Tulsi Gabbard apologizes for past LGBT remarks in new video

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who announced last week plans to run for president in 2020, issued a lengthy apology on Thursday for her past comments and stances on LGBTQ issues.

The congresswoman shared a roughly four-minute video in which she explained her shift in views on gay rights and expressed regret for previously holding beliefs she described as “wrong” and “hurtful.”

{mosads}”I grew up knowing that every person is a child of God, and equally loved by God,” she said. “I have always believed in the fundamental rights and equality of all people.

“But I also grew up in a socially conservative household, where I was raised to believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman,” she continued. “For a period of my life I didn’t see the contradiction in those beliefs.”

Gabbard previously worked for an anti-LGBTQ organization run by her father, and opposed the expansion of LGBTQ rights during her time in the Hawaii state legislature.

In her statement Thursday, she acknowledged that her father was “very outspoken” in his opposition to gay rights and that she “forcefully defended him” in the past.

“But over the years, I formed my own opinions based on my life experience that changed my views — at a personal level in having aloha, love, for all people, and ensuring that every American, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, is treated equally under the law,” she said.

Gabbard’s past views on gay rights were detailed in a CNN report published earlier this week showing her support for her father’s organization and her testimony in 2004 that Democrats “should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists.”

She has in recent days highlighted her support since joining Congress for a number of measures supportive of gay rights.

Some Democrats have defended Gabbard for changing her views, while others have criticized her over her past comments and questioned how it may affect her presidential campaign.

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