By Joseph Ax. Reuters - Former U. Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday he would withhold foreign aid from countries that persecute lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as he joined eight other Democratic presidential candidates at a forum on LGBTQ issues. The televised Los Angeles event was the second major presidential forum dedicated to LGBTQ issues during the Democratic nominating campaign, following an event in Iowa last month that drew 10 of the 19 candidates vying to take on President Donald Trump in the November election. Biden, the front-runner in the Democratic race, struggled to articulate his positions during the previous forum, particularly his vote as a U. Biden later backed repeal of that policy and, while he voted for a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, he backed same-sex marriage before President Barack Obama, under whom he served as vice president.
Meet Pete Buttigieg: A gay mayor, Afghan War vet and millennial who's running for president
Biden says he would withhold foreign aid if countries discriminate against LGBTQ people | Reuters
Top contender Bernie Sanders will miss the event as he recovers from a heart attack. The event in Los Angeles, California, is the second major presidential forum dedicated to LGBT issues during the Democratic nominating campaign, following an event in Iowa last month that drew 10 of the 19 candidates vying to take on US President Donald Trump. This week, lawyers for the Department of Justice argued at the US Supreme Court that federal civil rights law does not prohibit employers from firing workers based on their transgender identity or sexual orientation. Like most other Democrats, all three candidates support the Equality Act, which would explicitly add LGBT protections to federal anti-discrimination law.
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What 2020 Democratic presidential candidates believe: Social issues
Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, became the first openly gay candidate in the presidential race Wednesday, joining an already crowded field of Democratic hopefuls. He married his partner, Chasten Glezman, in and livestreamed the wedding. For the past several years, Democratic leaders, including former President Barack Obama, have called him an example of the future of the Democratic Party. His status as the first millennial presidential candidate is central in the video he released Wednesday announcing the formation of an exploratory committee.
A lot has changed in the past 11 years. There has also been a major cultural awakening around transgender rights and gender identity. At the same time, though, conservatives are mounting a war on trans people in both military and civilian life, LGBTQ people lack anti-discrimination protections in the majority of states in America, and the fight to explicitly ban discrimination against people over their sexuality or gender identity at the federal level has yet to be won.