Just one day before Pride Month kicked off on June 1, Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand unveiled her LGBTQ rights agenda, a plan she that believes will undo President Donald Trump's "harmful policies" against the LGBTQ community. From proposed policies concerning LGBTQ families all the way to rescinding Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military, Gillibrand's agenda is a comprehensive approach to securing equal rights for all Americans.
New York Sen. Gillibrand, a Democrat, officially entered the 2020 presidential race in March, according to The New York Times, and has been steadily announcing her policies plans. “The people of this country deserve a president who is worthy of your bravery, a president who not only sets an example, but follows yours,” Gillibrand said in her first campaign speech, which took place in front of the Trump Hotel in New York City, according to Politico. “Your bravery inspires me every day, and that is why I’m running for president of the United States.”
Since Gillibrand's speech, she has released a number of proposals, including her agenda on LGBTQ rights.
"As president, I would undo Trump’s harmful policies and defend the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans," Gillibrand penned in a post published to Medium, in which she highlighted key points about the plan. "And I’ll push for proactive policies to ensure all Americans can live free from discrimination and bigotry based on their gender identity or sexual orientation."
Gillibrand organized her agenda into four important parts:
- Equal Rights
- Families and Kids
- Health Care
On the topic of equal rights, the presidential hopeful noted that she would sign the Equality Act "immediately" if she becomes president. The bill, which she co-sponsored, would "provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service," according to the Human Rights Campaign's website.
In case you missed it, the House passed the bill back in May, but it has yet to pass in the Senate.
Another important area of concern? Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military. Gillibrand aims to immediately rescind Trump’s "hateful and harmful ban on transgender people serving openly in our military," and she intends to "end discrimination against service members in our military living with HIV," according to Lambda Legal.
As for LGBTQ families, Gillibrand has some amazing ideas to prevent discrimination against same-sex parents and LGBTQ kids in foster care. The presidential hopeful, based on her Every Child Deserves a Family Act, wants to ensure that "taxpayer-funded adoption and child welfare agencies can’t discriminate against foster or adoptive families based on their gender, sexual orientation, or anything else," according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
She continued, "I would also prevent discrimination against LGBTQ kids in foster care. And I would require insurance companies to cover fertility treatments like IVF for families, including LGBTQ couples, who can’t get pregnant independently."
Considering many insurance companies cover the costs for heterosexual couples, this would be a huge development for same-sex parents who are hoping to conceive, according to The New York Times.
For health care, one of Gillibrand's most important proposals would repeal Trump's "gag rule," which "bans U.S.-funded groups around the world from discussing abortion, forcing them to accept the restriction or reject it and lose funding," according to Reuters. In short, the gag rule is an effort to strip various health care centers from providing crucial health procedures, like abortion, to people in need.
Lastly, in terms of safety, Gillibrand would make a massive effort to reduce hate crimes in America by directing Department of Justice to "resources to tracking and prosecuting hate crimes against LGBTQ people and people of color," to name one initiative. Considering hate crimes are on the rise in America, according to NBC News, this is a critical area for LGBTQ people.
These aforementioned proposals are just some of the points that Gillibrand outlined in her agenda, which she ended by reminding readers that "LGBTQ rights are human rights." And it's this truth that should be at the forefront of every candidate's campaign because equal rights isn't an area for compromise.