A troubling night for LGBT equality at GOP debatesAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Friday, August 7th, 2015
Predictably, the first Republican presidential primary debate drew little encouragement for the LGBT community. Most of the attention on LGBT issues was negative.
According to most reports Donald Trump came out on top in the debate, gaining most of the attention, most notably when he insulted Rosie O’Donnell. Toward the beginning of the debate, moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump about his abysmal record on women. “You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, slobs, disgusting animals,” she said. While she tried to bring up the other horrific statements he’s made about and to women, he interrupted her to say, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.”
O’Donnell responded on Twitter, simply Tweeting, “try explaining that 2 ur kids.”
During the debate, Mike Huckabee defended the existing ban on transgender military service, and Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal said that as president they would put LGBT people at risk for discrimination by using their executive authority on day 1 to pass executive orders enabling taxpayer-funded discrimination.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich was applauded after saying that while he remains opposed to marriage equality, he would respect the Supreme Court’s recent ruling — the only candidate at the debates to say he would accept the Obergefell decision.
“Tonight’s comments from Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal — pledging to sign anti-LGBT executive orders on day one in the White House — sent an exceptionally troubling message to millions of LGBT Americans,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “And by defending the ban on transgender military service in offensive terms, Mike Huckabee proved once again that he’s campaigning on hate. Countless LGBT families across Ohio and the nation want to know that our next president will defend their Constitutional rights and fight for full federal equality. But sadly, tonight’s debate left far more questions than answers, and the answers we did get were deeply disappointing.”
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