Will the LGBT community go for Bernie Sanders?
In the Super Tuesday contests, LGBT voters had a show of force with many of them going for Sen. Bernie Sanders instead of Sen. Elizabeth Warren or even the openly-gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Which makes us wonder: will the LGBT community back Sanders against President Donald Trump in the upcoming elections?
Bernie Sanders gains votes from the LGBT community
NBC News, which conducted an Exit Poll in the 12 of the 14 Super Tuesday states, reported that LGBT voters that came out represented nine percent of the electorate.
Of these voters, almost 4 in 10 voted for Sanders or 42 percent. Meanwhile, 22 percent supported Warren while six percent backed Buttigieg.
To complete the Democratic candidates’ list, former vice president Joe Biden got 19 percent of the LGBT vote while former mayor Michael Bloomberg got six percent.
As of last update, Buttigieg had suspended his campaign last Sunday after receiving early votes in several states. He is now supporting Biden.
It should be noted that LGBT voters lean heavily Democratic with 78 percent backing Hillary Clinton for president in the 2016 elections. Likewise, 82 percent voted for their districts’ Democratic candidates in 2018.
An estimated nine million LGBT people are registered to vote in the 2020 elections in a report by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law published last October.
Bernie Sanders’ position on LGBT issues
This leads us to the next question: where does Sanders stand in relation to LGBT issues? The LGBT advocate group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) gave a list of 18 questions to Sanders’ campaign to find out.
Based on the questions, Sanders backs the majority of the LGBT advocacies, from supporting the Equality Act and marriage equality to opposing the use of religious beliefs to discriminate, especially against transgender people.
What’s more, Sanders is a cosponsor of the Gay and Trans Panic Defense Prohibition Act, which would oppose religious freedom claims used to deny equal treatment to LGBT people.
Before, he voted against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 1993 and the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Talking to the New York Times in 2015, Sanders said: “I’m not evolving when it comes to gay rights. I was there.”
It should be noted he only openly voiced his support for gay marriage in 2009, though still earlier than any of the current Democratic candidates.
What do you think? Would you support Sanders in the upcoming elections? Or would you vote for another Democratic candidate?
More importantly, would you still vote if your choice of a presidential candidate isn’t selected to run?