As Rand Paul Launches Presidential Campaign, HRC Calls on Him to Take Position on Indiana’s RFRA

by HRC Staff

WASHINGTON – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, highlighted Sen. Rand Paul’s long history of opposing LGBT equality and called on him to take a position regarding Indiana’s anti-LGBT law signed by Gov. Mike Pence.

In recent weeks, media reports emerged that Paul said he opposed even the “concept of gay rights” and that despite denying any knowledge of the film, appeared in an anti-LGBT documentary with notorious anti-LGBT extremist Scott Lively. In 2014, HRC released a detailed report on Scott Lively’s deeply troubling anti-LGBT advocacy around the world. Among other anti-LGBT activities, Lively traveled repeatedly to Uganda claiming that LGBT people are responsible for the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and the spread of HIV/AIDS. 

“Given that he has opposed ENDA, which would give LGBT workers express protection against discrimination in the workplace, Rand Paul needs to join the rest of the candidates and say whether he agrees that Mike Pence did the right thing when he signed a bill in Indiana that put LGBT Hoosiers at risk for discrimination,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s VP for Policy and Political Affairs.

Earlier this year, HRC released a comprehensive research report on Rand Paul that highlights his record opposing LGBT equality. Hosted at, the site serves as an online resource for journalists to show where Rand Paul stands on key LGBT issues. Paul was among the first tier of candidates to be released by HRC.

Highlights on Where Paul Stands:

Overview:  While Rand Paul has spent the last year as a potential presidential candidate suggesting his party needs to be more open to LGBT Americans, as senator he has staked out a consistent record against equality.[Citations/Full Research Brief]

On Marriage Equality: As a candidate in 2010, Paul said he was committed to supporting a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.  He later suggested that marriage should be left to the states to decide, so that opponents of marriage equality could keep fighting the issue for “decades.” [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On LGBT Discrimination: As a candidate, Paul completed a Christian Coalition voter guide saying he was committed to fighting against efforts to protect LGBT Americans under existing civil rights laws. On the same day he claimed to have a “Zero Tolerance” policy against discrimination, he voted against ENDA, which would protect LGBT workers from workplace discrimination. Paul even skipped a committee hearing on his own amendment to ENDA.  [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Executive Order: Committed to repealing all of President Obama’s executive orders, including one that explicitly protects LGBT workers from discrimination. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Rhetoric Paul joked that President Obama’s views on marriage couldn’t “get any gayer” and then suggested that marriage equality would lead to people marrying inanimate objects. [DownloadFull Research Brief]

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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