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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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Class Size May Matter, But Accountability Matters More

If students take the time to think, they will realize their own potential.
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When it comes to the topic of education, decisions are often made, but not quite acted upon. On the left, we have advocates that look to fund the educational system in hope of bettering the kids’ futures. On the right, education is addressed with a degree of leniency, paired with more of an advocacy for occupational programs and trade schools.

One of the more frequently debated matters regarding education, more specifically K-12, is classroom size. For many schools, a lack of funding has caused many teachers to quit; consequentially, with less teachers, more students, inevitably, have to cram into the same classroom. The student-teacher ratio, in some schools, has gone beyond 30:1. In some cases, the overcrowding issue for a classroom is so profound that a student doesn’t have his or her own desk to sit in.

Due to this notice of classroom size increase, in correlation with declining academic performance, a considerable majority of education reformers believe that the classroom size increase is more of causation. The only issue with this argument, however, is that for a contributing factor to constitute causation, it must be the sole reason that another variable must occur. With correlation, however, there are multiple variables (more than two) that can occur within a specific time span. These variables could potentially influence one another’s behavior, but never fully dictate the outcome.

What the common argument fails to account for is accountability itself. Accountability is not something that is taught in the classroom, nor should it be. This is a crucial part to a child’s success, both in the classroom, and in real life. A perfect example of this is within a lecture hall. In a lecture hall, you could have upwards of more than 150 students in the same room, listening to and meticulously noting all of the essential details to a professor’s lecture. It is up to the student to learn the material with the tools they are given, not the teacher to hold their hand through the class.

The only responsibility of any teacher or instructor is to provide the appropriate materials and knowhow for the student to guide themselves. This prepares the student for more rigorous learning material and tasks, resulting in more favorable opportunities, both scholastic and occupational.

For the teacher to implement the right tools, however, requires that the student can and will hold themselves accountable for their success in the course. Such accountability falls back on the basis of good parenting. As education has shifted, the blame of failure for a student in a class also shifted.

The shift has taken place from the student losing their privileges and extracurricular activities, to the teacher potentially losing their job (which is especially daunting with the threat of new teachers not obtaining tenure). With the latter portion of the Millennial Generation, along with Generation Z, parents bearing excessive leniency and overall apathy have made for a widespread mindset that fails to take responsibility for itself.

It’s time for parents to be accountable for their kids, and for the kids to be accountable for their own success. A system is only as useful as those that utilize it.

Cover Image Credit: Tra Nguyen

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