Presidential Candidate Mike Bloomberg 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. Mike Bloomberg'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 Bloomberg on Question 1

Over the past two decades, the fight for equality for LGBTQ+ Americans has made incredible strides— from marriage equality to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to advances in the treatment and prevention of HIV. But progress has been uneven, and is threatened more than ever by the Trump administration’s efforts to systematically dismantle key protections for LGBTQ+ people. In many states, you can still be married on Sunday and fired on Monday, just because of who you are or who you love. As president, I will make fighting for and passing the Equality Act a priority, to guarantee protection for LGBTQ+ people in all facets of life—employment, housing, credit, education, public accommodations and federally funded programs—and I will also take executive action to ensure equal benefits and protections for LGBTQ+ federal government employees, as well as employees of firms that do business with the federal government.


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 Bloomberg on Question 2

The freedom to practice one’s religion is one of America’s most sacred principles, but it should not be used to justify discrimination. As president, I will oppose the First Amendment Defense Act and support the Do No Harm Act, which would amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to clarify that it does not allow religious to serve as an excuse to discriminate against another person. I will also end the Trump administration’s practice of granting federally funded organizations a license to discriminate against people based on their religious beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity.


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 Bloomberg on Question 3

I have been an advocate for same sex marriage since 2005, long before many of my opponents in this race. And I didn’t just talk about marriage equality, I worked to convince Republicans to vote for it. In 2011, I went up to the state capitol in Albany and met with state senators there who were against marriage equality legislation. I asked them to listen to their families, and especially their children, and that turned out to be enough votes to pass it. Marriage equality passed in New York State. And in the years after, I worked to spread marriage equality around the country, backing efforts in MD, ME, MN and WA to pass marriage equality.


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 Bloomberg on Question 4

As president, I will set a goal of ending HIV/AIDS by 2030. To do this, I will invest in federal cure research and fully fund the Ryan White CARE Act, the primary source of federal funding for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. I will also make PrEP, which prevents HIV, available without a prescription, and will pursue every available option to make PrEP drugs affordable and accessible, including subscription models where the government pays a set amount per month to ensure access. As president, I will also work with the United Nations to lead the global effort to end HIV/AIDS by 2030, including an increased commitment to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).


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 Bloomberg on Question 5

Crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ community increased by about 6% from 2017 and the FBI has reported a significant increase in hate crimes motivated by gender identity bias. Transgender women of color are most at risk for violence: According to the Human Rights Campaign, advocates reported at least 25 violent deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming people in the U.S. in 2019. The majority of these individuals were black transgender women. My administration will take a comprehensive approach to address discrimination, harassment and violence against the LGBTQ+ community, particularly against transgender women of color.

As president, I will:

  • Make hate and bias crimes a top federal priority, supporting violence intervention programs, increasing oversight and training for law enforcement, and ensuring the safe housing, treatment and care of transgender individuals in the criminal justice system.
  • Pass the Equality Act to protect all Americans from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Ensure health coverage for medically-necessary gender-affirming care and fund training for medical and mental health professionals to address bias, including against LGBTQ+ people.
  • Enforce laws that require insurance coverage of mental health care and strengthen suicide prevention efforts.
  • Launch a federal “Respect for All” initiative to promote training for teachers, principals and other key staff to combat bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools.
  • Increase funding for emergency shelters and services for homeless and runaway youth and support programs that promote family acceptance.

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 Bloomberg on Question 6

I will fight to pass the Every Child Deserves a Family Act to end discrimination against youth in care, as well as end discrimination in adoption on the basis of sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.


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 Bloomberg on Question 7

Today, more than half of LGBTQ+ youth live in states with laws that do not provide explicit protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Nearly 9 in 10 LGBTQ+ students have experienced verbal harassment, and more than half have felt unsafe in school. LGBTQ+ youth are 120% more likely than their peers to be homeless, and are almost five times as likely as their peers to have attempted suicide. As mayor, I prioritized the safety of LGBTQ+ young people, launching a Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Runaway and Homeless Youth and supporting and expanding the Harvey Milk School, the first public high school for LGBTQ+ students. As president, I will launch a federal “Respect for All” program to promote safe and inclusive schools for all students, including LGBTQ+ students, and will fund and promote training for teachers, principals and other key staff to combat bullying, harassment and discrimination.


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 Bloomberg on Question 8

The Trump administration has stepped back from America’s leadership on LGBTQ+ issues at home and around the world, banning transgender people from serving in our military, weakening protections for LGBTQ+ people in our refugee and asylum systems and moving away from global efforts to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.

As president, I will appoint a Special Envoy on LGBTQ+ issues at the State Department, combat LGBTQ+ criminalization by foreign governments and require progress reports from all agencies engaged abroad, in coordination with international and civil society organizations. And I will recognize same-sex relationships from countries where civil marriage is not available and treat same-sex parents of children born abroad equally. I will recommit to the Global Equality Fund, of which Bloomberg L.P. is already a partner.

Under my leadership, the U.S. will work with the United Nations to lead the global effort to end HIV/AIDS by 2030, including an increased commitment to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).


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 Bloomberg on Question 9

In the march for equality and justice, President Trump keeps trying to take us backward. He’s done that by appointing judges with anti-LGTBQ+ views and by not protecting and advancing the rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world. My administration—and my judicial appointments—will uphold the values of equal treatment of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or 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            

Comments from Bloomberg on Question 10

I will restore White House leadership on LGBTQ+ issues at home and abroad, appointing cabinet members and staff who represent the full diversity of the country, celebrating Pride Month, and observing Transgender Day of Remembrance and International Transgender Day of Visibility.


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 Bloomberg on Question 11

I will reverse the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military and rescind the exclusion of coverage of gender-affirming care in the Veterans Health Administration. I will also review and restore honorable discharges and military benefits to veterans who were discharged solely for being LGBTQ+ prior to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.


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 Bloomberg on Question 12

As president, I will take executive action to ensure equal benefits and protections for LGBTQ+ federal government employees, as well as employees of firms that do business with the federal government. I will also step up anti-discrimination enforcement by conducting affirmative, systematic civil rights testing to identify and address LGBTQ+ discrimination.


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 Bloomberg on Question 13

This is a fight and a cause that I care deeply about – because ensuring equal rights for all is what America is all about. It’s what makes our country the place where the world wants to live. So I’m going to be a president for all Americans – all orientations and identities, all colors and creeds – and I’m going to bring our country back together and start repairing the damage this president has done. I have a comprehensive LGBTQ+ Equality policy agenda to address the full range of concerns for LGBTQ+ communities, including in the workplace, in healthcare, in the criminal justice system, and abroad.


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 Bloomberg on Question 14

I have been a longtime supporter of, and vocal advocate for, LGBTQ+ rights. I supported the right to marry as early as 2005 and was a key champion in the passage of marriage equality in New York State in 2011. As mayor, I launched the Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Runaway and Homeless Youth. Based on the Commission’s recommendations, my administration implemented a number of strategies to help one of the city’s most vulnerable populations. I also supported the Harvey Milk School, the first public high school for LGBTQ+ students, and was responsible for its expansion and renovation. Under my leadership, New York City’s public hospital system became the first public healthcare system in the country to mandate comprehensive training to address LGBTQ+ health disparities.

For the fourth year in a row, Bloomberg L.P. has been designated one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality,” earning a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Bloomberg, L.P. is also a partner on the Global Equality Fund.


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 Bloomberg on Question 15

I support the Voting Rights Advancement Act and have a comprehensive plan to protect voting rights for all Americans.


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             

Comments from Bloomberg on Question 16

My plan to address the nation’s maternal health crisis and improve access to women’s health services re- confirms my long-standing support for women’s reproductive rights.


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 Bloomberg on Question 17

I have long advocated for comprehensive immigration reform and support a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented living in the United States.


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 Bloomberg on Question 18

Gun safety will be a top priority when I am president. I have a comprehensive plan to address gun safety.