Post submitted by Ianthe Metzger, former HRC Deputy Press Secretary

Republican presidential candidates have had a busy week doubling down on their anti-LGBT rhetoric.

Ben Carson

After asserting that LGBT families were not of equal value last week, this week presidential candidate Ben Carson is back in the news for claiming that gay marriage will lead to polygamy. Carson explained his logic to conservative radio host Eric Metaxes on Tuesday saying: 

“The other thing you have to recognize and this is a very important issue,” said Carson. “If you change the definition of marriage for one group what defense do you have for the next group that comes along and wants it changed. Can you say, ‘no we’re just changing it this one time and it will this way for forever.’ Well, how is that fair? I mean, it doesn’t make any sense.”

It should be noted that in the same interview, Carson referred to himself as a "reasonable and tolerant" person, who has "nothing against gay people whatsoever."

Listen to the full interview here.

Ted Cruz

On Monday, presidential hopeful Ted Cruz decried efforts by the Obama administration to lift the ban prohibiting transgender Americans from serving openly in the military. During the campaign stop in Iowa, Cruz is reported to have said:

"How about having the military focusing on hunting down and killing the bad guys...instead of treating it as this crucible for social justice innovations. We’ve lost sight of what their job is and that’s what we need to get back to."

Cruz stands at odds with the likes of the American Medical Association which approved a resolution earlier this year saying, that there is "no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals from service in the U.S. military."

Rand Paul

Following withering criticism, Rand Paul was forced to save face this past week when he suggested that LGBT people should avoid discrimination in the workplace by staying the closet. After all according to him, "if you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you." In a CNN interview on Thursday Paul tried to 'clarify' his comments, but only doubled down on his opposition to federal legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Of course, Rand Paul’s rhetoric is at odds with the reality of his vote against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, raising the question: If Rand Paul truly believes someone shouldn’t be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, why won’t he erase all doubts and join the 8 in 10 Americans who support protecting LGBT people from discrimination and support the Equality Act?

For more information visit hrc.org/2016RepublicanFacts, an online resource that highlights the anti-LGBT records of republican presidential hopefuls.


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