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US Democratic platform makes historic pledges for LGBT+ equality

US Democratic platform makes historic pledges for LGBT+ equality

  • Racial justice, combating climate change and fighting economic inequality are also key messages.
Joe Biden.

The Democratic Party has unveiled its platform for November’s elections and it is the most LGBT+ inclusive ever.

The party makes major pledges to reverse President Donald Trump’s anti-LGBT+ policies.

Meanwhile it pledges to ban ‘conversion therapy’, pass the Equality Act and make America a world leader in LGBT+ rights.

Moreover, it recognizes the differing needs of various parts of the community in more detail than ever before. In particular it refers to ‘non-binary’ and ‘non-conforming’ people and recognizes intersectionality, talking about ‘trans people of color’, for example.

Symbolizing this commitment to tackling discrimination in the US, the opening section says:

‘We will never amplify or legitimize the voices of racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, or white supremacy.

‘Democrats will protect and promote the equal rights of all our citizens – women, LGBTQ+ people, religious minorities, people with disabilities, Native Americans, and all who have been discriminated against in too many ways and for too many generations.’

Indeed, the preamble concludes with a quote from gay black American poet Langston Hughes:

‘O, let America be America again – the land that never has been yet – and yet must be – the land where every man is free.’

Reversing Trump’s trans military ban and passing Equality Act

In particular, the Democrats promise to allow trans people to serve in the US armed forces again:

‘We will reverse the Trump administration’s hateful transgender ban,’ the platform promises.

And they add they will ‘ensure that LGBTQ+ service members and families enjoy equal respect, benefits, and care’.

Moreover the party welcomes the Supreme Court ruling that employers can’t discriminate against LGBT+ staff. However, it also wants to protect Americans from discrimination in goods and services. The platform pledges:

‘We will fight to enact the Equality Act and at last outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in housing, public accommodations, access to credit, education, jury service, and federal programs.

‘We will work to ensure LGBTQ+ people are not discriminated against when seeking to adopt or foster children.’

The party also promises to ‘protect LGBTQ+ children from bullying and assault’.

And it will reverse a Trump-era policy which attacked trans students access to bathrooms. The platform promises to ‘guarantee transgender students’ access to facilities based on their gender identity’.

Meanwhile the party also promises to tackle hate crime. The platform pledges to strengthen the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act. And it adds:

‘We will fight to end violence against transgender Americans and particularly against black

transgender women, who are disproportionately victims of assault and homicide, and will prioritize the investigation of hate crimes against transgender and non-binary people.’

Banning ‘conversion therapy’ and improving health

The Democrats’ platform also discusses the health and well-being needs of the LGBT+ community.

In particular it promises to tackle homelessness, specifically for ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth’. Moreover, it notes that ‘black, Latino, and Native American LGBTQ+ youth… too often find themselves on the streets’.

Moreover, it also promises to ban ‘conversion therapy’ – harmful and futile attempts to ‘cure’ LGBT+ people.

Likewise, it promises trans and non-binary people will be able to get official identification documents that match their gender.

Meanwhile the platform recognizes ‘LGBTQ+ youth and adults suffer from significant health disparities, including mental health and substance use disorders’.

And it condemns Trump’s discrimination against LGBT+ people in healthcare. It promises to restore protections so doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies can’t discriminate against patients because they are LGBT+.

Meanwhile the platform promises LGBT+ people and those living with HIV ‘full access’ to health care.

Federal health plans will include HIV testing and treatment and PrEP – a drug that can prevent HIV. They will also cover ‘gender confirmation surgery, and hormone therapy’.

Furthermore, the Democrats want to ensure ‘blood donation regulations are based on science, not fiction or stigma’. This will likely end the ban on all sexually active gay and bi men donating blood.

Likewise, the party also wants future ‘age-appropriate sex education’ to be ‘LGBTQ+ inclusive’.

Meanwhile, the platform recognizes that the US needs to gather better data on LGBT+ needs. In particular it says it will work to ensure the national census, held every 10 years, doesn’t undercount LGBT+ people and other minorities.

Making America a world leader on LGBT+ rights again

The Democrats will also reverse Trump-era policies to allow LGBT+ people fleeing persecution to get asylum in the US fairly.

Meanwhile, it promises to again make America a world-leader in advancing LGBT+ equality. To do so, the Democrats will pass the GLOBE Act to give LGBT+ human rights into the country’s diplomacy.

The platform adds:

‘We will amplify the voices of LGBTQ+ persons around the world and counter violence and

discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons wherever it appears.’

By contrast, Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is working to redefine human rights based on the Bible. This will likely exclude LGBT+ people.

Power of the LGBT+ vote

The platform builds on the promises presidential candidate Joe Biden made when he launched his LGBT+ campaign.

The ‘Out for Biden’ committee recognizes that mobilizing the LGBT+ vote can make a big difference – particularly in swing states.

They will be helped by Trump becoming more anti-LGBT+ as he fights for re-election and tries to appeal to his base.

The Williams Institute estimates the US has 11million LGBT+ people eligible to vote. And that 9million of them are registered to vote.

Many of the registered Democrats supported other candidates, particularly Bernie Sanders in the primaries. However, they are likely to back Biden as the Democratic candidate now.

In the 2016 presidential election, 78% of LGBT+ people voted for Hillary Clinton against just 14% for Donald Trump.

Furthermore, in the 2018 midterm elections 82% of LGBT% people voted Democrat for Congress, while just 17% voted Republican.