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Mike Bloomberg Outlines Vision to Ensure Equality for All LGBTQ+ Americans

January 28, 2020

Comprehensive plan addresses workplace equality, disparities in health care and treatment, protecting youth and families, and ending violence

As president, Mike will reverse the multitude of policy setbacks to LGBTQ+ Americans under the Trump Administration

NEW YORK – Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg unveiled a comprehensive policy to ensure LGBTQ+ equality, including a commitment to equal treatment of all LGBTQ+ Americans in the workplace and their communities, addressing disparities in health care and treatment, protecting LGBTQ+ youth and families, and ending violence against LGBTQ+ people.

“I have been honored to stand with the LGBTQ+ community in the fight for equality and justice, from New York, where we won marriage equality in 2011, to states across the country. That fight – true to our nation’s highest ideals – has achieved historic progress, but we still have a long way to go,” said Mike Bloomberg. “As president, I will work to protect every member of the LGBTQ+ community from hatred, violence, and discrimination. We will close disparities in health care access and quality, stop violence against transgender people, and advocate for equal rights across the world. We cannot settle for anything less – and I won’t.”

As president, Mike will reverse the multitude of policy setbacks to LGBTQ+ Americans under the Trump administration. Over the past three years, the Trump administration has acted to dismantle federal protections and resources for LGBTQ+ Americans, including stripping transgender people of their recognized identities and civil rights and nominating judges and officials with strong anti-LGBTQ+ records.

Mike made clear that he would pass and sign the Equality Act into law. The Equality Act provides LGBTQ+ Americans with consistent non-discrimination protection in a variety of areas, including employment, housing, and access to credit, just to name a few. He also pledged to reinstate benefits for veterans who left the military before the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, called for protections for LGBTQ+ people in refugee and asylum systems, and said the U.S. would resume its leadership position on the world stage by advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ people across the globe.

“Mike Bloomberg stands up for LGBTQ+ rights,” said Gail Marquis, an Olympic Silver Medalist in women’s basketball and member of the Mike Bloomberg 2020 LGBTQ+ Americans Leadership Council. “This didn’t happen yesterday. It’s been this way for as long as we’ve been friends. When I got married to the love of my life, Audrey Smaltz, in 2011, Mike sent us flowers and the most heartfelt note. He cares deeply about people – all people – and he is a true partner in the quest for equality.”

A central component of Mike’s plan is to reduce violence against members of the transgender community. As president, Mike will strengthen protections for transgender people by prioritizing investigations of hate crimes by the FBI, training local authorities to identify hate crimes more readily, supporting community violence intervention programs, and improving data collection on homicides against LGBTQ+ Americans.

In addition, Mike will work to improve relations between local law enforcement and the transgender community. According to the most recent US Transgender Survey, 58 percent of transgender people who interacted with law enforcement last year experienced harassment, abuse, or other mistreatment by the police. Mike would address this problem by requiring regular de-escalation and implicit bias training for federal law enforcement, funding training nationwide, and investigating and reforming police agencies with an abusive history against particular groups, including LGBTQ+ Americans.

Mike’s plan would also address medical barriers for transgender people seeking health care and medically-necessary transition-related care and reverse the ban on transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military.

Mike has been a longtime supporter of, and vocal advocate for, LGBTQ+ rights. As mayor, Mike extended anti-discrimination laws to include gender identity. He also launched the Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Runaway and Homeless Youth and implemented a number of initiatives to reduce LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, including a program to help families support homeless or at-risk LGBTQ+ youth. During Mike’s tenure, New York City’s public hospital system became the first public healthcare system nationally to mandate comprehensive training to address LGBTQ+ health disparities. Mike has supported marriage equality since 2005 and supported the fight for same-sex marriage in New York State, Maryland, Washington State, and Maine.

For the fourth year in a row, Bloomberg L.P. has been designated one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality,” earning a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Bloomberg, L.P. is also a partner on the Global Equality Fund.

 

ADDITIONAL QUOTES

Geoff Kors, Mayor of Palm Springs, CA

“I am pleased to see Mayor Bloomberg’s comprehensive LGBT policy proposal including requiring equal benefits for LGBT employees of all federal contractors and an end to conversion therapy. It is essential that we not only reverse and stop the Trump/Pence anti equality policies but push forward to full equal rights for LGBT Americans as set out in Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal.”

Gail Marquis, Silver Medalist (Basketball) in 1976 Olympics

“Mike Bloomberg stands up for LGBTQ+ rights,” Marquis said. “This didn’t happen yesterday. It’s been this way for as long as we’ve been friends. When I got married to the love of my life, Audrey Smaltz, in 2011, Mike sent us flowers and the most heartfelt note. He cares deeply about people–all people–and he is a true partner in the quest for equality. Mike will pass and sign the Equality Act into law, which would provide LGBTQ+ Americans with consistent discrimination protection at home, at work, and regarding credit. The Trump administration has been hurting us by acting to dismantle federal protections and resources for LGBTQ+ Americans, erecting barriers to our access to health care, and nominating judges and officials with strong anti-LGBTQ+ records. I won’t stand for this and neither will Mike. Mike is a good person who will fight for all of us. I can’t wait until he’s president. That will be a great day for all 10 million Americans who identify as LGBTQ+ people and all the people.”

Rev. Dr. Paula Stone Williams, Teaching Pastor, RLT Pathways, Lyons, Colorado

“We are all made in God’s image and likeness, and each and every one of us is worthy of love and respect. That’s the message I preach across the country and will keep preaching until everyone in America hears and embraces it. It breaks my heart that LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to be homeless because their parents do not accept them. And we still live in a nation that does not fully recognize the equal rights of LGBTQ+ people under the law. We need a courageous leader like Mike Bloomberg in Washington who will stand up for LGBTQ+ Americans and fight for our rights. Since his time as mayor, Mike has championed efforts to promote marriage equality, end homelessness, combat bullying, and address LGBTQ+ health disparities. That’s why I believe Mike will be the president who will finally pass the Equality Act, work to end HIV/AIDS, and protect LGBTQ+ Americans, especially transgender women of color, in our homes, schools, workplaces, and communities. He will unite our country and help make America a safer and more inclusive place for all of us.”

Isaac Mizrahi, Designer and Performer

“Our country has come a long way since my days as a young boy afraid to come out of the closet, but there’s still so much more we need to do to create a safe and inclusive environment for all of our LGBTQ+ youth,” said designer and performer Isaac Mizrahi. “No LGBTQ+ young person should ever have to worry about whether they’ll get bullied at school just for being who they are or, even worse, end up homeless because their family doesn’t accept them. I’m proud to support Mike Bloomberg because he’s been a faithful friend to the LGBTQ+ community for many years and will fight for our safety and equal rights as president. As mayor, Mike created the “Respect for All” initiative to stop bullying in New York City’s public schools. As president, he’ll launch a national “Respect for All” program to keep LGBTQ+ young people safe in schools across America. Mike knows we shouldn’t have to tell young people it gets better. He’ll make sure it’s better for all of us from his first day in the White House.”

Tim Gunn, former “Project Runway” host and host of upcoming Amazon series Making the Cut”

“The fight for LGBTQ+ rights didn’t end with our marriage equality victory in the Supreme Court,” said Tim Gunn, host of the upcoming Amazon series “Making the Cut” and former “Project Runway” host. “Five years later, it’s still legal in many states for an employer to fire an LGBTQ+ person based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Mike Bloomberg knows this runs counter to America’s fundamental values of equality, liberty, and justice. And he has the compassion and courage of his convictions to fight for what’s right.”

Jorge Mursuli, former executive director of SAVE Dade which secured the passage of an amendment to the Miami-Dade County Human Rights Ordinance that included sexual orientation as a category protected by law.

“Mike Bloomberg believes that we are all equal,” Mursuli said. “He has been a true friend of LGBTQ+ people and all people and a longtime supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. Mike was a leader on marriage rights and provided key backing for gay marriage to pass the NYS legislature in 2011. His company, Bloomberg L.P. has been designated on the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” for four straight years. I understand the power of going door to door and grass roots campaigning. We took the issue to the people for LGBTQ+ rights. And we passed the LGBTQ+ amendment to the Miami-Dade Human Rights Ordinance. Mike will build on these successes. He doesn’t just show up. He puts his own time, passion, and dollars into issues he cares about. He wants to restore unity to this country. He knows we are better and stronger together. Mike will bring this history and experience to Washington. He will be a great friend to this community and all communities that are still fighting for equality. Mike is kind, he’s smart, he has empathy, and he will get the job done.”

Jon Barrett, Former Editor-in-Chief, The Advocate

“Too many LGBTQ+ Americans are marginalized, targeted with violence, and have no place to turn for help. This is especially the case with youth and transgender communities,” said Jon Barrett, a former editor-in-chief of The Advocate. “But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are so many compassionate, common-sense, and low- to no-cost policies we could put in place that could make the difference between life and death for the most vulnerable among us.”

“Mike Bloomberg gets this. As mayor of New York City, he went to great lengths to extend protections to transgender people, discourage bullying of LGBTQ+ youth, and train doctors to recognize and respond to the disparities in the health care of LGBTQ+ New Yorkers,” Barrett added. “We desperately need someone like him in the White House—to roll back the hate speech of the Trump era and to rebuild our nationwide commitment to each other, one inclusive policy at a time. Whether those policies protect full-fledged Americans or people who seek asylum on our shorts or at our borders, it’s time we once again have a president who leads by example and, in doing so, sets the worldwide standard for compassion and equality.”

Jonathan Mintz, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, and the former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs

“I like to say that when I married my husband, it was really he and Mike Bloomberg who popped the question,” said Jonathan Mintz, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, and the former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. “Hearing that Mike had offered to officiate our wedding was incredibly touching and I will always be honored that he wanted to stand with us on such an historic day for New Yorkers and for our family. Mike went out of his way to make it possible for us to show our daughters that families like ours not only were possible, but were to be celebrated.”

“The fact that my husband and I could stand with our daughters, family, and friends to be legally married in our home state was largely due to Mike’s efforts to see that gay marriage passed the New York State legislature, and I will always be grateful both for Mike’s devotion and his graciousness, “ said the former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, and Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, Jonathan Mintz. “For as long as I’ve known Mike – and that’s almost 20 years – Mike has been a true champion for diversity and for ensuring that every one of us enjoys the full freedoms and protections that should always come with being an American. Mike believes strongly in what’s right … and he makes sure what’s right is what gets done. That’s why he’ll make a great president, and I am proud to stand by his side in this election, just as he stood by my family’s when he married us all those years ago.”

Mathew Shurka, Co-Founder of Born Perfect, a global movement to end conversion therapy

“I helped to found Born Perfect because, as a conversion therapy survivor, I want to make sure no LGBTQ+ young person ever has to go through what I did. These fraudulent and scientifically discredited “treatments” cause lasting harm and should be outlawed. Born Perfect has worked with survivors and their families, professional organizations, and policymakers to raise awareness about this vital issue. As a result,19 states and more than 60 cities have passed laws protecting LGBTQ+ youth from conversion therapy. But I won’t stop until conversion therapy is outlawed across the country. I’m so grateful Mike Bloomberg is committed to protecting LGBTQ+ young people. As president, Mike will ban federal funding for conversion therapy and support federal legislation to end this harmful practice. And I know he will do even more to keep our community safe and help us thrive in all areas of our lives. That’s the leadership we need in the White House right now, and I look forward to working with Mike to get it done.”

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