U.S. Democratic hopeful Beto O’Rourke, during a ‘pride run’ on the Hudson River in New York City yesterday June 12, took a strong stance on how he would advance the rights of LGBT+ Americans if elected president. Most notably, he stated that he would use executive powers to reverse President Trump’s ban on transgender people from serving in the United States Military.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on a run to the LGBT Memorial this morning as we celebrate Pride Month and commit to the work ahead so we can ensure there is full civil rights and full equality in this country. pic.twitter.com/AhvJyXqfbT
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 12, 2019
The candidate has a comprehensive plan which is outlined in detail on his website. The plan aims to use presidential executive powers, discussion with Congress, and allies to improve the lives of LGBT+ people.
Along with the reversal of the transgender military ban, the candidate would overturn the ‘Deploy or Get Out’ policy that has been used to discharge HIV+ servicemembers. The plan also includes protecting LGBT+ youth from conversion therapy and prioritising the research necessary to modernise the outdated blood donation requirements, including the current 1-year bar for gay and bisexual donors.
The plan would also reverse Trump’s efforts to allow federally funded adoption and foster care agencies to reject same-sex families.
The plan contained a large section that addresses violence against trans people, specifically women of color, which has been called a “national crisis” this week by TIME magazine.
O’Rourke’s plan for trans women of color includes instructing the Department of Justice to investigate violence against trans women, ensuring law enforcement agencies receive training related to implicit bias, and modernising laws to allow transgender individuals to update their name and gender on identity documents.
“The impunity with which this violence and these murders are taking place is provoking a courageous response and I’m inspired by that and that’s reflected in this plan.” O’Rourke told reporters.
O’Rourke Acknowledged the 3rd anniversary of the Pulse shooting while speaking to press about his LGBT+ rights plan: “I want to make sure part of the way we commemorate those victims and acknowledge the hatred and the homophobia that still exists in this country is to take decisive action to protect the full rights of every single one of our fellow Americans,” O’Rourke said.
Beto later in the day visited the Stonewall Inn:
After visiting Stonewall this afternoon, we know there is so much progress to celebrate but so much more to fight for. The work continues but equality will win. Thanks to @PrEP4AllNow co-founder James Krellenstein and LGBTQ+ rights champion Jarrod Freeman for joining us. pic.twitter.com/GeMCSKvtT7
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 12, 2019
O’rourkes comments on the transgender military ban come after just recently, the highest-ranking transgender woman in the British Army spoke out against the ban.
She said: “Transgender people, just like any people of a diverse background, have a huge amount to give and the armed forces need that diversity and that strength, that difference of thought that people bring to a situation.”
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Humbled to have received my MBE today from the lovely Prince William at Buckingham Palace.🙏🏼 . . It has been an incredible honour and privilege serving as a Captain in the @britisharmy for the last decade, and updating policy surrounding LGBTQ serving people.🏳️🌈❤️ . . Home to celebrate!🥳 . . #army #military #transgender #beautiful #wontbeerased #strongertogether #pictureoftheday #buckinghampalace #smile #happy #proud #cool #lgbt #london #honour #mtf #intomore #oneofthem #trans #love #life
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