If you haven’t seen the news already, well, let us break it for you: presidential candidate Joe Biden has named senator Kamala Harris as his Vice President running mate.
Harris has made history, becoming the first black South Asian American woman to be nominated for the role. With an impressive record backing LGBTQ+ policy, the Californian Democrat senator has quickly became a popular choice as Biden’s running mate, even landing a Twitter endorsement by no other than Taylor Swift.
There’s no questions about it, standing as a potential VP with a strong allyship with the queer community, Kamala puts Biden in a favourable position with future voters.
Senator Harris, 55, dropped out of the presidential race last year after failing to make headway in her bid to win the Democratic nomination.
A brief look back at Kamala Harris’ running record of LGBTQ+ allyship
Harris has publicly backed several strong moments that have benefited the community. From her decision to not support the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2008. After marriage equality was restored to California in 2013, Harris officiated the first marriage as a bold statement.
Standing as a senator, Harris also introduced legislation to ensure and protect LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination. In 2018, she introduced the Do No Harm Act to prevent the use of religious beliefs to be used as a means to discriminate against the community.
Harris has often been vocal against Trump, condemning the president’s removal of LGBTQ+ health-related information across federal websites. The senator later announced her support for the Equality Act, and soon vocalised her support for allowing transgender people to have equal access to public restrooms.
She and 19 senators signed a letter to President Trump condemning the administration’s removal of LGBTQ+ health-related information from federal websites, and announced her support for the Equality Act and for allowing transgender people equal access public accommodations, including to restrooms that match their gender identity.
During CNN’s 2019 LGBT Town Hall, the senator spoke out to end unequal treatment by sexual orientation, saying: “How can we defend that our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are treated differently under the law when they walk into their place of work? I will fight for equality. We saw great success in terms of marriage. But there is still not full equality for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and that relates to housing, it relates to employment, it relates to education, and many other issues.”
However, while Harris is known for championing equality and the LGBTQ+ community, the newly nominated VP has also supported some questionable policies, including backing a law which targeted parents of chronically truant children.
In 2015, as California attorney general, Harris argued, on behalf of the state, to withhold gender reassignment surgery from two transgender inmates who were prescribed the procedure while serving out their sentences.
So, make of it what you will, but the nominated VP has some questions to answer when it comes to protections of the LGBTQ+ community.