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Pro-LGBTQ groups hail trans question in Democratic debate
2019-12-20

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Pro-LGBTQ groups responded to a question in the Dec. 19 Democratic presidential primary that focused on violence against the transgender community.

Yamiche Alcindor, one of the moderators of the PBS NewsHour-Politico debate, asked U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders what he would do as president to pass the Equality Act and to end violence against transgender people. Sanders responded, "We need a president who will do everything humanly possible to end all forms of discrimination against the transgender community, against the African-American community, against the Latino community, and against all minorities in this country," Advocate.com noted.

Tampa Bay Times added that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she would use the office of the president to draw more attention to the issue, promising to read the names of transgender women of color who've been killed each year in the Rose Garden.

In response to the question even being asked, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David released a statement.

"Tonight, the epidemic of violence against transgender people—especially trans women of color—was for the first time meaningfully discussed on the main stage of the Democratic presidential debate," David said. "We are in a moment of crisis: our trans siblings are facing disproportionate levels of violence and are being targeted simply because of who they are. Now, more than ever, it is vital that our voices are heard and that the candidates are able to address our community directly. Thank you to Politico, PBS and the Democratic National Committee for creating space for this crucial conversation."

"With anti-LGBTQ activists planning an onslaught of false ads against LGBTQ Americans next year, it is important now more than ever for the candidates to proactively speak out against anti-LGBTQ discrimination, and tonight's debate did just that," said GLAAD President/CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a separate press release. "LGBTQ voters need to know that they have a true ally with the next president—and tonight's question about violence against transgender Americans rightfully brought to light an epidemic that continues to cripple the LGBTQ community, with 2019 being named the deadliest year on record for the trans community."

The debate—featuring seven candidates, including Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer—took place in Los Angeles.


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