Republicans this week faced off on the best ways to address terrorism but conveniently forgot to address the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting, Hillary Clinton released her platform for LGBTQ equality, and Ted Cruz picked up an endorsement from another anti-choice leader.
Republicans Focus on Terrorism in Debates, Ignoring Attack on Colorado Planned Parenthood
Terrorism in the United States and abroad took center stage at Tuesday’s GOP debate as candidates vying for the Republican nomination faced off.
The candidates spent much of the night explaining how their platforms would better protect Americans from the threat presented by terrorism in the United States and abroad. Many called for increased government surveillance of mosques. Others, like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), pushed for the NSA to take on a greater role in monitoring Americans’ phone calls and emails.
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Donald Trump proposed “closing parts of the Internet” to deal with terrorism, though observers considered the explanation of his policy stance incoherent.
Missing from the Republican candidates’ discussion of terrorism was another act of violence that made headlines: the November 27 deadly shootings at a Colorado Planned Parenthood.
The shooting in Colorado Springs, which left three dead and nine injured, was condemned as an act of domestic terrorism by many, including some Republican presidential candidates. Much of the anti-choice reaction to the deadly shooting included tepid, equivocal condemnations of the violence. A Colorado GOP leader said the Planned Parenthood shooting should be followed by more intensive investigations into the health-care organization.
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union in the wake of the attack, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper decried the violence as a “form of terrorism.” Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee referred to the shooting as “domestic terrorism.”
The hours-long debate omitted any mention of acts of terror committed by white Americans, such as the Planned Parenthood shooting and the Charleston Church massacre, Alternet noted in a piece critiquing the night’s discussions.
“In a two-hour debate with over 20,000 words spoken, there was not one mention of ‘Charleston’ or ‘Planned Parenthood,’ or any reference to white or Christian terrorism,” Alternet’s Adam Johnson wrote. “For CNN, the issue of terrorism is limited only to those who exercise political grievances violently and also have brown skin.”
Hillary Clinton Releases Plan for “Full Equality” for LGBTQ People
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday released an outline for achieving “full equality” for LGBTQ people, highlighting the former secretary of state’s plan to address discrimination and prejudices many still face in the United States and worldwide.
“Thanks to the hard work of generations of LGBT advocates and activists who fought to make it possible, our country won a landmark victory this past June when the Supreme Court recognized that in America, under our Constitution, LGBT couples, like everyone else, have the right to marry the person they love,” Clinton’s fact sheet explained, noting that LGBTQ equality has not been achieved despite the Court’s decision.
“But our work to reach the promise of full equality remains unfinished. LGBT kids continue to be discriminated against and bullied at school, a restaurant can refuse to serve a transgender person, and a same-sex couple is at risk of being evicted from their home.”
The campaign noted that Clinton “believes that we must stand firm and keep fighting until every American can not only marry, but also live, work, pray, learn and raise a family free from discrimination and prejudice.”
The fact sheet on Clinton’s LGBTQ platform broke out the candidate’s plan into six core components: fighting for full federal equality for LGBTQ Americans; supporting LGBTQ youth, parents, and elders; honoring the military service of LGBTQ military people; securing affordable treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS; protecting trans rights; and promoting the rights of LGBTQ people worldwide.
Clinton’s agenda included promises to “implement and enforce” LGBTQ protections put in place through executive action by President Obama “in employment, housing, and health care,” as well as her intentions to end so-called conversion therapy for minors.
Clinton’s campaign also launched its “LGBT for Hillary” initiative this week, according to the Washington Blade.
“Even as we celebrate progress, nobody should forget how much work still lies ahead,” Clinton said during a 30-minute call announcing the initiative. “That work isn’t finished until every single person, no matter who you are or who you love or where you live is treated with the equality and dignity that you all deserve.”
Cruz Wins Endorsement From Yet Another Anti-Choice, Anti-LGBTQ Leader
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) received the endorsement of James Dobson, founder of influential evangelical organization Focus on the Family.
“Ted Cruz’s record on religious liberty, life, and marriage is second to none in this Republican field,” Dobson said in a statement touted by Cruz on his website.
“I have met with the senator on multiple occasions: he is brilliant, articulate, and informed. Shirley and I have been praying for a leader such as this, and we are confident that Ted Cruz has the moral and spiritual foundations to lead our nation with excellence. Speaking as private individuals, we urge conservatives and people of faith to join us in supporting his race for the presidency.”
Cruz welcomed the endorsement, saying he was “thrilled” to have Dobson’s support and as “Dobson’s wisdom and common sense have inspired health and healing in millions of lives.”
Dobson and the organization he founded are vocally opposed to abortion rights and LGBTQ equality. Dobson once connected the 9/11 attacks to God being “displeased” with the United States because of abortion, and called for opposition to LGBTQ adoption and marriage equality in organization documents.
A large gathering of conservative leaders headed by hate group Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins met this month in Virginia to come together “behind a single presidential candidate in a show of strength and solidarity that would position them to defeat the establishment-backed candidate in the head-to-head stage of the 2016 Republican primary.”
The group decided Cruz was the best candidate to represent them after five rounds of voting.