Tulsi Gabbard has apparently chosen to ignore a questionnaire on LGBTQ issues submitted to Democratic presidential candidates by the Human Rights Campaign.
Wrote HRC on a landing page for the responses: “The Human Rights Campaign sent our questionnaire to all Democratic presidential candidates earlier this year. Unfortunately, we did not receive responses from Tulsi Gabbard ahead of publication. Should she send a response, we will update the site accordingly. Deval Patrick and Andrew Yang sent responses but are not included because they have since suspended their campaigns.”
The lack of a response is notable because of Gabbard’s involvement with anti-LGBTQ groups in the past.
Gabbard released a video in January 2019 apologizing for her past views and statements about LGBTQ people, and work for anti-gay groups.
That month, a CNN investigation revealed Gabbard’s close ties with the anti-gay groups run by her father, when she was in her late teens: ‘Gabbard’s past positions can be traced back to the early 2000s, when she first sought public office.During her run for state legislature in 2002, Gabbard told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, “Working with my father, Mike Gabbard, and others to pass a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage, I learned that real leaders are willing to make personal sacrifices for the common good. I will bring that attitude of public service to the legislature.” The quote, which CNN’s KFile found during a review of Gabbard’s early career, shows how closely she aligned herself with her father’s mission at the time. Gabbard’s father ran The Alliance for Traditional Marriage, a political action committee aimed at opposing pro-gay lawmakers and legislation that organized and spent more than $100,000 to pass an amendment in 1998 that gave the Hawaii state legislature power to “reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.” The amendment to the state’s constitution passed.’
CNN added, of Mike Gabbard: ‘Gabbard’s father Mike was a prominent anti-gay activist in Hawaii. He was also the director of Stop Promoting Homosexuality and also served on the steering committees of the National Campaign to Protect Marriage and the Hawaii-based coalition, Save Traditional Marriage. He also once hosted an anti-gay radio show, Let’s Talk Straight Hawaii. The Alliance for Traditional Marriage called homosexuality “unhealthy, abnormal behavior that should not be promoted or accepted in society.”’
In 2013, Gabbard signed an amicus brief supporting Edie Windsor’s battle to defeat the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
In March 2019, Gabbard was asked by an audience member at a CNN town hall to explain her past views opposing gay rights, and her support of gay conversion therapy.
Gabbard said she never “personally never supported any kind of conversion therapy. I never advocated for conversion therapy. And frankly, I didn’t even know what conversion therapy was until just the last few years.”
“I was raised in a very socially conservative home,” she added. “My father is Catholic. He was a leading voice against gay marriage in Hawaii during that time. Again, I was very young, but these are the values and beliefs that I grew up around.”
Gabbard said that deploying to Middle East changed her views on gay rights because she “saw firsthand the negative impact of a government attempting to act as a moral arbiter for their people…It caused me to confront that contradiction…but also how that contradicted some of the values and beliefs that I grew up with.”
She added: “I also served with gay and lesbian and trans service members and we became very good friends and knew in the most deep and visceral way that I would give my life for any one of them, and that they would do the same for me. Race or religion or orientation — these were things that didn’t matter, because we were focused on our mission of serving.”