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Will Tulsi Gabbard’s Anti-LGBT Past Sink Her Presidential Candidacy? And Should It?

Most politicians have evolved on gay issues. But not all were directly connected to anti-gay organizations.

Tulsi GabbardMike Segar/REUTERS/NewscomDemocratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced her candidacy for president last weekend with an emphasis on reducing America's involvement in foreign wars. That itself has drawn criticism, as the current political climate has led a chunk of the Democratic establishment to see any scaling back of the U.S.'s military presence in countries like Syria as some sort of gift to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But beyond that, Gabbard has a legitimately troubling family history of opposition to LGBT rights. That background flared up this week as her candidacy received coverage, and yesterday she released a video fully apologizing for her history of anti-gay activism.

Gabbard and her family didn't just oppose same-sex marriage in the late 1990s and early part of the millennium. They were politically active in an organization, The Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values, that worked to amend Hawaii's constitution to prohibit the legal recognition of same-sex couples. The organization argued that homosexuality was subversive and dangerous, and Gabbard's father endorsed conversion therapy to turn gay people straight. (Her father loudly opposed gay rights, even hosting a radio show called Let's Talk Straight Hawaii.) Gabbard acknowledged her work with the organization when she ran for state office when she was 21.

Gabbard's views on LGBT issues have evolved since then, as have those of many politicians, both Democrat and Republican. But since her past went a lot further than just simply expressing opposition to gay marriage, she's got a longer hill to climb. In 2012 she took responsibility and apologized for her anti-gay background in a meeting with Hawaii's Democratic Party LGBT Caucus. She has gotten endorsements from the Human Rights Campaign, the top LGBT national lobbying organization, and during her time in Congress she has supported many pro-gay pieces of legislation.

But apparently that's not stopping some rather fliply dismissive comments now that she's actually running for president. I was baffled by this tweet from journalist Soledad O'Brien on Twitter, acting as though Gabbard has just suddenly changed her positions because she's running for president:

I found O'Brien's response particularly odd because, well, as a journalist, you'd think O'Brien would appreciate candidates who actually directly address the criticisms they've been getting from the media. And you might think that O'Brien, as a journalist, might have checked to see if this was even a new development from Gabbard before she tweeted. It's not, and Gabbard now has a lengthy legislative record we can examine to decide whether her votes actually match her transformation. (They do.)

So I responded to O'Brien, observing: "Gosh, I hope nobody is ever similarly dismissive to any wisdom you've picked up as you've gotten older. I've had to forgive many, many people's less-than-stellar grasp of LGBT issues." (And this is true. When Proposition 8 passed in California in 2008, banning recognition of same-sex marriage, I had several professional acquaintances who voted for it. I worked through it. I learned to craft better arguments. It's what being a politically engaged adult is all about.)

To my surprise, O'Brien replied, and we had a brief exchange:

Twitter exchangeTwitter

I still find O'Brien's response to be weird and somewhat telling. Gabbard's responding to actual criticism and dealing with an issue that could sink her chances of a Democratic nomination. That's what candidates are supposed to do. Should she have ignored it? When Hillary Clinton ran for president, she also needed to contend with her previous record of opposing legal recognition of gay marriage, and to win over older LGBT voters who remembered the calculating politics of President Bill Clinton's era.

But Gabbard is also a bit of an outsider among the Democrats, potentially serving as this run's Bernie Sanders–esque, thorn-in-the side candidate. (She supported Sanders in 2016.) And so we get these weird, flippant, dismissive responses intended to try to shut down even the possibility of engagement or discussion.

Maybe Gabbard's past ties to anti-gay activism will make her radioactive to voters in the Democratic primaries. She may have gotten the Human Rights Campaign's support, but she has not been able to earn the trust of that LGBT caucus in her home state. Though even there, it turns out that some people are upset that her evolution is much less about suddenly deciding that gay marriage is awesome and more about realizing that she doesn't believe she should be using the government to force her religious beliefs on others. Apparently, the fact that she's voting in favor of every pro-gay piece of legislation isn't enough for some if she doesn't also feel the right things in her heart.

I think that's silly, stupid nonsense. When people with conservative backgrounds decide that it's wrong to use government power to restrict people's private relationships, that's a big win for individual liberty and for LGBT people. Stop looking for the affection and blessings of the politically connected, and focus on making sure they support the right policies.

Photo Credit: Mike Segar/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • $park¥ is Tuipa||

    Will Tulsi Gabbard's Anti-LGBT Past Sink Her Presidential Candidacy?

    Depends on what she offers for penance.

    And Should It?

    Yes if her possible followers want to be consistent. But consistency is not real big among them.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Yes if her possible followers want to be consistent. But consistency is not real big among them."

    Naturally, they aren't as consistent as Hillary's supporters were who denounced the Clinton's for DOMA

  • Just Say'n||

    Also, very well done article Scott. Gabbard may not be the perfect candidate, but she is a breath of fresh air on foreign policy and one of the most frequent allies of Amash, Massie, and Paul on that front.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Agreed.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Well, she seems relatively less insane than your typical Democrat politician. That is damning with faint praise but it is something.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Her policies look good so far. We'll see what else emerges. I'm waiting for an analysis of her economic positions.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    When will she apologized for supporting Comrade Sanders? A far greater crime against freedom, no?

  • JesseAz||

    Flying to Syria to go buddy buddy with Assad and deny he ever used chemical weapons is good policy?

  • Conchfritters||

    Did she go over there and give him a blow job or something? Who the fuck cares? Three more members of the US military just died there in a suicide bombing - hopefully the last three.

  • JesseAz||

    I forgot. Who gives a fuck of foreign dictators gas women and children. Over there. Just dont show us the images over here while we are eating pizza.

  • Sevo||

    JesseAz|1.18.19 @ 9:08PM|#
    "I forgot. Who gives a fuck of foreign dictators gas women and children. Over there. Just dont show us the images over here while we are eating pizza."

    I guess you do, but I don't see a dateline from Syria. Are you hoping that we'll pay others to fight the war you want?

  • Mickey Rat||

    The LGBT Inquisition turns on a Democrat. Will her auto de fe be adequate to save Gabbard or will she be burned at the stake as being a heretic and infidel on her heart?

    Get the popcorn out!

  • buybuydandavis||

    Normally I love the squeals of anguish as someone on the Left is devoured by the crocodile they've spent their lives feeding, but Tulsi seems less full of shit than most, so I'm not warming up the popcorn. Maybe it's just because she's attractive.

  • ||

    Frankly, I don't mind the LGBT political machine turning on a Democrat, I just wish they were less reflexively anti-Republican.

  • Bowerick Wowbagger||

    She'll be crucified for this by a non-trivial chunk of progressives. For some of those folks penance doesn't matter.

  • juris imprudent||

    You must prove how truly you now love big brother.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Any sign of repentance or contrition is just lunged at more viciously.

  • Just Say'n||

    Basically, anyone who opposed gay marriage in the past or worked to subvert gay unions should be disqualified for the presidency. But, Obama already was president and Hillary lost, so I'm not sure why we are discussing them.

    Tulsi's real sin here is that she is not a warmonger and considering that the Democratic Party is now the more belligerent of the two with regards to foreign policy they dislike her as much as the 2004 GOP hated Ron Paul.

    But, it's cute that we pretend like that's not the real issue here

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Tulsi's real sin here is that she is not a warmonger

    That, and not kissing Hillary's ring. Even though fruit loops like AOC and Rashida Tlaib are rapidly becoming the Dems' "Tea Party" version, the party is still dominated by Clinton Creatures and will remain so for at least another Presidential cycle or two.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Even though fruit loops like AOC and Rashida Tlaib are rapidly becoming the Dems' "Tea Party" version"

    And they are not anti-war. People forget that when Democrats took the House in 2006 they put up a lot of anti-war congress members and Tulsi was part of that class. In the most recent election, the Democrats put up a lot of former CIA members and former DOD members who beat Republicans who were less hawkish.

  • TnO||

    OMG. Did you vote for Hillbot? So .... why?

  • BLPoG||

    I wonder if the next time Reason publishes about some libertarian's objectionable views/statements from 30+ years prior, the article will contain nuance and note evolving views (or something similar) or it will just be a series of undignified, self-righteous pot shots?

  • Just Say'n||

    Depends on who is funding said libertarian. Some get to skate now that they're on the right payroll

  • EscherEnigma||

    There has to be a libertarian worth talking about first, so I'm not sure you should worry.

  • Nardz||

    I noticed that too.
    God forbid they cover a conservative, or even moderate called a conservative, with nuance and forgiveness based on evolution.
    But a progressive?

    I'm not surprised though.
    Running cover for progressives is what Reason is all about.

  • KevinP||

    Youtube compilations: Remember When The Democrats Opposed Gay Marriage?


    Quotes:
    I believe that marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman. - Senator Hillary Clinton, D-New York

  • Barnstormer||

    Two things:

    1. "Will Tulsi Gabbard's Anti-LGBT Past Sink Her Presidential Candidacy? And Should It?" Why ask us? We don't get to decide. It's up to the twitterverse.

    2. Referring to Soledad: "...any wisdom you've picked up as you've gotten older...." From my perspective, she has done quite the opposite.

  • Just Say'n||

    The funniest part was when Scott referred to Soledad as a "reporter". That was hilarious

  • Just Say'n||

    I took it as a backhanded remark. I snickered

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Hillary was also anti-gay at one point. She also called a former high ranking KKK member a mentor.

    If you get popular enough, they will ignore the evil.

  • ThomasD||

    Winning cures everything.

    Unless you defeated the Hag.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Well, he did golf a few times with her husband...

  • buybuydandavis||

    "former"?

  • Just Say'n||

    "Though even there, it turns out that some people are upset that her evolution is much less about suddenly deciding that gay marriage is awesome and more about realizing that she doesn't believe she should be using the government to force her religious beliefs on others."

    It's fucked up that it's not enough to just say "live and let live". The bigots are in the LGBT community at this point.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Yup.

  • ||

    Isn't the process for vetting 30-yr.-old sins history testifying at your job interview in front of a Senate subcommittee that you will/won't submit to a(nother) FBI investigation?

  • Bearded Spock||

    I'm not certain it's a very good idea for LGBT folks -- who make up, at most, 3-5% of the population -- to trust any politician who "evolves" on gay rights issues.

    Sure, they're your friends now when they want by our votes and money -- but will they be your friends 30 years from now, when Muslims are projected to comprise a even greater percentage of the population than LGBT?

    Current trends in Europe suggest not.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Yep. With allies like Democrats, LGBT people need friends like this.

  • buybuydandavis||

    See the European Left on Jews for details.

  • ||

    May early gay-rights advocates were Jews. My hypothesis is that the "side" (i.e. the Left or the Right) that the majority of crazy falls into changes every fifty years or so. Right now most of the madness is on "the Left", in the late Fifties and early Sixties it was on "the Right". Give it a few years it should even out (before again going pear-shaped).

  • Rich||

    Apparently, the fact that she's voting in favor of every pro-gay piece of legislation isn't enough for some if she doesn't also feel the right things in her heart.

    I think that's silly, stupid nonsense.

    Apparently you're not a Democrat.

  • DesigNate||

    That's not necessarily a good thing either. Statistically at least some of that legislation was anti-liberty.

  • juris imprudent||

    that's a big win for individual liberty

    And there is your misunderstanding; the people complaining have no desire for individual liberty, they value group conformity.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Gosh, I hope nobody is ever similarly dismissive to any wisdom you've picked up as you've gotten older."


    She's 37, a Millennial. She hasn't gotten that much older not, presumably, that much wiser.

    That said, I find the comparisons to Clinton to be as silly as the "it's the same position Obama had in 2008!" There's a world of difference between supporting all sorts of stuff but stopping short of marriage itself, and opposing marriage and everything else too. Pretending they're comparable doesn't fool many people.

    That said, before Shackford sings her praises he should remind himself that most of that "pro-LGBT" legislation she's on-board with is stuff he's against. So him singing her praises sounds more like opportunistic sniping on liberals then any sincere interest.

    And that said, her real unforgivable crime is talking about the 2020 race in January of 2019. It's not needed or desired for politicians to spend two years campaigning for a four-year term. It's ridiculous and is a custom that needs to die in a fire.

  • Just Say'n||

    "that "pro-LGBT" legislation she's on-board with is stuff he's against."

    Is there any pro-LGBT legislation anymore that is not statist?

    "So him singing her praises sounds more like opportunistic sniping on liberals then any sincere interest."

    If you don't understand why from a libertarian perspective Gabbard is an appealing candidate, you may not know Tulsi's voting record all that well. Amash and Massie seem to like Gabbard a lot.

    "And that said, her real unforgivable crime is talking about the 2020 race in January of 2019. It's not needed or desired for politicians to spend two years campaigning for a four-year term."

    Her unforgivable sin is being anti-war. Let's stop the farce

  • EscherEnigma||

    Is there any pro-LGBT legislation anymore that is not statist?


    That's your word, not mine. But feel free to actually follow Shackford's link and determine if any of the pro-LGBT legislation she supported meets your standards of "not statist".

    If you don't understand why from a libertarian perspective Gabbard is an appealing candidate [...]


    First-up, I can see why some of what she's doing might "appeal" to y'all while also think your support is insincere and just opportunistic sniping. They aren't mutually exclusive.

    That said, if it was Gabbards v. Trump in November 2020, would you vote for her? If not, then why should I feel the least bit ashamed for demoting your concerns from "sincere" to "opportunistic"?

    Her unforgivable sin is being anti-war. Let's stop the farce


    If you want to ding her for that, go ahead. I didn't and won't.

  • Just Say'n||

    "First-up, I can see why some of what she's doing might "appeal" to y'all while also think your support is insincere and just opportunistic sniping. They aren't mutually exclusive.

    That said, if it was Gabbards v. Trump in November 2020, would you vote for her? If not, then why should I feel the least bit ashamed for demoting your concerns from "sincere" to "opportunistic"?"

    Yes. Many libertarians were praising Gabbard for years (particularly the anti-war side of libertarianism). If it's Gabbard or Trump, I personally, would prefer Gabbard. But, to each his own (I just know that if the LP nominates Weld there is no way I'm going to consider voting for them).

    "If you want to ding her for that, go ahead. I didn't and won't."

    I'm not dinging her for that. That's her most appealing quality. Other Democrats are dinging her for that, because they are the war party.

  • ThomasD||

    War and sanctimony.

    Never forget the sanctimony.

  • Dizzle||

    She's already on the Medicare for all train and will probably hop aboard whatever other train aoc and the bernie bros say we should all be woke about in 2020.

    Ladies a socialist goof, with a more terrible past than i ever realized. Go us.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    She's not getting the nomination.

  • ||

    "Is there any pro-LGBT legislation anymore that is not statist?"

    Even someone as pro-gay as me thinks it best to shutter most of the national LGBT advocacy groups to just focus more on local politics and community service.

  • JFree||

    It's not needed or desired for politicians to spend two years campaigning for a four-year term.

    Re-election is as close to an electoral certainty as you can get. So unless a sitting Prez is primaried (whether they win or lose), they will be re-elected by the voters. If it wasn't for the 22nd amendment, the US voter would have long ago acquiesced to an electoral monarchy.

    What this means is that 2020 is irrelevant for the Dems since Trump ain't gonna be primaried. But a term that stretches from 2024-2032 is worth it for Dems to jockey for

  • TnO||

    But you voted for Obama, right? Why?????

  • ||

    Gabbard's views on LGBT issues have evolved since then
    ...
    When Proposition 8 passed in California in 2008, banning recognition of same-sex marriage... I worked through it. I learned to craft better arguments.
    ...
    it turns out that some people are upset that her evolution is much less about suddenly deciding that gay marriage is awesome

    Scott, whatever you learned after being defeated by Prop 8, it apparently deleted the word 'evolution' down to it's basal meaning from your brain.

    Some might call changing your mind based on constant social pressure and rigorously enforced social norms a form of brainwashing or, at the very least, and egregious form of oppression but, as a gay man, you'd never employ or fudge definitions to play down others' employment of such tactics, right?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Gabbards already might have a Constitutional qualification problem.

    Samoans are US Nationals but not necessarily US Citizens and possibly not considered natural born citizens.
    Why Are American Samoans Not U.S. Citizens?

    IIRC her parents are both US Citizens but she was born April 12, 1981, in Leloaloa, American Samoa. Natural born citizen requirement tends to prevent dual citizenship loyalty to another nation. She might not have a qualification problem either.

    I hope we can discuss her qualifications rationally unlike Obama's qualification question.

  • Just Say'n||

    You just hate her because she's a Democrat. She's better than 90% of the Republicans

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    That's like saying ass cancer is better than 90% of the cancers.

  • JesseAz||

    She shifts her views to prevailing winds faster than Hillary. But at least you are admitting you're a Democrat now.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No. No she's not.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Mccain was born to two US citizens in the Canal Zone, so Congress needed to fix his natural born citizen status.

    She might be unqualified. Lefties cannot discuss the constitution without flipping out because they hate the constitution and its restrictions.

  • Mickey Rat||

    With what that article says, if she were considered Samoan, she should not be in Congress. However, since her parents are US Citizens, this would be a desperate red herring.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    What would even be the requirement for citizenship if not having two citizens as parents at the time of your birth?

    Seems like that is about as high bar as you could set, unless you want to have citizenship be purely something one applies for as an adult.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Natural born citizen is not defined in the constitution.

    The Founders clearly were concerned about other national loyalties.

    Being born to two US citizens with a US state is clearly as natural norn citizen as you can get.

    Outside of that, Congress has passed numerous laws over the centuries to define what natural born citizen consists of.

  • ThomasD||

    I seem to recall a fairly recent cause for concern regarding a candidate who was born of two American citizens abroad...

  • JesseAz||

    The concerns were brought up for both McCain and Cruz. Let's not pretend only conservatives go down this dumb road.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Constitutional qualifications are Not dumb to some of us.

    If a candidate cannot even qualify for office with the few qualifications and they defensive about it, then fuck them. They are just trying to usurp the constitution as far as I am concerned.

    Traitors to the constitution.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Congress does not have a natural born citizen qualification.

    Congress has a state residency and age qualification.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    ". Natural born citizen requirement tends to prevent dual citizenship loyalty to another nation."

    No, it doesn't.

    Birthright (natural born) citizenship is the easiest way to acquire dual citizenship. Parents from a foreign country have child born in the US.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Your lack of citations is bery convincing.

  • JFree||

    her parents are both US Citizens

    That makes her natural born - no matter where in the world she was physically born. From the 1790 Naturalization Act (the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States. to the present - jus sanguinis has ALWAYS been the law of American citizenship (like most other countries in the world).

    The 14th Amendment ADDED jus soli as a category of citizenship but it didn't eliminate jus sanguinis

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Luckily, Congress has added new immigration laws to address the issue since then.

  • JFree||

    And they all still include jus sanguinis citizenship.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Act of 1790 was repealed by the Naturalization Act of 1795, which extended the residence requirement to five years, and by the Naturalization Act of 1798, which extended it to 14 years. The 1798 act was repealed by the Naturalization Law of 1802.

    Poor JFree. Does not even know what repealed means.

  • Thomas O.||

    And wouldn't American Samoa - an American territory - be considered part of the "jurisdiction thereof"?

  • spork||

    Yeah well her mom is from Indiana (not India), though mom is where she picked up (literally picked it in her early teens) her Hindu religion. Mom is white. Her dad is a devout Catholic and is of American and Somoan stock. The teachings of Cathol (hat tip to Izzard) are the genesis of her anti-gay stuff, though the Hindu faith has some factions that make the Catholics look like SJW's.

    I like Gabbard personally. Check out her appearance on Rogan. Zero derp. I mean, beyond the whole anti-war stuff we don't line up on a whole lot politically, but given the choice between the Dem field and Orange Literally Hitler, I'm with her. She is good at winning elections, good at speaking publicly, good looking... Catty old Dem shrews and frothing leftists will definitely be firing all guns but I feel she has a shot at getting the nod and becoming The TrumpSlayer.

    My extremely anti-Trump lifelong Republican mother-in-law said she thought her ethnicity and religion would sink her in the primaries and if not there, the general. If you watch her, though, she comes across as a white-mutt American. I haven't heard any nutty intersectionalist derp from her. Maybe "aloha" is in the ballpark (and I'm not sure it is a good slogan for a national campaign).

    I would rather not-vote-for her than not-vote-for anyone else that appears to be running.

  • JesseAz||

    Her dad is part of the SIF cult.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yeah an anti war progtard is better than Trump..........

    FFS

  • Nardz||

    "she has supported many pro-gay pieces of legislation."

    Wtf is pro-gay legislation (no time to click link now), and why should it even be a thing?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Laws that punish anyone for contradicting or offending a homo. Who are entitled to anything they want and are given the special right to not see or hear anything that might offend them.

  • Jalene||

    I'm old enough (i.e., not a millennial) to remember when nearly all politicians opposed everything LGBT. Somebody cue up the greatest hits from politics in the 80s, please. LOL. It didn't matter which of the two main parties someone was in -- the majority in both parties were actively opposed. I suspect that many in the pro-LGBT camp now do not personally give a crap about LGBT activism but merely find it politically expedient to say they do care. So while some people do genuinely change their views over time, some are simply toeing the party line. Which of those two Gabbard falls under, I really couldn't say. Honestly, I don't really care. I think Gabbard's chances of securing the nomination is less than nil. But then I thought the same thing about Trump, so clearly I'm an idiot.

  • Nardz||

    Some topics on which Reason silence is... telling:

    -Yellow Vests demonstrating for 10 weeks, military force being brought out
    -the Brexit shitshow and looking like likely redo of the referendum, because fuck the plebs
    -FBI FISA circus and the very apparent conspiracy, involving the 44th president as well, to shred the constitution and do things that would unimaginable to even Nixon

    Progress uber alles

  • 68W58||

    Yes to all of these, particularly the last two. It's stunning to watch the Brits foul up Brexit (probably intentionality) and I wonder if the public in the U.K. will respond in any meaningful way. As per the ongoing Muellar farce it looks like that was SOP for the previous administration, but few in the media seem to take notice, wouldn't be polite to point out Obama's corruption.

  • perlchpr||

    I wonder if the public in the U.K. will respond in any meaningful way

    With what? They don't even have pointy kitchen knives now.

  • Dillinger||

    i'd vote for her if she'd tweet back "Hey Soledad fuck you."

  • ||

    No kidding.

    Was Obama 'evolving' ever 'problematic' for her? Shoot, didn't he hang out with terrorists and socialists? That's just as bad if you ask me. But did anyone ever demand he apologize for that?

    Never apologize. Even if you said something in the past that is now seen as problematic. Let sleeping dogs lie for fuck sakes.

    This digging up of people's past is just retarded.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Troubling and Problematic are the hobgoblins of simple minds

  • dangfitz||

    2012, eh? That's a full year before Hillary Clinton reversed her position on marriage equality. And only 40 years after the Libertarian Party added full equal rights for gay people to their official party platform.

  • spork||

    +1

  • AlmightyJB||

    MIC will never let her be prez.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Diversity in the democrat primary would be nice this time. Last time is was two old white people.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Dumb and dumberer

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    And odds are they'll give us Biden in 2020

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yep. Unlcle Badtouch.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    And odds are they'll give us Biden in 2020

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    And odds are they'll give us Biden in 2020

  • Eddy||

    "wrong to use government power to restrict people's private relationships"

    That would suggest that the current gay-marriage craze is wrong, because they want to interfere with private relationships (gay cakes, etc.).

  • sharmota4zeb||

    There is debate among judges about whether or not one can compel others to support same-sex couples with the written word. Until this debate is settled, I assume I have a constitutional right to spray paint "Gay Pride" on courthouses and federal landmarks.

    ;)

    Make the other side play by its own rules.

  • Eddy||

    OK, I went to the link about her "pro-gay" policies and copied the following:

    H.R. 2282 Equality Act of 2017 which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation
    H.R. 1755 Employment Non-Discrimination Act
    H.R. 2839 Restore Honor to Service Members Act
    H.R 2532 Respect for Marriage Act
    H.R. 197 Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act
    H.R. 683 Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act
    H.R. 1199 Safe Schools Improvement Act
    H.R. 932 Healthy Families Act
    H. Res. 549 Designating June 26th as LGBT Equality Day
    H. Res. 208 Equality for All Resolution, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas that include credit, employment, education, federally funded programs, housing, jury service, and public accommodations
    H.R. 3273 LGBT Data Inclusion Act
    H.R.2119 Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, To prohibit, as an unfair or deceptive act or practice, commercial sexual orientation conversion therapy
    Signed the Marriage Equality Amicus Briefs
    Advocated for LGBT Housing / Privacy Rights
    Advocated to End Bullying and Harassment in Schools
    Tulsi signs letter urging President Trump to reverse transgender military ban...

  • Tony||

    Anything that thins the herd. I'm tired of people opining that the more Democrats who run, the better it will be for them. Why? What evidence is there for that? It almost makes one appreciate the stupidity of having Iowa and New Hampshire (or any select few states, really) winnow the field. What do we look like, a country full of people with attention spans?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm for it. The more of those traitor progtards that run, the more fractured, damaged, shrill and extremist they become. Making the general election harder.

    There shouldn't even be a democrat party.

  • ||

    Too bad. She's a helluva better than the psychos we've been seeing with the likes of Omar, Tlaib and AOC.

  • Tony||

    Who would you rather have drinks with, members of the Dem fringe, or Mike Pence?

  • DesigNate||

    That depends, is AOC going to let her hair down and dance around after doing shots?

  • Tony||

    Pretty much a given.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Based on recent comments, she's in to running trains, too.

  • Tony||

    You guys talk about trains like you want them to be late.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    What's the point of a train if it goes through the tunnel so quickly that you don't even notice it was there?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yeah, I'll bet she's run a few trains. And I consider it likely a smartphone sex video of her surfaces soon.

  • ||

    Pence.

    Those women are whacked and insipid.

  • ||

    But Tony....I'd choo-choo choose you!

  • Tony||

    Unlike Pence, rational and happy-go-lucky.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Like Pence, no solo meetings with nutjob women, because #HeToo

  • DWB||

    Say 3 Hail Paul Lynde's and light a candle.

    The gay inquisition will be FABULOUS!!!!

  • DarrenM||

    It's funny how people who change their political positions to agree more with you have "evolved". If they happen to agree less, not so much.

  • blondrealist||

    Seems like her announcement to run for president has been largely ignored by the news media.

  • Tony||

    The Liz Warren attack machine got the anti-gay stuff out fast. Gillibrand's also been walking back past positions like a crab.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Should it matter?

    Well, Billy Clinton did rape several women before he ran and it didn't hurt him much...so who has the bigger megaphone, #metoo or #LBGTQTAINTLMNOP?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I still find O'Brien's response to be weird...

    You shouldn't. It's likely she's picked her Democrat for 2020 and Gabbard is decidedly not that candidate.

  • Wearenotperfect||

    Will Tulsi Gabbard's Anti-LGBT Past Sink Her Presidential Candidacy?

    Yes!

    And should it?

    Yes, it should! Drumpf doesn't get a pass from me and nether should she!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    When Bill and Hillary Clinton sat in the Governor's Mansion in Arkansas, that state was arresting people for same-sex dating. Arkansas was still arresting people for same-sex dating until after the Clintons left the White House. I'll let an individual politician get credit for evolving on LGBT rights and forgive past mistakes if repentance is sincere, but cases like that are why I'll never give the Democrat Party as a whole more credit for tolerating gay people than the Republican party gets. Both parties are about the same. Democrats merely tend to say "my bad" quicker on any given LGBT issue.

  • Tony||

    Latest Republican LGTB tolerance news: the second lady of the United States works at a place that forbids homosexuality.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    She's a first grade teacher?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    When did the republicans nominate Mrs. Pence?

    I remember a debate about hiring a new rabbi at an Orthodox synagogue during my grad school years over a decade ago. Someone asked what the rebbetzin would do. The discussion ended right away, because the next person to speak pointed out that we were planning to hire the candidate for rabbi, not his wife. Expecting the spouse to met standards related to an employee's job is very 1950's.

  • Tony||

    Equating the parties on LGBT rights is fucking retarded.

    Isn't the GOP's current platform "Hey, at least we don't throw you off of buildings like the Muslims!"

  • sharmota4zeb||

    I'll agree that some GOP candidates are homophobic and condemn those you point out to me. However, Karen Pence is not a GOP politician. She is the wife of a GOP politician. Besides, she's not indoctrinating the next generation with anti-LGBT rhetoric in that art class. She's just the model.

  • Tony||

    Also, Tipper Gore, barely on the radar of the average libertarian for her beliefs.

  • JesseAz||

    Meanwhile Democrats refuse to denounce Muslims throwing gays off buildings. Which one is worse tony?

  • Tony||

    They don't have to... because they don't assume it's some kind of heroically progressive viewpoint.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|1.18.19 @ 5:40PM|#
    "Isn't the GOP's current platform "Hey, at least we don't throw you off of buildings like the Muslims!""

    More like:
    "Why do lefty shitbags like Tony support people who throw gay lefty scumbags like Tony off of buildings?"
    And lefty shitbag Tony supports the ones who do because at least they shout 'We're Democrats and as stupid as you are!' when they toss lefty shitbags like Tony off the buildings.
    Lefty shitbag Tony is not noted for intelligence.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Things were a lot better when people like you knew to be grateful for that Tony.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Things were a lot better when people like you knew to be grateful for that Tony.

  • Tony||

    What things? Sorry it's no longer a time where white heterosexual males could just, like, rub their balls on everything and look you straight in the eye when they were doing it.
    "Not on the dining table, Stan!"
    "Yes, my balls are going on the fucking cutlery, whore."

  • Echospinner||

    Sharmo

    The rebbetzin is much more important in an orthodox community than in a reform Jewish community for reasons you understand. Because women are excluded from some formal roles yet she has an equal or more important role.

    So community talking about the new rabbi in an orthodox context you would want to know the rebbetzin. She will be the heart and function of the community in many ways.

    The orthodox rabbi and his wife are very much equal and respected where I am.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Check out the BBC if you want to know more about Tony's LGBT news:

    Last year, a children's book Mrs Pence illustrated and authored with her daughter - Marlon Bundo's A Day in the Life of the Vice President - was lampooned by comedian John Oliver.

    Oliver released a rival book, A Day In The Life of Marlon Bundo, telling a similar story, except the protagonist is a male bunny who falls in love and marries another male rabbit.

    Is this a bad time to plug my LGBT book about people who fall in love and get married?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Come to think of it, after I published that cover pic, NYC decided to redo their skyline. The Empire State Building no longer stands out as a solitary edifice.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Will Tulsi Gabbard's Anti-LGBT Past Sink Her Presidential Candidacy? And Should It?

    If we're being fair and even-handed, yes.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Can we get a rundown of blue checkmarks vs no blue checkmarks?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    LGBTQWTFBBQLOL+++ is roughly 4.5% of the population according to a gallup poll in 2017. I suppose you could guess that half of those identifying as such are gen Z basketcases who may grow out of the attention seeking melodrama, so real figures much lower? Even if 4.5% is a conservative figure, the shear amount of coverage and noise in the media is (arguably?) quite disproportionate.

  • Jalene||

    Whatever the actual percentage is, all of those people are human beings. In that regard, no different, no better or worse than anyone else. Just people. Right? I suppose the sheer amount of coverage is comparable to the "disproportionate" coverage of the civil rights movement in the 20th century, i.e., minorities might have been considered a undeserving smaller percentage of the population then and I'd suppose plenty of people put forth that argument at the time perhaps. I dunno. I don't think that focusing on percentages of the population as to whether all people deserve equal rights is a good tack. That said, it is frustrating that present-day activists take things way too far at times. Everyone is too sensitive about everything.

  • Sevo||

    ^+1
    An individual is roughly .0000000000001% of the population (if I got the decimals right), and as an individual, I demand my rights be observed.

  • floridalegal||

    It will most likely kill her chances since there are few dogmas that are more of a litmus test within the progressive wing of the democrat party. Raising religious freedom as a counter makes things worse because religion is deemed heresy. The Obama Justice Department took the approach to SCOTUS that religion and religious freedom was fine provided it was expressed within the four walls of an approved "house of worship".

  • TnO||

    And yet YOU voted for Hillary, right? Hahaha. What did Hillbot do for the LGBTQ community? And yet ... somehow, even after all her homophobic rants, YOU voted for her.

  • Ryan Gierach||

    Not bad. You do justice to her mean culpa and apparent change of heart.
    How many, in your experience, candidates for president succeed after launching their campaign with an apology to an influential segment of the base?
    Just askin'.

  • Ryan Gierach||

    I meant mea culpa, darned spell check

  • Sevo||

    "How many, in your experience, candidates for president succeed after launching their campaign with an apology to an influential segment of the base?"

    Obo did a wonderful job (for those bleevers) of walking back his attachment to that racist POS Chi town churchman. You'd think racist would be a major issue with his base.
    Nope. He gave a speech and all the Chron writers nearly swooned about how he really didn't believe that shit; he was just there to lend support to the down-trodden!
    If you're a lefty, you can get forgiveness for nearly anything; ask Farrakhan.

  • qoheleth||

    Rep. Gabbard did what I wish other politicians would have done (if they could do so honestly): She admitted that she had said and done those things. She apologized for doing and saying those things. She explained that her understanding has evolved and that she no longer believes those things and wouldn't do those things now. Given how this is a most common experience among those who've grown up in a conservative background and developed an understanding of and appreciation for personal freedom in the area of sexuality, I can't think of asking more from her. (That's probably because I'm not playing gotcha politics here.)
    I don't think this should eliminate her from consideration for any office. I'll be using other criteria to determine whether I'd vote for her. That said, I'm aware that a lot of what is likely to be her voter base would be less understanding. Way too many folks judge people by inflexible standards that don't appreciate that people can and do change their minds.

  • Sevo||

    qoheleth|1.18.19 @ 8:47PM|#
    "Rep. Gabbard did what I wish other politicians would have done (if they could do so honestly): She admitted that she had said and done those things. She apologized for doing and saying those things. She explained that her understanding has evolved and that she no longer believes those things and wouldn't do those things now. Given how this is a most common experience among those who've grown up in a conservative background and developed an understanding of and appreciation for personal freedom in the area of sexuality, I can't think of asking more from her. (That's probably because I'm not playing gotcha politics here.)"

    Kinda like that noted "conservative" Obo 'evolved'?
    Don't recognize the handle; did you show up to generate apologetics?

  • Jerry B.||

    Oh, come on. She's a Democrat, so we can assume an auto de fe at some point so she's blameless now.

  • Eddy||

    Auto de fe? What's an auto de fe?
    It's what you oughtn't to do but you do anyway.

  • Jalene||

    The Inquisition... what a show! :)

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values, that worked to amend Hawaii's constitution to prohibit the legal recognition of same-sex couples."

    When you counsel someone confused about their sexuality and tell them they're straight, it's conversion therapy.
    When you counsel someone confused about their sexuality and tell them they're gay, it's tolerance.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "pro-gay pieces of legislation"

    Libertarian Moment

  • Rob Misek||

    That's what voting is for.

    Recognizing that it's our human right to discriminate against disorders, is one point in her favour.

  • Sevo||

    "...as the current political climate has led a chunk of the Democratic establishment to see any scaling back of the U.S.'s military presence in countries like Syria as some sort of gift to Russian President Vladimir Putin...."

    Naah.
    It's but one more stick for those terminally-afflicted with TDS to beat Trump.

  • vek||

    The funny thing is, I have become LESS sympathetic to The Gays since that time period. I was always fine with gay crap... Until they won all the rights they should legitimately have, and then started their massive harassment and bullying campaign.

    I still don't care if somebody is gay or WTF ever, but the Globo Homo Industrial Complex can fuck right off!

  • Echospinner||

    The Gays in caps. I like that. Like The Gays are some team group with a Homo Industrial Complex. What is that?

    What are you afraid of?

    Never heard a gay person asking or needing your sympathy. All the majority are asking for is equal treatment as human beings.

  • vek||

    The Gays is just to be silly of course! The Globo Homo Industrial Complex is a play off of the Military Industrial Complex.

    The left has built up an entire system of interlocking left wing non profits, organizations, etc that are permanently on the offensive against... Well anything that isn't communist pretty much.

    The truth is that the environmentalists basically got all the laws that were possibly reasonable passed in the 70s and 80s... Instead of disbanding, or downsizing a lot of the organizations that were founded to fight for those laws, they just kept picking something new to freak out about. At this point we're so environmentally overboard that they're spending millions fighting STRAWS.

    The Gays have had the same thing happened. Most people haven't cared much at all for a lot of years about people being gay. They got marriage. That was literally about the last reasonable thing LGBT folks had to gripe about. Now they're asking for SPECIAL privileges, like forcing people to bake cakes. Demanding 99.5% of people bend to the will of .5% and pretend they're not the gender they are etc. Sorry, boys with dicks shouldn't be playing in womens sports, it's not fair to REAL women.

    Etc. Once these entities exist, they never disband once they've won what they were answer, they just move onto something ever more extreme. I've had enough.

  • Bubba Jones||

    I don't think Tulsi should be held accountable for agreeing with her father when she was a teenager.

    But recent precedent is that we grill nominees on their high school behavior, so...

  • Rob Misek||

    The gay lobby isn't about rights, it's avout wrongs.

    Logic demonstrates that any sexuality other than heterosexuality, is either a choice or disorder.

    We can and should.discriminate against bad choices and disorders.

    The gay lobby's purpose is to deny this truth. Be wrong.

    It is also why they will never achieve their objective as long as even one person remains to discern and share the truth.

  • Sevo||

    Gee, Rob, an anti-Semetic scumbag like you should stick to the JOOOOZE!
    Rob Misek|1.19.19 @ 9:01PM|#
    "The gay lobby isn't about rights, it's avout wrongs."
    Bullshit claim masquerading as an argument.

    "Logic demonstrates that any sexuality other than heterosexuality, is either a choice or disorder."
    Bullshit claim masquerading as an argument.

    "We can and should.discriminate against bad choices and disorders."
    "We"? Is that a turd in you pocket? And do you propose we enforce your bigotry through legal action?

    "The gay lobby's purpose is to deny this truth. Be wrong."
    Non-sequitur.

    "It is also why they will never achieve their objective as long as even one person remains to discern and share the truth"
    Sloganeering.
    Fuck off, scumbag bigot.

  • Rob Misek||

    You obviously emulate disorders and bad choices.

    Fill your boots.

  • Jalene||

    OK, by your reasoning, Rob, I should be able to freely discriminate against everyone who does anything I don't like or believe. So if I employ rational logic and decide that believing in god is a mental disorder, then I should be able to discriminate against all religious people freely. Constitutional rights be damned. Am I right? Because that's what your saying. The only difference in our two examples is whose logic we consider -- the majority's or the minority's logic.

    To put a much finer point on it: No one gets beaten or murdered because they are heterosexual. No one prevents heterosexuals from getting a job or buying a house. But these things do happen to people who are LGBT. And it happens because people like you believe it's OK to discriminate, often based on some sort of religious belief. That discrimination very often leads to violence and death. So what's the real truth here?

  • vek||

    Actually, when America was free people COULD discriminate against anybody for any reason, provided they were all private persons or businesses.

    And that is the way it should be. A gay shop owner should be able to throw people out of his shop for being a Christian, and a Christian should be able to throw out a person for being gay.

    THAT IS FREEDOM. I think people would be surprised by how little any of this would actually happen if it were made legal again.

    I'm not Christian, and I don't have a problem with gay people being gay. But both should be free to have biases in their personal lives and businesses if they want to.

  • TnO||

    What an utterly ridiculous article. The lack of research and poor reporting makes it hard to read. Had this "reporter" done ANY amount of research she would have discovered Tulsi's VOTING RECORD and PRO GAY LEGISLATION.

    However, this writer has chosen to embark on a half researched article that is beyond biased.

    The absolute irony is that the writer is a self proclaimed Hillary supporter... so I am left wondering WHY she voted for Hillary when her record AGAINST gays SPEAKS VOLUMES.

    Next time, just do a little more research and LIST OUT the PRO GAY legislation Tulsi has spearheaded for the past 7 years.

    Only reading one side of a story is boring. Not to mention frustrating that a writer can't even do BASIC research.

  • moneyshot||

    Tulsi is hot.

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