RToday, President Obama announced his support of The Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders have also endorsed the Equality Act.
In contrast, the Republican presidential field has stood in staunch opposition to progress for LGBT Americans. In fact, the Republican National Committee endorsed a bill that would enshrine discrimination into law under the guise of so-called religious freedom. Democrats understand that these attempts to pass discriminatory laws have nothing to do with freedom — especially when someone can get married over the weekend and get fired on Monday just for being LGBT.
Here’s what every Republican in tonight’s main debate has said about LGBT rights:
- Marco Rubio opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and said “I’m not for any special protections based on orientation.” Rubio defended Indiana’s notorious anti-LGBT law and he opposes marriage equality. He said the U.S. Supreme Court would be “absurd” to reach the conclusion that there is a right to marry someone of the same sex.
- Rand Paul said “I don’t think I’ve ever used the word ‘gay rights’ because I don’t really believe in rights based on your behavior.”
- John Kasich said he was “very disappointed” with the marriage equality ruling, and he has not yet fixed the fact that Ohio is still a state where you can get fired from your job for being gay.
- Carly Fiorina said “I do not agree that the court can or should redefine marriage.”
- Ted Cruz said the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize marriage equality was “among the darkest hours of our nation.”
- Jeb Bush said the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling was “really disappointing” and he has endorsed anti-LGBT “religious freedom” laws.
- Donald Trump said gay marriage was “not my thing” and he said the Supreme Court justices “let us down” when they affirmed marriage equality.
- Ben Carson endorsed Indiana’s discriminatory law, said that gay marriage led to the fall of the Roman Empire, and said that prison confirms being gay is a choice.
“The Democratic Party is the party of inclusion, diversity, and progress for all Americans. The Republican Party continues to leave too many Americans behind – including LGBT Americans, who would still not be able to marry the person they love and would be subject to little if any protection from being fired just for being gay or transgender if it were up to the Republican presidential candidates. When it comes to the economy, women’s health, LGBT rights, or most any other topic, the Republican field is still living in the last century, and each of the GOP presidential candidates would bring our country backward.” — TJ Helmstetter, DNC Director of LGBT Media