender confirmation surgery. “It was a bad answer,” she said. “And I believe that everyone is entitled to medical care and medical care they need. And that includes people who are transgender who, it is the time for them to have gender affirming surgery. I just think that’s important.” READ MORE
- Kamala Harris: The California senator said that she, as president, would make ending HIV/AIDS within a generation a priority, telling an audience that she learned about the impact of the impact of the virus from her first campaign manager. She also vowed to tackle homelessness among LGBTQ youth. READ MORE
- Beto O’Rourke: The former Texas congressman said that conversion therapy, a widely discredited practice that seeks to change the sexual orientation of gays, lesbians and bisexuals, “should be illegal” because it is “tantamount to torture.” He said: “As president, we will seek to outlaw it everywhere in this country.” READ MORE
- Amy Klobuchar: The Minnesota senator said that so-called conversion therapy should be illegal because it “makes no sense at all.” Klobuchar also said she would recognize a third gender marker option on a federal level. READ MORE
- Julián Castro: The former Housing and Urban Development secretary said, as president, he would make foreign aid contingent on how the rights that other nations afford to the LGBTQ community. He also called on his successor, Ben Carson, to resign over disparaging remarks the Trump appointee made about transgender people. READ MORE
- Tom Steyer: The businessman said he would put measures in place to increase oversight over health care access to LGBTQ asylum seekers if elected president. “I think it’s absolutely critical for the United States of America to treat people in a humane and decent fashion,” he said. READ MORE
Joe Biden Playacted Like He Was Gay at CNN’s LGBTQ+ Town Hall
FROM SLATE: Joe Biden started his spiel at Thursday’s Democratic presidential town hall on LGBTQ issues with a disclaimer. All the candidates support LGBTQ rights, Biden warned, so there wouldn’t be much space between their positions. Any difference between the candidates, he said, would be in their “degree of emotional concern.”
To prove the depth of his own emotional concern for queer people, Biden decided to act like one. He flirted with multiple men, joked that he was about to come out as gay, and at one point, clasped Anderson Cooper on the shoulder and mimed giving him a kiss. READ MORE
Everything You Missed From The CNN LGBTQ+ Town Hall
Watch everything you missed from the CNN LGBTQ+ town hall, including interruptions, apologies, and flubs.
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