The 4 Presidential Candidates on LGBTQ+

The 4 Presidential Candidates on LGBTQ+

Where do the candidates stand on LGBTQ+ rights issues?
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The debates are over, and despite Pulse and HB2, the discussion over LGBTQ+ rights in the United States never came up. As a result, I’m cataloging the presidential candidates thoughts on these issues, including the 3rd party candidates.


Hillary Clinton (Democrat)

According to her website, Clinton aims to get full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans, passing an act which will prohibit discrimination against them in all sectors of public life. This would prevent laws such as HB2 or those that allow workplaces to refuse service to members of the LGBTQ+ community. She will end “conversion therapy,” which tries to make LGBTQ+ children/teens straight, and has been proven psychologically harmful to the individuals who undergo it. She will also focus on helping LGBTQ+ homeless youth, who make up a large percentage of homeless youth in the US. She also wants to upgrade service records for LGBTQ+ veterans who were dismissed due to their sexual orientation. She will also make it easier for transgender individuals to change their gender marker on their IDs, and help to stop violence toward them by giving training to law enforcement.

Her website adds that she has been a vocal ally throughout her career, citing her support of non-discrimination legislation and her speech made as secretary of state, where she declared that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights”.

Donald Trump (Republican)

On his website, Trump doesn’t have a section devoted to his view of LGBTQ+ policy, so I’m having to take from CNN and other sources. He has vowed to appoint justices to the Supreme Court with conservative values, that will remove the legalization of marriage equality and who support discrimination against transgender individuals, in bills like HB2. He himself has said he is against same-sex marriage, and while he originally agreed that transgender individuals should use the bathroom of their choice, he quickly flipped his position to being against. His running mate, Mike Pence, has long opposed LGBTQ+ rights, arguing against language in legislation that would offer them protection from discrimination. Pence also supported Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a policy which prohibited soldiers from being openly identified as LGBTQ+.

Admittedly, Trump did make a statement in regards to the shooting at Pulse, recognizing the death of LGBTQ+ Americans, however he focused more on the so-called “Islamic terrorism” that had killed them, rather than the hate crime itself.

Gary Johnson (Libertarian)

Johnson’s website says that while he wants religious liberty, he doesn’t think that should come at the cost of legal protections over the LGBTQ+ community. However, he wants a “fairness to all” policy, rather than specific legislation addressed to LGBTQ+ rights. He aims for a balance that does not allow employers, housing, or the government to discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, but that still allows religious organizations to express their freedom. According to other sources, in 2011 he supported marriage equality, with the belief that LGBTQ+ couples should be able to have civil unions but that the government should stay out of religious institutions. Then, in 2013 he was part of a group who openly opposed California Proposition 8, which asserted that marriage was between a man and a woman only.

Jill Stein (Green Party)

Stein’s website does mention LGBTQ+ individuals but says only that she would “Protect LGBTQIA+ people from discrimination” and doesn’t define any specific policies. Other sources explain that she advocated for marriage equality. She also wants to end discrimination of LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace and in their ability to get housing. In response to the Pulse shooting in Orlando, she stated that the crime showed the prejudice in our country and the need for a government that would not discriminate against them.

Unfortunately, the information on the policies of the 3rd party candidates is either not out there, or simply more difficult to find, hence the shortness of their sections.

There is the information on the candidates policies in regards to LGBTQ+ rights, which I hope you will take into consideration when you vote in the next few weeks.

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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2019 Just Means That The 2020 Election Is Coming

I don't want things to be that way, people running for President make it that way.

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The 2020 election has begun with Senator Elizabeth Warren announcing that she has formed an exploratory committee to run for president.

Other likely candidates include Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke, Michael Bloomberg, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. And those are only the people eating at the adult's table, there are other Democrats that will probably throw their hats in the ring just for some publicity.

The last time a primary began to decide the opponent for an unpopular incumbent Republican president that had lost the popular vote in his first campaign was just 15 years ago, in 2004 when John Kerry became the nominee to challenge President George W. Bush.

Kerry may have lost the election, but he did have an easy primary. Kerry beat out his early challengers and went on to easily win almost all of the primary caucuses and elections.

I do not think that 2020 will be so easy and that is due in part to 2016. The 2016 primary may have eclipsed 2008 in terms of being one of the most consequential primaries in US history.

2016 showed the ideological split within the Democratic Party, with many New Democrats, socially liberal economically conservative centrists, holding most of the power within, while there's a strong grassroots force urging the party leftwards. Critics will claim Hillary Clinton lost because she was not left-wing enough. And Bernie Sanders's surprising success shows that anybody who wants to be the nominee has to appeal to the Sanders demographic.

This article is not really here to endorse any candidate, you can read my other articles to figure out who I'm voting for, it is however here to point out just how difficult it will be to win the nomination.

A candidate has to, according to the so-called experts: be left-leaning but also be a centrist, and be able to get minorities out to vote but also appeal to some Trump voters that they think they can win over by calling out the President's divisive tactics.

Trickle-down economics and massive deregulation always throws the economy into a recession, but the question now is when will that happen? If it happens during the 2020 election it's safe to say it's over for Trump, but if a Democrat has to challenge a Republican while the economy is doing great, it will be all the more difficult. The election will turn into a debate over so-called "social" issues (assuming Trump does not take us to war).

Issues that seem to be on most Americans' minds are healthcare and immigration. The healthcare debate will turn into a debate amongst Democrats over whether or not single-payer is possible and will likely be one of the most divisive issues of the primary. Immigration will be easy, every Democrat will go the safe route and boldly proclaim that putting children in cages and letting them die is not good. This will lead to Trump accusing them of being Antifa thugs.

The road to the White House is not meant to be easy. You need to fight hard to win the hearts of Americans, unless you are a Republican then you just need to win over rich Americans and let the electoral college do the rest of the work.

But seriously, we need to start the process of finding someone that will undo the years of horror unleashed by the Trump administration and also put the country in a new direction. Someone that will help the old and the young, and all workers. It's time for a leader that works for the American laborer, not the American entrepreneur, and above all, it is time for a new president.

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