Gabbard worked for anti-LGBTQ group run by her father: report

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who last week announced her plans to run for president in 2020, previously worked for an anti-LGBTQ organization run by her father and spoke out against a civil union bill during her time in the Hawaii state legislature.

CNN’s KFile reported late Sunday that Gabbard cited her work “backing traditional marriage” during her run for the state legislature in 2002.

Gabbard responded to the CNN report saying she regretted her past views and that if elected president she would “continue to fight for equal rights for all.”

{mosads}CNN reported that Gabbard worked for her father’s organization, the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, which spent money to oppose pro-gay lawmakers and backed a 1998 amendment that reserved marriage for opposite-sex couples. The organization also promoted gay conversion therapy, a practice that is outlawed in many states.

The report notes that Gabbard continued to oppose the expansion of LGBTQ rights during her time in the state legislature. She testified in opposition to a civil union bill in 2004, the news outlet reported, saying that Democrats “should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists.”

In her statement to CNN following the publication of the story, Gabbard said she has voted in Congress to pass legislation that expands LGBTQ rights.

“I’m grateful for those in the LGBTQ+ community who have shared their aloha with me throughout my personal journey,” Gabbard told CNN.

“Much work remains to ensure equality and civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ Americans and if elected President, I will continue to fight for equal rights for all,” she added.

Gabbard, 37, announced on Friday that she is running for president, wading into what is expected to be an extremely crowded field of Democratic candidates.

A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she listed access to health care, criminal justice reform and climate change as key issues on which she will focus.

Tags gay conversion therapy Hawaii LBGTQ rights Tulsi Gabbard
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