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Beto O’Rourke’s Plan for LGBTQ Equality Focuses on Protecting Transgender People

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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke an overflow audience at Yock’s Landing during his second day of campaigning for the 2020 nomination March 15th, 2019, in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke released a proposal last week to achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans and reinstate protections abandoned by President Donald Trump.

The plan—O’Rourke’s sixth major policy rollout—is heavy on executive actions he would pursue to support the LGBTQ community. It also prescribes legislation he would champion and steps that can be taken on the global stage.

“We must ensure all Americans are treated equally no matter who they are or who they love,” the former El Paso congressman said in a statement on the proposal, which comes amid LGBTQ Pride Month and arrived hours before he was set to lead a “Pride Run” in New York City.

Among the executive actions that O’Rourke would take: overturning Trump‘s ban on transgender people serving in the military, reversing the “deploy or get out” policy that critics say discriminates against HIV-positive service members, and bringing back Department of Education guidance that sought to protect LGBTQ students. O’Rourke would also act to crack down on conversion therapy, update blood donation requirements for LGBTQ people, increase LGBTQ representation in the census, and install more pro-LGBTQ people in government, especially in the judiciary.

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