In their separate but very similar plans, both Warren and Buttigieg promised to end violence against trans women of color, outlaw conversion therapy, and overturn President Donald Trump’s anti-LGBTQ policies. Both candidates also plan to get the Equality Act passed.
“Today, federal law still does not expressly prohibit firing a transgender person because of their gender identity, evicting a bisexual person because their same-sex partner moves in, or deliberately misgendering a non-binary student in the classroom,” Warren wrote in her plan. “There should be absolutely no question that LGBTQ+ Americans have equal rights under law.”
“We will share solutions big enough to meet the challenges the LGBTQ+ community faces while bringing the American people together to understand that our freedoms are bound up in each other,” Buttigieg plan reads. “This starts with an intentional dismantling of the institutionalized discrimination confronting the LGBTQ+ community. I will press for and sign the Equality Act into law as soon as it hits my desk, making anti-discrimination the law of the land.”
The candidates also both mentioned “religious freedom” laws in their plans, saying the freedom of religion should not be used to legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
“Freedom of religion is a core American value that is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution,” Buttigieg said. “The First Amendment does not allow institutions to impose their beliefs on others or cause them harm. The Buttigieg administration will conduct a thorough examination of unconstitutional religious exemption policies in the federal government, especially those deployed by the Trump administration to undermine the rights of LGBTQ+ people.”
“The freedom of worship is a core American value,” Warren similarly said. “But the Trump White House has weaponized the language of religion by giving federal agencies, government contractors, and grantees a license to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, as long as they claim they discriminated for a religious reason. Religious liberty should not be used to shield bigotry.”
Buttigieg and Warren would also end Trump’s transgender military ban. Currently, Warren is far ahead of Buttigieg in the polls, now sharing the frontrunner spot with former Vice President Joe Biden (Biden polls at 27 percent, Warren at 26.8 percent). Buttigieg falls into fourth with 5.2 percent after Bernie Sanders with 14.8 percent.
Warren’s and Buttigieg’s plans are the first explicit and exhaustive LGBTQ plans to be explicitly released among the Democratic candidates. These plans come just before the candidates discuss their plans to protect and fight for LGBTQ Americans at the LGBTQ Town Hall, appearing tonight (October 10) on CNN at 7pm.