As the first out presidential candidate in the history of the Democratic Party, Pete Buttigieg has largely won over members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political establishment who see his upper-tier candidacy—and top-tier fundraising numbers—as a promising sign of mainstream LGBT acceptance.
Now, hours before Buttigieg joins eight other candidates at a Democratic presidential town hall focused on queer issues, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has released a comprehensive set of proposals outlining his LGBT agenda, a bid to own the issue in a party where many LGBT political priorities have become Democratic orthodoxy.
The 18-page white paper, titled “Becoming Whole: A New Era for LGBTQ+ Americans,” includes both long-desired goals, like passing anti-employment discrimination legislation, as well as other issues seldom articulated by prominent presidential candidates, including banning unnecessary surgery on intersex children, adding non-binary gender options to U.S. passports, and restoring veteran benefits to LGBT people who have been discharged from the military due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
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