Buttigieg, Warren unveil LGBTQ rights plans ahead of town hall

Buttigieg, Warren unveil LGBTQ rights plans ahead of town hall
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential hopefuls Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSenate Democrats want Warren to talk costs on 'Medicare for All' Sanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden seeks to fundraise off fact he's running out of money MORE and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash Ocasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders MORE (Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris reacts to supporter who got tattoo of her handwriting Even with likely Trump impeachment, Democrats face uphill climb to win presidency Harris campaign releases web video highlighting opposition to death penalty MORE (Calif.) on Thursday unveiled plans to promote LGBTQ rights ahead of a town hall on the issue later in the day. 

Buttigieg, who is the first openly gay major presidential candidate, plans to push Congress to pass the Equality Act if elected. The legislation, which passed the House in May, would amend the Civil Rights Act to block discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. 

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The Democrat would also establish a national mentorship program for LGBTQ youth, as well as protect the rights and safety of all LBGTQ individuals. 

And the South Bend, Ind., mayor would improve and expand health care for LGBTQ individuals, including aiming to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030 through investing in research for a cure. 

Buttigieg's plan also calls for an end to conversion therapy. 

“Twenty years ago, an awkward teenager at St. Joe High, who didn’t know a single out LGBTQ+ student there, never would have imagined how far we would come,” Buttigieg said in a statement, referring to his own experience. "When I’m President, we will implement solutions bold 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.”

Warren, meanwhile, pledged in her plan to use the first 100 days of her presidency to bring back and expand Obama-era protections for the LGBTQ community. 

The senator also calls for passing the Equality Act, as well as ensuring the LGBTQ community has access to affordable housing and affordable health care. Warren specifically advocates for the LGBTQ community to be covered under her "Medicare for All" plan. 

Warren's plan also sets the goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

For her part, Harris vows to end the ban on transgender troops serving in the military and create a Chief Advocate for LGBTQ+ Affairs in the White House.

Her plan would also allow health insurance to cover gender confirmation surgery and backs the Student Non-Discrimination Act to enact consistent protections in public schools for LGBTQ students.

The candidates' plans come hours before the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and CNN hold a presidential town hall focused on LGBTQ issues in Los Angeles on Thursday evening. 

--Tal Axelrod contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:24 a.m.