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Trump gets his first Republican challenger to the presidency

Trump gets his first Republican challenger to the presidency

Republican Bill Weld

A member of the Republican party has officially announced his intention to challenge current President Donald Trump for their party’s nomination in next year’s presidential election.

Bill Weld is a Massachusetts politician, often considered a more socially liberal Republican.

He started his career as legal counsel to the United States House Committee on the Judiciary. Then he moved on to become US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

From 1991 to 1997, he served as the 68th Governor of Massachusetts. He was considered by many as a more moderate Republican leader. Some of his stances include being pro-choice and believing police officers should be prosecuted for civil rights violations.

Weld briefly left the Republican party to join the presidential ticket of Libertarian Gary Johnson as vice president in the 2016 election.

What about LGBTI rights?

Compared to some of his Republican colleagues, Weld is fairly liberal on LGBTI rights.

During his gubernatorial tenure, he signed executive orders and legislation giving domestic partnership rights to same-sex couples and protecting LGB students.

When Hawaii became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 1993, Weld said as governor he would recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

In 2013, he also signed an amicus brief with 130 other Republicans in favor of marriage equality.

He also endorsed Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy in 2008 against John McCain. Four years later, however, he endorsed the Republican candidate Mitt Romney. This led some to question his party loyalty.

Some LGBTI advocates, however, have said he’s inconsistent on LGBTI rights.

In a 2005 interview, re-printed in the Observer, Weld reportedly said he wasn’t in favor of gay marriage, but touted his pro-LGBTI governorship.

And what about Trump?

According to GLAAD, Trump recently surpassed 100 attacks on the LGBTI community.

His administration has implemented numerous anti-LGBTI policies, from the transgender military ban to revoking protections for trans students.

Weld is the first Republican to official challenge Trump.

While it is still early in the election (primaries will not be held until next spring), many candidates are starting their campaigns and traveling the country, appearing at rallies and giving interviews.

See also

All the Democrats running for President in 2020 and their LGBTI records

Anti-LGBTI hecklers are showing up at Pete Buttigieg rallies

68% of American voters are enthusiastic or comfortable with a gay president