Following the enactment of new anti-LGBT laws in North Carolina and Kansas, both Democratic presidential candidates spoke out Thursday against the measures, calling for an end to discrimination and protection of LGBT people under the law.
The Washington Blade sought comment from the campaigns of both Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the enactment of the new laws, which have been criticized by LGBT advocates as enabling discrimination.
The Sanders campaign responded first, directly to the Blade and on Twitter, while Clinton later in the day addressed the North Carolina law on Twitter.
Via his Twitter account, Sanders specifically condemned the anti-LGBT law in North Carolina, making comments about ending anti-LGBT discrimination.
It’s time to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This law has no place in America. https://t.co/uINi5KpsZ6
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 24, 2016
Michael Briggs, a spokesperson for the Sanders campaign, responded via email to the Washington Blade with a general comment about both laws in Kansas and North Carolina and the need to press forward to end anti-LGBT discrimination. “Sen. Sanders believes it is important that the American people stand together and end bigotry once and for all,” Briggs said. “We have fought to end discrimination based on race, creed and color. Now is the time, once and for all, to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” Nearly 24 hours after McCrory signed the North Carolina legislation into law, Clinton joined Sanders in expressing opposition on Twitter with a message linking to an article in The Advocate. The tweet is marked with “-H,” indicating it came from Clinton herself.
LGBT people should be protected from discrimination under the law—period. https://t.co/IMOyRZe5Gh -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 24, 2016
On Wednesday, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law House Bill 2, which, among other things, would undo all pro-LGBT city ordinances in the state and prohibit transgender people from using public restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. The new law been dubbed the worst anti-LGBT state law in the nation.
One day earlier, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Senate Bill 175, which would allow religious organizations at postsecondary schools to deny membership to LGBT students.