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 ButtigiegOvernight Energy: Trump sued over Pentagon funds for border wall | Lawsuit warns wall will have 'devastating' effect on environment | Judge voids oil, gas leases on 1M acres of public lands The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden looks to South Carolina to turn around campaign On the ground at CPAC: Republicans see Sanders as formidable foe MORE and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenMSNBC's Chris Matthews confuses South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate with GOP's Tim Scott Trump surveys South Carolina supporters on preferred Democratic opponent Watch live: Trump holds a rally in South Carolina MORE (Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Bloomberg campaign lobbied Yang for endorsement, possible VP offer: report Biden looks to shore up lead in SC 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.