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Everything You Need to Know About LGBTQ+ Issues in the Election

You know where you stand on all things LGBTQ+ — but what about the candidates? Just like foreign policy, immigration and labor laws are important factors when deciding who you’re going to vote for, LGBTQ+ issues are key as well. With a rapidly changing society, LGBTQ+ issues are more important now than ever — so we’ve broken down everything you need to know about where the candidates stand.

Protecting the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination


If elected, Clinton would support federal legislation to ban all discrimination.


Trump has voiced his support of ending discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community for quite some time. In 2000, he said, “I like the idea of amending the Civil Rights Act to include a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation. It would be simple. It would be straightforward.” Although he disagreed with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ decision to not issue same-sex marriage licenses, he later said he never did. His expressed support for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) would lead to more discrimination like this.

Gay marriage


Although Clinton indicated in 2000 that she believes marriage is between a man and a woman, her beliefs have adapted over time. “The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality represents America at its best: just, fair and moving toward equality,” she said in January. “Now we have more work to do. I’ll fight to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have full equality under the law, and to end discrimination in employment, housing, schools and other aspects of our society.”


Although Trump recently said, “I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens,” statements in January indicate otherwise. When asked if he would try to appoint justices to overrule the decision on same-sex marriage, Trump said, “I would strongly consider that, yes.”

Related: President Obama Raises Clinton, Bashes Trump in DNC Speech

Conversion therapy

Conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, is defined by the Human Rights Campaign as “a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”


Clinton openly expresses that she will end “conversion therapy” for minors. On December 21, 2015, she tweeted, “It is time to put an end to conversion therapy for minors. We should be supporting LGBT kids—not trying to change them.”


Trump hasn’t said it himself, but his running mate, Mike Pence, is in support of conversion therapy. Chelsea Clinton recently said the GOP backs “child abuse” by endorsing conversion therapy.

Transgender rights


In 2010, Clinton’s State Department “added momentum to a movement that has protected transgender people’s and helped them travel abroad.” Her current platform promises to “work to protect transgender individuals from violence, make it easier for transgender Americans to change their gender marker on identification documents and invest in law enforcement training focused on fair and impartial policing, including in interactions with LGBT people.” Although she hasn’t directly voiced her views on bathroom bills, her support of the transgender community makes it clear she won’t tolerate any discrimination.


In April, Trump said that the individual states and communities should decide whether or not transgender people can use the bathroom with which they identify. “I think that local communities and states should make the decisions,” he said. “And I feel very strongly about that. The federal government should not be involved.”

Although these issues aren’t black and white, it’s clear that Hillary Clinton is more progressive in her stance on LGBTQ+ issues while Donald Trump is hesitant to side with the left. Trump expresses his focus as protecting the LGBTQ+ community from radical extremists while Clinton is more concerned with providing equal rights for all. Whether you’re gay, straight or anything in between, these issues are important to take into consideration and can play a huge role in the upcoming election.

Rachel graduated from the Honors College at James Madison University in May 2017 and is pursuing a career in the media/PR industry. She majored in Media Arts & Design with a concentration in journalism and minored in Spanish and Creative Writing. She loves spending time with friends and family, traveling, and going to the beach.