LGBTQ issues take center stage for 2020 presidential candidates

2020 Candidates hit the campaign trail in Iowa this weekend with LGBTQ issues front-and-center as Pride Month kicks off across the country.
29:57 | 06/07/19

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Transcript for LGBTQ issues take center stage for 2020 presidential candidates
And. Everybody welcome to the brief here among Devin Dwyer Washington breaking have you with us on this Friday a lot to get to today were celebrating. Pride month here in the briefing room with a great show. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin joints is ahead we us have a great conversation. About pride in the air Donald Trump's a stay tuned for that a person headlines today popping. I at the top Marshall new indications the economy may be taking a hit from this trade war with China and possibly also Mexico the Labor Department said today. To 75000. Jobs are created last month that's less than half of what economists had pre had expected. Meanwhile there is still no deal right now what Mexico to stave off those 5% tariffs also going to affect on Monday. Short of the deal the president on his way back just tweeted though that he thinks there's a good chance a compromise can happen we'll keep our eyes on that. Meanwhile the president arrives home from Europe now trading insults. With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi she of course she over the weekend told colleagues in a private meeting according to ABC news reporting that she would like to see the president. In prison after he leaves office the president on toward her short time ago called Pelosi quoted disgrace to herself from her family for making comments. While he was overseas. And finally take a look at this video this is a close call. I happen overnight in the Philippine CA US and Russian warship almost collided fifty. 200 feet distance between the USS chancellors will they are that's. Where we're seeing the camera shot coming from. Not and a Russian destroy or you can see there some Russian sailors who might be able to make amount they're sure less sunning on the are on the deck there on that approaching. Navy vessel this all comes as Chinese president she is visiting Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Perhaps some sort of a show of support for the Chinese. There as they claim those disputed waters. Well today on the show we are commemorating pride month and taking a closer look at pride. In the air Donald Trump. Gay lesbian transgender. And bisexual Americans this month are celebrating some. Pretty significant gains in rights and acceptance over the past few years but there are of course. Some still big hurdles ahead senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin joins us now from New York witches. It marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots senator great to see you thanks so much for joining us my plan are. Great to see here you are something of a celebrity in in the gay rights community you are the first woman. Openly gay woman elected to congress into the senate. One of the ask you looking back and your six years in office there what is breaking that barrier meant how significant. Is that it has your presence in that chamber bin. We have it makes a difference to have a seat at the table for so many different reasons first of all. You bring your life experience to the job would you and it informs. The debates huge news the policies you try to shape and the vote to actually cast. There isn't another whole angle to that and that is you have the opportunity whereas a bully pulpit like that to be a role model to. The show others who they see you and say she's like me or I like her. That there is almost limitless opportunities. Because there's still too many people in the LG BTQ community. I nationwide worldwide who. Feel like not every opportunity is open to them. And you know I think so much about. Pride month and especially. This really important. Fiftieth anniversary since the Stonewall riots where. People stood up against nightly acts of police suppression. And use their voices sometimes for the first time became visible for the first time and pushed back. And that's widely regarded as having kicked off the modern day. LG BTQ civil rights movement. And we can celebrate those heroes. We can also celebrate the progress we've made. But we're not done yet and we shouldn't confuse progress for victory and and the trump era. We're losing ground on some issues yes so it's really important that we act together. So I want to ask you about that dig in a little bit and as you say there's certainly some significant progress the past 510 years in fact today this is caught RI your home state of Wisconsin Tony Evers. Raised a gay pride flag over the State Capitol for the first time how both houses that for a sign of progress. There it is going up over the capitol today. I'm but what do you see is the biggest obstacle right now to continuing the progress is a president trump. Is it is it ignorance of transgender issues what is the biggest barriers you see it. Well I think there's a number of issues that we have to concern ourselves with. I would say both supporters about GVQ rights algae BTQ people themselves as well as opponents. Kind of thought the battle was over after the Supreme Court ruled that Neil burger fell case that there was marriage equality. What remains the case is that people in over 29 states in the United States do not have comprehensive. Anti discrimination laws protecting what do I mean by that it means that. People in the onto BTQ community could be. Fired from a job. Could be evicted from their housing could be refused service in some sort of public setting. Or educational setting and that is very problematic because without these laws you have no way of fighting back. And you you you propose the B equality act which we know passed the house last month which is very significant as this remind everybody. What that does and we have a graphic that shows what that legislation would do to gets just to the point you were talking about this. Bill would prohibit discrimination based on sex sexual orientation and gender identity across the United States and every state. It would cover of course public facilities education federal funding employment. And the like and it would ensure access to restrooms locker room facilities and the basis of gender identity. Why doesn't have more support from Republicans right now. Cleaning have to ask the Republican but. I will say that there's and historic first. And that is that the bill is bipartisan. In both houses of congress that's a sign of progress also. And I'm hoping especially in this era where president trump and his administration. Are taking steps. Backwards in other policy areas by. Executive edict or order. That we will get more bipartisan support. Now you know when it comes down to it in the senate. You need sixty votes to pass a law and so one of the things we're looking at is how many have signed current. But the other thing we're looking added if we could manage some way to convince Mitch McConnell to bring it to the floor of the senate for a vote. Do we have sixty votes do we have the requisite number of Republicans we have virtually all the Democrats. So that there task right now to have those conversations to open a dialogue to see. How we can build the support. Because those conversations. Are foundational to actually getting it over the Kennedy. Is there is there one Republican in the youth. Been able perhaps effective conversations with you say is perhaps most open minded that you built a bridge too. I think that there are a number of Republican and senators who are open to those. Who are certainly willing to have conversations. I'm pretty. Private about conversations I have with other members that they have to trust when they. Our are talking candidly admit I'm not gonna go to cattle Kitchener. However having said that. I have something purging responses. Just gotten more general conversations. Where. I feel like I might be. Opening people's eyes to the discrimination. That really does go on still today and why this is so necessary in states sometimes like their own. That's so important to have your voice in the perspective of LG BT Americans inside the congress Tammy Baldwin senator of Wisconsin thank you so much for taking the time appreciate you. And we salute you this department thank you so much kinky doesn't appreciate it. For more on this conversation I want to bring in our guest Charlotte climber she's a spokeswoman for the human rights. Campaign and an army veteran also joined here to my right or jury and Henry she's the executive director. The Log Cabin Republicans the first woman to lead that group a Republican strategist. I know more on the White House north lawn right now Chris Johnson White House reporter. I for the Washington blade joins us that's the only LG BT focused outlet in the white house press corps and they're celebrating fifty years. As well Chris let's start with you great to see you so. The pride festivities this afternoon going to be taken place here this weekend rather just outside the White House the president. I has talked about being the first president pat Republican president in history to recognize pride when he tweeted. The other day. Let's put up next week for people to take a look and get your reaction to that the president tweeted that he is celebrating pride month from the White House he wants. The nation to know he's standing with LG BT people and particularly focusing on those. Who live in countries where it is a crime to be gay and he says the administration is standing up against. Those efforts calling on a campaign to decriminalize. Homosexuality. Chris what do we know about. That effort. Well. I'm getting that now Leppert is being initiated spearheaded by the US ambassador to Germany. Richard Bernal and there's some kind of I don't like a split in the administration about this to me throughout the State Department they're gonna say that laws against him a sexuality. Yet the US government has long opposed but. Development effort though they insist there there's something behind enemy. Making a coming to everything at the State Department now I'm told that Avandia is all over it so who at we'll see at the other day what happened. Charlotte than that for the president likes to embrace these symbols of LG BT writes we saw on the campaign trail he waved the flag he's tweeting. Significant I guess that a Republican president's recognizing pride month. Chris policies sanded a different message how do you sort of thread that needle. Point it's not it's on in good faith I mean this is the most aggressively anti of BTQ administration in modern American history by far my mile. And I think it's telling that just you know maybe half an hour ago just Letterman reported that NBC in the season then. Ordered not to reply private flights from pride month and so the administration claimed that they're trying to encourage other countries to decriminalize homosexuality. Directions say a lot different. Tom then when you look at the. Here we have some of those up on the screen is to draw attention to both these are some and just some of the policies that have drawn attention and scrutiny from. Groups like the Human Rights Campaign trip administration has banned openly transgender service members among other things have been a number. Of roll backs of anti discrimination policies are there from homeless shelters have Foster care agencies in the like. Jerry and I mean log cabin didn't endorse president trump in 2016. You support a lot of the anti discrimination policies we should say and marriage equality. Your predecessor called president trump of the most gay friendly Republican president ever do you still think that's true. Well did you know the bar. I say you know we oak log cabin also didn't support or endorse other Republican presidents prior to that for similar reasons so that there has been a lot of work to do in that regard that's one of the things that we work. Very hard to do is try and raise that bar him bring more people and you know I don't think that's. We can fit ever one of these policies are where they need to be aware that. There's not still a lot of work to do. I AM though very pleased to seen. Here you mentioned in the modern air act I don't know exactly how long that is but it wasn't that irritable Riley who for Obama to come out in favor marriage equality he did. And that was significant and huge and as a member of that campaign I was very pleased to see that but. We've come a long way and if I could go back and tell free L Berger found Syria and that I would be sitting here having a discussion about whether or not it was a good. That the threat that a Republican president recognized pride and that that was debate I don't think I would have believed it back in 2015. I just felt rather flimsy anyway you look at the fact that within hours you know this administration removed elderly to cue up pages from from a web sites. I've made an executive order to remove protections for federal contractors are we hope to be take you. Ban trans members and military. Has turned away transcendence from an apartment educational civil rights complaints. We're term questions on sexual orientations or entity from surveys of from the commerce department's consensus. To turning my trans people emerging from emergency shelters. The most egregious though is these health care policy is the top administration right now is trying to make its medical providers can turn away. LG BTQ patients for no other reason other providers personal beliefs. That is not there though that is the furthest thing away from human rights. And it does seem that there's a tension there Chris Johnson in the administration you and alluded to a bunker trump who. Projects herself as a very gay friendly transfer at a friendly member of the administration. Even the president himself in the past. As Donald Trump the business and employed gay people. Spoke fondly of gay people we're embraced Elton John in his marriage back many years ago donated to the efforts to combat aids and HIV. And yet these policies what what do you make of that tension from from your observations and sources on the inside. Why it's my impression that a bucket from. Neighbor it is so these are trying to be. Oh to be to support out of him are back out during the first through the front and illustration she tweeted out a at message of happy bride. The on the occasion but really any sort of and she is a minority in this administration as saying to me like she did and it's sort of us of course together at for the us BT community is being drowned out by other voices. And and Charlotte Telesis and many of the entails NBC policies are seen from the administration. That have. Taken hold perhaps despite a baucus was as the fans in a military band religious freedom. Actions against we keep eagle name of religious freedom. The list goes on and on. So obvious you have I commend you always saying but she's signing a position act right now. He and in you know overriding all this we go. We saw them come along so far with respect to marriage trends right seem to be sort of the forefront of that kind of social acceptance entrepreneur and the support. Are from the Pew Research Center couple years ago sort of woven older. I'm and I was struck by about a third. Of Americans according to this course felt that society is gone too far. In accepting transgender people in their right Charlotte I mean art. Didn't want to get you to ask for the transgender community and I know that's a stunning number of our armed. Are you surprised when it how can we get beyond that because it does seem like changing attitudes changing minds be pictures at least part of the step that needs to be taken in our politics we'll. Not really sure where this is coming from that they know what line they're looking out in terms of how far we've kind. I mean really the biggest trends victory in the past ten years. Was the I inclusion transit on the military which came after a significant cited by the Department of Defense which relies a transit or not a burden. From military leadership who. For trans people in the military but on the management people are viciously under attack by this administration on across the board across all of our rights. And only that but just the target of violence. Nine trans people have been killed this year all of them like Trans1 126 were killed last year 29 year before that. We are in the middle of a vicious epidemic of anti trans violence discrimination. Not only from our government from from people on the public square and so I'm not sure where this not claim comes from that would come to foreign trans rights detonating on started. Yeah yeah it's it's it's stunning that people haven't accepted that and seen the real struggle that turns people are facing an injury and kind of last thought to you on them from the Republican side we have this from Republican administration for two more years or at least a Republican. Majority in the senate another piece of the pew poll this one more recent from just after the mid terms. Surveyed where people. Felt about LG BT issues how important is it Democrats are obviously find it very important and and context of a policy platform Republicans less than that from pretty steady. What efforts are you undertaking. It with your organization to sort of promote that and given a boost. Right will you and you kind of mentioned this earlier one of a huge issues that we see among Republicans moderates and independents and sometimes even among Democrats is. People think that after the marriage equality. Supreme Court decision the fight was over it was dimes and so we're we're all happy go lucky and that those stats that you just mentioned. The violence the discrimination the fact that you can still be discriminated against for. Under housing. In your workplace etc. those are still major issues so we have we see ourselves as having a major education role. Of going out to some of these groups people do come to us even sometimes privately and say what's going on we hear that we're supposed to. When we hear that there's more going on them we understand but I don't know please tell us. And so we're trying to do as much as we can to increase awareness. And our bring more attention to some of these issues so that people within the administration can. Be pushed. To Patterson and become so much for the conversation we are out of time but Charles climber with the Human Rights Campaign you know minus tussling inaccurate erroneous call answering and Henry thank you so much of long cabin Republicans are thanks to Chris Johnson. Over at the White House White House reporter for the Washington blade I appreciate that very macho pride. I will be a big focus of the 20/20 campaign this weekend out in Iowa the candidates flocking there for the capital city pride festival on number of them. I will be on the ground that's where political reporter Adam Kelsey is right now he's and to mourn outside the blazing saddle. Which boasts the title of the oldest gay bar in the midwest since 1983. A Adam what's going on as we get out there. I think seven really busy couple days like you mentioned out here and islands these marquee events coming on Sunday that went down Cedar Rapids are to be nineteen presidential candidates at the I would democratic party's hall of fame celebration. And as you mentioned here in Des Moines. It is. Pride weekend we've got a 5 K run tomorrow morning bed or to be running in that we've got a parade in any form featuring a number of candidates a work will be speaking of Bernie Sanders as well Kirsten Gillibrand. Among the candidates speaking tomorrow act that form. And speaking of Gillibrand she's going to be here at the blazing saddle a bit later tonight and we're really honor to be joined by Bob Michael Berry is known as mongo around these parts he's the owner of the blazing saddle which DeVon you mentioned. The oldest gay bar still here in the midwest still an operation in its original location and and Bob as we think about. All the pride festivities these this weekend and how far the LG BT community has come since you opened this park does a little bit about the evolution as you've seen here in two point. Barr was one of founders say it one of our very first five of us walked up in the capital. Turnaround on wall practice that was right. And our production and 20000 people. Gay straight black Asian. Total embrace all of excuse. And not just thousands and thousands of people but like we mentioned presidential candidates as well back in 1983 when you open the blazing saddle did you ever think. They hear in all important I what you would have a presidential candidate like yours in Gillibrand coming to your establishment and aren't really in the last hour and anybody close as Barack Obama. He brought a good business. I can imagine and and for yourself as a gay man for. Some of your customers for your eyes employees as well when you're thinking about these this presidential race in this form tomorrow what are order some of the things that you want to hear the candidates talk about. Rod very political cents a got out of him home every election. Our air and talk about health care. Gun rights and gun safety. All the big issues all of that we're seeing across the country right so still no matter the fact that it is pride festival. As Bob is saying here is he the issues I've seen him and theology BT community still some of the big issues that we're hearing all around the country can be really interest think. To hear some of these candidates tomorrow. Touch on those point seven. Yeah that's going to be fascinating to see that form Adam eight of them as you said being there one candidate. Who is it making his way out to to Iowa to be with you is Joseph Biden of course he stirred up some controversy Mandel this weekend. Rachel Scott is our White House reporter she's here for this conversation as well but to put to you Adam. The former vice president came around he did a flip flop on this issue a federal funding for abortions he's long opposed it but all of a sudden overnight. Came out in favor Rick how how unusual is that for a polling from harder to make a flip like that. Well and not just a flip DeVon but one that took place in such a short period of time and and I think what this goes to show is. He power of the progressive movement with in the Democratic Party to hear Joseph Biden. As you said expressed some support for the Hyde amendment and then to see the next day nearly the entire presidential field. Come out and save it actually know they're opposed to this amendment they did mention Joseph Biden. But that was enough pressure in just over 24 hours to get the former vice president again front runner in this race up to this point to change his stance Devin. Okay Adam thanks so much stand by Adam because Rachel Scott or bring this once you the president is getting in on this he. It's just arriving back from Europe and he's already going after Joseph Biden on. Yeah and this is something that his campaign honestly it Republicans were looking for right at it from candy thousand today that. Joseph Biden as a director Joseph Biden and just moments ago from the RNC I got an email that said the worst weaken America goes to Joseph Biden and soak. They were honestly looking to attack this early front runner on. To notice here. This just all day. Everett supreme reverend Donald Trump is someone who has who quit the kid and an abortion and several times over. Right exactly that's right DeVon and so when you say how unusual it is for you know candidates who flip flop on an issue we've seen. Donald Trump do this back in 1999 he originally said he was pro choice. 2011. Came back out and said actually I'm pro life and 68 we saw him kind of flip flop all over the place on this thing and originally he was. Pro life and then came back and that may be you know there should be some punishment per woman could have abortion and finally has to his campaign. Could clear I got Anthony sixteen now saying that he's pro life with three exceptions rape incest and my for the. Darts that's where he stands we will see where Joseph Biden stands when he comes back in public. On this one but finally today that we turn to as part of a series here in briefing room that we have brought you the past few weeks this is. The latest installment in our series not one mills who won we have taken a closer look. At some of them are hundreds of Maloney those who ran for office this past political campaign season getting elected some of the youngest Americans. Hot in our politics right now looking to make a difference make a name for themselves we recently caught up with 25 year old Jenna Powell. She just may be the youngest Republican ever elected she was elected to the Ohio house of represented isn't she brought us along for a closer look at her work. And the day in the life curious. Yeah. My name is out of power I in the state representative for those tires eaten house district we have a Great Dane clouds we have a lot going on passion. Our economic development need. We are dropping patients DE act to 58. If they had seen definition film I know. And on the company and fitness and talk about indictment on federal level is now yeah state level and partners yeah. Morton when I. Last eaten. I'm art now in session and it's not what it's certain how fast you three just and he. And experience. It's. I think about his back. And most things. So the last time he hadn't sector industry billboard company this is you. Haven't seen that you know. I am it's. At least listens and get us out there was this. Service here where. Yeah don't even think this thing I am pol. Here at my. Let me just are expecting you think government is gained just can't hear. Knowing that Abraham Lincoln once set up there and be able to taking notes and knowing that the vote thank you now are back in the next. 510100. Years' experience they I don't it takes some time to move policy through anything that I can be really frustrating part of going. I know what change would do you know what sharks my community months ago. And it means it's not overnight six it's time to fight for lower taxes less regulations. Among many here want to grow the size got. I was you. Yeah. All right general Powell joins us live now from Ohio Jenna great to see you thank you so much for bringing us along a day in the life it was fantastic what you make it look so fine. Indian state politics. And what surprised you most about getting into and the government any regrets and going to. We got a trick question eager to have you guys today I am no regrets you know I've just finished my First Act my and being in Columbus. I think to begin the price so far. It costs fast I think it is also house slow everything moves mountains so you know trooper Scott and a great experience. Anarchy total shock to tune in to see how young you are we did a series here covering woman that we're running back in the 2018 mid terms and I found that some candidates some millennial. This candidate voters were shocked when they the police are Lugar who was running. You know what I when it first or reading your price and coming up regarding my age. I'm the end of today what I always tell people this is what I believe this is where CNN this is little to fight for use I think a lot of people are saying you know why. But think about age gender and long lines and that's really keeps. What are are represented can do for Akron Columbus I think they didn't really everything in my community has been incredible and released meaning behind me. And Kristi boarding climbed as a clown giving the ability to do that. There are a lot of young Republicans out there and the country of course Ohio is a purple state isn't. Has it been difficult though dean a young Republican at it this time wherein. Perhaps is a stigma among young people to it to be about for political persuasion. It's. Yeah I give myself I think acting it's hard being conservative. You know we have a generation in an era where. I'm people like socialism and you know what we see what we know without. Long term does not play out well so. I think fiscal and social conservative you know it takes time and work to push forth our beliefs that we can move America in the direction that we know. Our founding fathers knew and understood and pop color. What I think the Republican Party could do if anything to encourage more young Republicans are running and they were a study that came out and when he team that spent a lot of millennial our democratic voters I know that the RNC kind of want to few ads targeting millennial but. What do you think you're pretty to do that encourage more young no conservatives like yourself. Yeah so you know I've always spent in state line he doesn't matter how mature and run for office it really matters. What she'd leaving it where you stand. I think the Republican Party get a hold you do you do a little bit better job brokers earning what we believe change why conservatism works. Why you know less government is actually attracted in what works in the long run. Support and helps families and churches and businesses and nonprofits throughout rusty throughout the united state in friendly crowd hurled. All right general Powell from Ohio we admire you for wanting to serve getting in a race thank you for taken a salon and day analyzed one of the youngest elected officials in the country. Certainly he youngest elected Republican from Ohio thank you so much. Are part of our millennial school one series. I hear a lot of fun to hear from her today thank you so much for joining us here in the briefing room on this Friday great to have you with this project Rachel Scott with us as well thanks again. Adam Kelsey out an Iowa where his reporting. We're back here Monday 3:30 eastern time on Devin Dwyer Washington every week.

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