Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke on Wednesday outlined his plans to promote and protect the rights of LGBTQ individuals, which include some efforts aimed at overturning some Trump administration policies, Reuters reports.
"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," his campaign said in a statement.
O'Rourke's campaign provided the details of his plan to the press. His agenda rests on three specific points -- It includes using executive orders to directly overturn some Trump-administration policies that O'Rourke believes are detrimental to LGBTQ Americans; advocacy for LGBTQ rights worldwide; as well as a legislative agenda he hopes his Congress will send to him.
As The Texas Tribune reports, O'Rourke supports the Equality Act, a sweeping legislative agenda passed earlier this year by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, as reported at the time by The Inquisitr. That bit of legislation essentially adds sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal law with regard to discrimination in housing, employment, borrowing, and in other areas. The Act "merges" nine federal laws regarding discrimination into one omnibus law. Though passed earlier this year by the House, it faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled Senate, and an uncertain future should it reach Trump's desk. O'Rourke is banking on the bill being reconsidered and passed by the Congress that serves if he's inaugurated.
Similarly, O'Rourke plans to push for a Universal Health Care system, and he plans to include protections and guaranteed access for LGBTQ individuals, should the system be put into place.Executive Orders
In a statement, O'Rourke noted that the Trump administration -- largely through executive orders -- has rolled back some Obama-era protections for LGBTQ individuals. For example, he says he would end, via executive order, the Trump administration's ban on transgender troops in the military. Similarly, he would, through executive order, reverse a policy that allows adoption and foster-care agencies that receive federal funds to reject gay parents.
Finally, O'Rourke noted that he plans to use his role as President to advocate for LGBTQ rights worldwide. Several countries, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, outright ban homosexuality and will even throw people into prison or execute them for homosexual acts. O'Rourke hopes to work with the State Department to come up with an international treaty that would protect LGBTQ rights worldwide.