Buttigieg, Harris Drop LGBTQ Policy Platforms Ahead of HRC Town Hall

Both candidates join Warren in unveiling a robust platform for policies concerning LGBTQ Americans.

On the heels of Elizabeth Warren’s comprehensive LGBTQ policy proposal, out White House hopefuls Pete Buttigieg and senator Kamala Harris have followed suit with robust plans of their own.

Buttigieg’s LGBTQ policy platform, titled “Becoming Whole: A New Era for LGBTQ+ Americans,” clocks in at 18 pages and addresses key topics like passing the Equality Act; improving access to queer-affirming health care; protecting LGBTQ families; honoring out service members; and more. It also includes anecdotes from LGBTQ Buttigieg supporters about their struggles as openly queer people living in America.

“Each of us has our own story,” Buttigieg wrote. “And when I’m president, I will use the power of the presidency to tear down the walls that have excluded far too many LGBTQ+ people for far too long.

His plan’s questionable title aside, the South Bend, Ind., mayor proposes rescinding some major anti-LGBTQ Trump administration policies, including the now-infamous transgender military ban and various policies that discriminate against same-sex parents hoping to foster or adopt. Buttigieg also posits restoring White House leadership on HIV/AIDS policy, which Trump has ditched and defunded.

Harris’ plan, simply titled “Kamala Harris’ Plan to Provide Equality and Dignity for All,” also touches on all of the aforementioned issues. A standout proposal from her plan is her idea to “direct the Chief Advocate for LGBTQ+ Affairs to work with transgender partners to shape new funding initiatives to support transgender persons.” Those initiatives include establishing a national transgender fellowship to “help lift up promising young leaders within the transgender community and provide them with skills and training to effect meaningful and long lasting change.”

“Right now, far too many members of the LGBTQ+ community experience unequal treatment—from the worker who is fired for who she loves to the trans student whose school refuses him access to the appropriate bathroom,” Harris’ team wrote. “Discrimination is wrong, and Kamala will fight tirelessly to end it.”

Warren, Buttigieg, and Harris’ policy proposals all address similar key topics, although the three candidates do get into varying degrees of detail. On the topic of surgeries on intersex infants, for instance, Warren notes that she will “ensure that intersex and transgender children have a say in their health care, especially when it comes to decisions that affect whether their bodies match their gender identity.”

Harris says her health care plan will cover “gender confirmation surgery and other gender transition health services,” but never mentions intersex people of any age.

Buttigieg, meanwhile, explicitly vows to “ban medically unnecessary genital surgeries on intersex infants and children”:

In the United States, 1.7% of babies cannot be easily categorized as male or female at birth. Some intersex children are subject to medically unnecessary genitalia-altering surgeries that can be so physically and psychologically harmful that the United Nations has deemed them human rights violations.

View PDFs of Warren, Buttigieg, and Harris’ full LGBTQ policy proposals—and keep an eye out for these three and other Democratic White House hopefuls at tonight’s HRC and CNN LGBTQ Town Hall.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella