Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in the early 2000s touted working for her father’s anti-gay organization, which mobilized to pass a measure against same-sex marriage in Hawaii and promoted controversial conversion therapy.
Although Gabbard’s positions on LGBT rights have shifted dramatically in more recent years (she signed a 2013 amicus brief supporting Edith Windsor’s challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act), the extent of Gabbard’s past anti-gay activism has already drawn criticism from prominent Democrats and will likely be a major issue for her as she seeks the party’s nomination.
Gabbard’s father Mike was a prominent anti-gay activist in Hawaii. He was also the director of Stop Promoting Homosexuality and also served on the steering committees of the National Campaign to Protect Marriage and the Hawaii-based coalition, Save Traditional Marriage. He also once hosted an anti-gay radio show, Let’s Talk Straight Hawaii.
Gabbard has released a new statement in response:
“Over the past six years in Congress, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to help work toward passing legislation that ensures equal rights and protections on LGBTQ+ issues, such as the Equality Act, the repeal of DOMA, Restore Honor to Service members Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Equality for All Resolution. 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.”
Gabbard also issued an apology to LGBT activists in 2012. There’s much more at the link above and in the clip below.