Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar on LGBTQ Issues

2020 provides us the starkest choice in American history: to elect a pro-equality champion as president or to face four more years of a Trump-Pence administration that has attacked LGBTQ people at every opportunity. HRC sent our 2020 Presidential Questionnaire to all candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination. Amy Klobuchar's responses are below. You can view more candidate questionnaire responses at hrc.org/election2020.


Question 1 from HRC

In a majority of states, no explicit laws protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) Americans from discrimination, like the federal laws that exist on race, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability. If elected, would you support and sign into law the Equality Act (HR 5/S788), which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in credit, education, employment, federally funded programs, housing, jury service, and public spaces?

Support ✓                         Oppose       

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 1

Senator Klobuchar has committed to passing the Equality Act in year one of her Presidency to take on discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.


Question 2 from HRC

The U.S. Constitution provides strong protections for individuals and organizations to exercise religion and to freely speak about beliefs. But some federal and state lawmakers are seeking to pass legislation, like the First Amendment Defense Act, that would create loopholes that could be used to deny equal treatment to LGBTQ people based on so-called "religious freedom" claims. Would you oppose efforts that allow individuals to use their religious beliefs as a justification to discriminate against LGBTQ people in the public sphere?

Yes ✓                              No               

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 2

As part of her plan of more than 100 actions for her first 100 days as President, Senator Klobuchar will stop efforts to give federal protections to those discriminating against LGBTQ people.


Question 3 from HRC

Do you believe the civil institution of marriage (with absolutely no requirements imposed on houses of worship) should be legally available to two committed adults of the same sex?

Support ✓                       Oppose           

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 3

Senator Klobuchar was a co-sponsor of the bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act before the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land.


Question 4 from HRC

New treatments have improved the quality of life for those living with HIV and new prevention strategies can help reduce the risk of contracting HIV, but these medications are often too expensive and too difficult to access for those who need them. Do you support increased funding for HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and research?

Support ✓                       Oppose           

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 4

Senator Klobuchar is committed to tackling the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs like PrEP. She will also prioritize research into treatment and cures for HIV/AIDS and make medical research more inclusive of the LGBTQ community, and she will combat the stigma of HIV/AIDS including by launching a review of state and local federal laws and policies criminalizing certain actions by people living with HIV/AIDS.


Question 5 from HRC

Even as we experience increased transgender visibility, the levels of violence and harassment transgender people face – particularly transgender women of color – constitute a national crisis. The federal government has a critical role to play in preventing and addressing violence, including: expanding access to critical safety net programs to address issues like homelessness and job placement; implementing and enforcing rules that prohibit discrimination against transgender people by federally funded service providers; ensuring medically necessary transition-related care under the Affordable Care Act; ensuring the safety of those in jails, prisons, and immigration detention centers and robust enforcement of the federal hate crimes law. If elected President, will you support legislation and advance regulations and policies that prohibit discrimination against transgender people and prioritize a comprehensive federal response to address anti-transgender violence?

Yes✓                                No                  

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 5

Senator Klobuchar will prioritize efforts within the Department of Justice to address violence against transgender women, including by investigating these cases as hate crimes, and she will fully fund programs to help state and local authorities investigate and prosecute hate crimes under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act. She will also ban the so-called gay and transgender panic defense that excuses violent behavior against members of the LGBTQ community by passing Senator Markey’s Gay and Trans Panic Defense Prohibition Act, legislation Senator Klobuchar co-sponsors in the Senate.


Question 6 from HRC

While all states currently allow LGBTQ people to adopt children, some legislators are pushing to allow government funded child welfare agencies to prohibit capable, committed adults from adopting and fostering because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Do you support policies that require government funded child welfare agencies to make decisions on adoption and foster care based on the best interest of the child, without bans based on sexual orientation or gender identity?

Support ✓                       Oppose            

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 6

Senator Klobuchar will combat discrimination against foster and adoptive families by passing the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, legislation Senator Klobuchar co-sponsors in the Senate.


Question 7 from HRC

Bullying and harassment of LGBTQ students, as well as students perceived to be LGBTQ, is widespread. Would you support and sign into law the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 2653/S. 2548), which would require school districts receiving federal funding to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and religion?

Support ✓                      Oppose           

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 7

Senator Klobuchar is an original co-sponsor of the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2019 to prohibit bullying and harassment including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.


Question 8 from HRC

LGBTQ people in many parts of the world face harassment, legal and societal discrimination, violence, and bigotry. Seventy countries criminalize same-sex sexual activity. In up to ten countries, same-sex sexual activity may be punishable by death. Transgender and gender non-conforming people often face laws that criminalize them and put them at greater risk of experiencing violence and poor health. Do you believe that LGBTQ rights are human rights and that U.S. national security is strengthened when we work with other governments, civil society, and international organizations to protect, support, and defend the human rights of LGBTQ people abroad?

Support ✓                      Oppose            

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 8

Senator Klobuchar will stand up for LGBTQ rights abroad, including by immediately filling the role of Special Envoy on LGBTQ issues and fully funding the State Department’s efforts to work with LGBTQ organizations to advocate for human rights around the world. She will also support the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which has saved millions of lives in sub-Saharan Africa and around the world and changed the course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In addition, she will restore asylum for the victims of gender-based violence after the Trump Administration adopted a legal interpretation that could lead to rejecting most LGBTQ asylum-seekers.


Question 9 from HRC

If elected President, will you only put forth nominees for appointment to the Supreme Court that are committed to due process under the law and upholding the Equal Protection Clause for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity?

Support ✓                       Oppose            

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 9

Senator Klobuchar will only appoint judges and justices who respect the law, which includes a commitment to due process under the law and upholding equality for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.


Question 10 from HRC

If elected President, will you commit to making diverse appointments of qualified, openly LGBTQ individuals in key positions of your Administration, to include your Cabinet and the White House?

Support ✓                       Oppose            


Question 11 from HRC

There are approximately 15,500 actively serving transgender members of the U.S. military, making the Department of Defense the largest employer of transgender people in America. The Trump Administration has arbitrarily adopted a policy that bans qualified transgender people from service and will result in transgender service members losing their jobs. If elected President, will you expeditiously rescind the Trump policy and adopt new regulations allowing open service by all, qualified transgender people?

Support ✓                       Oppose            

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 11

Senator Klobuchar will immediately lift the ban preventing qualified transgender people from serving in the military. She will also expedite the process for service members who were discharged for no other reason than their sexual orientation or gender identity to correct negative discharges in order to reflect their honorable service.


Question 12 from HRC

President Obama issued a historic Executive Order prohibiting discrimination against transgender employees of the federal government and prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. If elected President, will you leave that order in place and instruct all Departments to robustly enforce nondiscrimination protections?

Support ✓                        Oppose            

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 12

Senator Klobuchar will end all efforts by the Department of Justice that argue that transgender people do not have protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.


Question 13 from HRC

This questionnaire addresses most of the key federal issues impacting the LGBTQcommunity, but there are many others, including youth homelessness, the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood, significant gaps in data collection, inability to access to medically-necessary health care, and critically important cultural competency training. If elected President, will you work to address the full range of LGBTQ concerns across the federal government?

Yes ✓                              No                    

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 13

In addition to passing the Equality Act in year one of her Presidency, Senator Klobuchar will restore protections for the LGBTQ community when it comes to civil rights, education, and health care. She will create an Office of LGBTQ Antidiscrimination within the White House Domestic Policy Council to coordinate antidiscrimination efforts across federal agencies, reject efforts to give federal protections to those discriminating against LGBTQ people, recognize third gender markers on the federal level in line with the decision of federal courts, direct the Food and Drug Administration to end all non-medically-based restrictions on blood donations, support training for health care workers to provide appropriate and equitable care to LGBTQ patients, strengthen protections for medically-necessary transition-related care, prioritize mental health and investing in suicide prevention programs, collect data to track and address LGBTQ disparities in care, improve support and protections for older LGBTQ Americans, and expand efforts to reduce LGBTQ homelessness.


Question 14 from HRC

Please share policy positions not mentioned above that you have publicly taken on ballot measures, legislation or non-policy related matters that affect the LGBTQ community, including in legislatures, businesses, the legal realm or the media.

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 14

America is a nation founded on equality for all people and Senator Klobuchar believes that we must never stop fighting to advance that equality for the LGBTQ community. Senator Klobuchar’s record demonstrates that commitment. As the Hennepin County Attorney, she was a leader in taking on hate crimes. In 2000, because of her work, she was invited to the White House to introduce President Bill Clinton when he announced the introduction of the Matthew Shepard hate crimes legislation that covered a wide range of hate crimes including those against gay and lesbian people. When Senator Klobuchar arrived in the Senate, she was one of the votes to finally pass the Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill. She also voted for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, was a co-sponsor of the bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act before the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, and has long supported legislation like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Equality Act to combat discrimination against the LGBTQ community. And at a time when President Trump is trying to roll back LGBTQ rights, Senator Klobuchar continues to push for LGBTQ equality when it comes to health care, education and civil rights. Read more about Senator Klobuchar on equality for the LBGTQ community here.


HRC works in coalition with many organizations to achieve equality and justice. Please indicate your positions on these key issues:

Question 15 from HRC

Do you support the Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4/S. 561), a bill that protects access to the polls for all Americans by addressing the modern day challenges of voting discrimination and restoring the full protections of the Voting Rights Act?

Support ✓                        Oppose             

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 15

Senator Klobuchar has long advocated for Congress to take action to address the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down key parts of the Voting Rights Act. She is a co-sponsor of the Voting Rights Advancement Act and as President, she will get this legislation passed and restore protections for voters in states with a recent history of discrimination. She will also champion a voting rights and democracy reform package, including automatically registering every 18-year-old in this country to vote by passing a bill she leads in the Senate, banning states from purging voters from rolls for not voting in recent elections by passing her bill with Senator Brown, restoring Americans’ right to vote after being released from incarceration, and putting same-day registration policies in place by passing a bill she leads in the Senate.


Question 16 from HRC

Do you support a woman’s right to make decisions about her own reproductive health, including a right to safe and accessible abortion?

Support ✓                        Oppose             


Question 17 from HRC

Do you support immigration reform with a path to legal citizenship for law-abiding residents currently in the United States?

Support ✓                        Oppose             

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 17

Senator Klobuchar believes that comprehensive immigration reform is crucial to moving our economy and our country forward. She supports a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes the DREAM Act, border security and an accountable pathway to earned citizenship. She is committed to stopping the cruel and inhumane policy where the government is taking kids away from their parents.


Question 18 from HRC

Do you support sensible gun safety measures including limiting access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks, and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists and those with a history of domestic abuse to access guns?

Support ✓                       Oppose             

Comments from Klobuchar on Question 18

Senator Klobuchar believes that gun violence prevention policies are long overdue. She supports a package of gun violence policies including instituting universal background checks by closing the gun show and Charleston loopholes and banning bump stocks, high capacity ammunition feeding devices and assault weapons. She is also the author of a proposal that would close what is commonly referred to as the ‘boyfriend loophole’ by preventing people who have abused dating partners from buying or owning firearms.