NEW YORK, NY — Beto O’Rourke unveiled a robust plan today to protect LGBTQ+ rights and finally secure comprehensive legal protection for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Immediately after releasing this plan, O’Rourke participated in a Pride Run that ended at the memorial in Hudson River Park dedicated to those tragically lost at the Pulse nightclub shooting. See Beto’s remarks honoring those 49 lives lost and his commitment to protecting LGBTQ+ Americans.
The proposal would leverage executive power and call for congressional action that ensures that LGBTQ+ people have full equality and opportunity. O’Rourke’s plan not only includes actions to immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s discriminatory policies, but also calls for action to ensure equal treatment for LGBTQ+ individuals. Additionally, the plan prioritizes America’s role in protecting LGBTQ+ people around the globe.
The plan was launched as O’Rourke participated in a Pride Run with members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community in New York City. The full plan—available here as a PDF—is built around a three-part framework:
Protect the LGBTQ+ community by using executive authority to reverse the Trump Administration’s discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, protect transgender individuals—in particular transgender women of color—from violence, include LGBTQ+ immigrants fleeing persecution as a “vulnerable population” for purposes of immigration enforcement, protect LGBTQ+ youth from conversion therapy, and appoint judges and executive-branch officials, including openly LGBTQ+ appointees, who believe in the full civil rights of every single person.
Ensure full equality by working with Congress to enact legislation such as the Equality Act to make sure LGBTQ+ Americans have full equality and opportunity in all 50 states, ensure that LGBTQ+ people have equal access to health insurance and health care, including critical treatments like PrEP, and reform our criminal justice system.
Strengthen global safeguards for the LGBTQ+ community by working with allies to improve the process for LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers, secure a global treaty explicitly protecting LGBTQ individuals from persecution, invest in the Global Equality Fund, and establish a Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTQ+ people.
“LGBTQ+ Americans have made incredible progress over the past decade, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of activists and advocates—but too many LGBTQ+ people still lack protection under many states’ laws and the current Administration is encouraging rather than stamping out discrimination,” said O’Rourke. “We must ensure all Americans are treated equally no matter who they are or who they love.”
Throughout his career, O’Rourke has been a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. As a member of Congress, O’Rourke received 100% ratings from the Human Rights Campaign and supported marriage equality, non-discrimination legislation, and important protections for LGBTQ+ individuals serving in the military. He co-sponsored the Equality Act that provided consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life. He also co-sponsored the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, which sought to officially classify the provision and advertising of conversion therapy in exchange for monetary compensation as a fraudulent practice.
Expanding protections for the LGBTQ+ community has been a priority for O’Rourke since his time on the El Paso City Council where he worked to ensure proper legal protections for LGBTQ+ El Pasoans who faced risks to their safety and security. As a City Councilman, O’Rourke championed the city’s first nondiscrimination ordinance extending protections to the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, he advocated for more sensitivity training for El Paso police regarding LGBTQ+ individuals.
Alongside the policy, O’Rourke’s campaign released an LGBTQ+ organizing toolkit to empower organizers and volunteers to advocate for LGBTQ+ in their own communities through Beto campaign meetups or by connecting with local organizations.
Additional details about this plan can be found at: www.betoorourke.com/LGBTQ.