Vastavam web: Democratic presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard apologised Thursday for her past remarks that were critical of the LGBTQ community, saying now she has a strong commitment to fight for their rights. Gabbard, 37, the first Hindu elected to US Congress and a four-time Democratic lawmaker, last week announced she will run for President in 2020. In the past, she “forcefully defended” her father who was fighting against gay rights and marriage equality in Hawaii.
In a video message, Gabbard said: “In my past I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, hurtful to the LGBTQ community and their loved ones. Many years ago, I apologised for my words and, more importantly, for the negative impact that they had”. “When we deny LGBTQ people the basic rights that exist for every American, we are denying their humanity, denying that they are equal. We are also creating a dangerous environment that breeds discrimination and violence. When we divide people based on who they are or who they love, all we are doing is adding fuel the flames that perpetuate bigotry and hatred,” Gabbard said.
A Iraq war veteran, Gabbard was recently re-elected for her fourth consecutive term to the House of Representatives from the State of Hawaii. “I know that LGBTQ+ people still struggle, are still facing discrimination, are still facing abuse and still fear that their hard-won rights are going to be taken away by people who hold views like I used to,” she said. That cannot happen because every single American deserves to be treated equally by their fellow Americans and under the law, she said.
“I will continue to fight for LGBTQ+ people, whether they’re in school or serving in uniform, trying to get healthcare, taking care of their family, or looking for a home,” she said. “While many Americans may be able to relate to growing up in a conservative home, my story is a little different because my father was very outspoken. He was an activist who was fighting against gay rights and marriage equality in Hawaii and at that time, I forcefully defended him and his cause,” Gabbard explained.
“But over the years as I grew up, I formed my own opinions based on my life experience that significantly changed my views — at a very personal level in truly having aloha, love, for all people, and making sure that every American, regardless of sexual orientation, is treated equally under the law,” she added.