O'Rourke outlines LGBTQ rights plan, end to transgender troop ban

O'Rourke outlines LGBTQ rights plan, end to transgender troop ban
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeMexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized Mexico emerging as foreign policy challenge for Biden Beyoncé sports pro-Biden mask on Instagram MORE on Wednesday outlined measures he would take in the Oval Office to protect LGBTQ rights, including a reversal of the Trump administration's transgender troop ban.

"LGBTQ+ Americans have made incredible progress over the past decade, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of activists and advocates — but too many LGBTQ+ people still lack protection under many states’ laws and the current Administration is encouraging rather than stamping out discrimination,” the former Texas congressman said in the press release.


“We must ensure all Americans are treated equally no matter who they are or who they love," O'Rourke added.

Along with repealing the Trump administration's ban on transgender service members through executive action, the plan calls for Congress to enact the Equality Act and other legislation enshrining protections for LGBTQ Americans in federal law.

The plan would also improve the U.S. asylum and immigration systems for LGBTQ people seeking to come to the United States.

O'Rourke's announcement follows the release of a similar wide-reaching plan by Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Democratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' MORE (D-N.Y.), his fellow 2020 contender, earlier this month.

Along with provisions covered by O'Rourke's plan, Gillibrand's would also enshrine language dealing with use of public restrooms by transgender people and would recognize a third gender at the federal level.

"The LGBTQ community is not a monolith with a finite set of needs, and equal rights and freedom from discrimination should be the bare minimum we accept," she wrote on Medium earlier this month.

"As president, I will do more than defend LGBTQ rights — I will stand shoulder to shoulder with the LGBTQ community in the fight for equality," Gillibrand added at the time. "We’re in this together, because LGBTQ rights are human rights."