March 24, 2016 at 11:03 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Clinton, Sanders denounce new anti-LGBT laws in N.C., Kansas
Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders, gay news, Washington Blade

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spoke out against the newly enacted anti-LGBT North Carolina law. (Washington Blade photo of Clinton by Damien Salas; Blade photo of Sanders by Michael Key)

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.

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.

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.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • No word yet from Her Serene Highness, ‘I have trouble with the gays’ Hillary? Will she lend her support for this as she did with DOMA?

    • What sort of bizarre Bernie cult compound are you living in?

    • Can you not read? Clinton’s response is part of the article you commented on. FFS.

    • Well Hillary has learned along with Obama, Sanders (pro-civil union, against same-gender marriage), etc. and they now support marriage equality and non-discrimination bills. Civilization is learning and moving on, so should you.

      • You do know that sanders supported gay marriage in the 80’s. And bernie sanders held the first trans rights rally in his state of Vermont in the same decade – the 80’s. While Hilary opposed it. Don’t put him In the same basket as obam and Hilary who only seem to care when it’s politically expedient. It’s great that they’re all on board now but the denial historically meant that many gay people that have now past away never received that same level of support.

        • If Bernie wins the Dems I will vote for him. But he does not have the experience that Hillary does and I am ready for Madam President. I just hope that we don’t get the disgusting Trump or Cruz elected for president. I have a phrase – Dump the Trump and Lose the Cruz.

  • If you think this is bad…you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. A sadly Influential group in Washington state, Family Policy Institute of Washington, has filed an initiative that allows each individual business in the state to design its own bathroom. Shower and lockerroom policy; establishes a bounty on the heads of transgender students who use the “wrong” bathroom and prohibits the human rights commission, and county and city governments from stepping in to protect their transgender citizens from the harsh, violent consequences of this proposed law.

    And these clowns are genuinely hurt when we accuse them of being bigots and haters. Geeeez, if they do not want to be seen as haters they should stop pressing for rules that are intended to increase the already appallingly high rates of violence against our community,

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