Under attack, Tulsi Gabbard apologizes for her past anti-LGBTQ stance

Tulsi Gabbard
Tulsi Gabbard

The first Hindu member of US Congress, who declared her 2020 candidacy last week, posted her apology in a YouTube video.

Democratic presidential hopeful and the first Hindu in member of US Congress Tulsi Gabbard has apologized for her anti-gay stance and statements in the past.

Gabbard, who announced that she will run for president last week, posted a video message on YouTube on Thursday offering apology. “I my past, I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse hurtful to the LGBTQ community and their loved ones,” she said. “Many years ago, I apologized for my words and more importantly for the negative impact that they had.

“I sincerely repeat my apology today. I’m deeply sorry for having said them. My views have changed significantly since then, and my record in Congress over the last six years reflects what is in my heart: A strong and ongoing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ rights.”

In the days since Gabbard announced her presidential run, her past stance on lesbian, gay and transgender issues has come under scrutiny, including her previous work with an anti-gay advocacy group.

Realizing that the past stance will prove an obstacle in her presidential run, especially with liberal groups that form the core of Democratic Party primary, Gabbard chose to renew her apology, which was also posted on Twitter.

The Hawaii Democrat had, in the past, worked for the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, a group that was run by her father and Hawaii State Sen. Mike Gabbard. Her father had fought against gay rights in Hawaii and was also instrumental in helping an amendment that gave the legislature to ban same-sex marriage.

Tulsi Gabbard has, as a member of Congress, voted in favor of LGBT rights. Mike Gabbard, however, has been a very active anti-gay rights advocate. In the past, he also hosted an anti-gay radio show, “Let’s talk Straight Hawaii.”

Gabbard’s foreign policy stances, especially her support for Syrian strongman and her connections to the Hindu nationalist groups, have also come under attack in recent days. In a lengthy article published on The Intercept website, Indian American journalist Soumya Shankar  described Gabbard as a “polarizing figure” whose “progressive domestic politics are at odds with her support for authoritarians abroad.”

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