“While Donald Trump doubled down on discrimination by picking Mike Pence, Hillary Clinton has bolstered her campaign’s historic commitment to LGBTQ equality by choosing Tim Kaine,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Having proven time and time again that they have the experience, determination, and leadership needed to move equality forward for all Americans, we are confident Clinton and Kaine will tear down the walls of discrimination that hold all of us back. The stakes for LGBTQ people in this election couldn’t be higher, and the choice for pro-equality voters couldn’t be clearer.”
In addition to supporting marriage equality, Kaine is an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act — federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our existing civil rights laws. One of Kaine’s first actions as Virginia Governor in 2006 was to sign an executive order adding sexual orientation protections to the non-discrimination policy for state workers. Kaine also recently signed onto an amicus brief in the 2nd Circuit case, Christiansen v Omnicom Group Inc., arguing that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has voted in favour of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA).
In addition to her long record as a champion for LGBTQ rights both in the U.S. and around the globe, Hillary Clinton has proposed the most robust pro-LGBTQ equality agenda of any presidential candidate in history. She has called the Equality Act her “highest priority,” and her detailed LGBTQ policy platform specifically calls for outlawing dangerous “conversion therapy” for minors, ending the epidemic of transgender violence, and supporting HIV prevention and affordable treatment, among other proposals that would advance equality and support the LGBTQ community.
Trump-Pence’s positions on LGBTQ equality stand in stark contrast with the presumptive Democratic ticket. Trump’s false claims about his own support for LGBTQ equality are belied by his own long record of opposing it. He has vowed to rescind marriage equality and pledged to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who would overturn last year’s historic Obergefell ruling. He has pledged to sign the so-called First Amendment Defense Act, which could allow individuals, many businesses, and nonprofit organizations to circumvent critical federal protections and blatantly discriminate against LGBTQ families. Trump has pledged to repeal President Obama’s executive orders, which include protections for LGBTQ employees of federal contractors, and he has verbally attacked women, immigrants, Muslims, people of colour, people living with disabilities, asylum seekers, and others for political gain. In recent weeks, Trump has reaffirmed his opposition to transgender equality, appeared alongside Tony Perkins — leader of SPLC-designated hate group the Family Research Council, and delusionally bragged about fictional support from the LGBTQ community in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Visit www.hrc.org/dumptrump to learn more about Donald Trump’s anti-LGBTQ positions.
Pence, in a now notorious interview with ABC last year, refused to answer eight separate times when asked whether businesses should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Pence became a national disgrace in 2015 for his “license to discriminate” bill — which threatened to allow businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people — and for subsequently defending the bill after an outcry from the business community and a majority of Hoosier voters.
This week, the Republican Party passed the most overtly anti-LGBTQ platform in history, with a slew of anti-equality provisions, including attacks on transgender people and a commitment to overturn nationwide marriage equality. Speakers at the Republican National Convention launched a slew of attacks on LGBTQ people, including attacks on transgender people by retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and Ben Carson. And yesterday, Trump pandered to equality voters — calling out hateful ideology while refusing to admit his own anti-LGBTQ agenda.
Photo By United States Senate (http://www.kaine.senate.gov/about) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons