2020 hopefuls commit to equality ahead of Florida’s primary

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: “DEMZ” featuring Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden by Chad Mize.

It’s been more than three years since Donald Trump assumed the presidency of the United States, succeeding LGBTQ ally Barack Obama to become the nation’s 45th commander in chief. It’s been longer still since he became the first Republican to acknowledge the LGBTQ community from the podium of the Republican National Convention. On June 21, 2016, he vowed to protect LGBTQ citizens from “violence and oppression” while accepting his party’s nomination.

The promise drew the immediate ire of journalist Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter who was credited as the co-author of “The Art of the Deal,” Trump’s bestselling biography. Schwartz shadowed and studied the real estate developer for nearly two years to write the 1987 memoir for him, which he says today he would name “The Sociopath.”

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2020 Presidential Preference Primary Election Guide

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: “DEMZ” featuring Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden by Chad Mize.

Ahead of Florida’s presidential preference primary March 17, Watermark contacted each presidential campaign that will appear on the statewide ballot to ask nine yes (Y) or no (N) questions and one open-ended question pertaining to LGBTQ equality.

Below, you’ll find their abbreviated answers of the remaining candidates, compiled via each campaign’s direct response or the websites of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

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Buttigieg becomes 1st openly gay candidate to earn presidential delegates

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Pete Buttigieg in Iowa. (Photo from Buttigieg’s Facebook)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) | The Iowa Democratic Party released partial results of its kickoff presidential caucus after a daylong delay Feb. 4 showing former Midwestern mayor Pete Buttigieg with a slight lead over progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the opening contest of the party’s 2020 primary season.

The results followed 24 hours of chaos as technical problems marred the complicated caucus process, forcing state officials to apologize and raising questions about Iowa’s traditional place atop the presidential primary calendar.

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Buttigieg endorsed by major California, Nevada LGBTQ group

By : Wire Report
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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has won the backing of Equality California, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ membership organizations, and its Nevada partner organization, an endorsement that could give him a boost in critical Western primaries.

While Buttigieg is the only openly gay candidate in the race, his endorsement by the organizations wasn’t a lock. Every candidate was asked to fill out a questionnaire, and the endorsement committee also considered supporting Elizabeth Warren or Tom Steyer, the only Californian still in the race. But Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, impressed the committee with his detailed policies for protecting LGBTQ youth in schools and ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.

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Tom Steyer baffled by own comments on LGBTQ asylum in NYT interview

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Tom Steyer. (Photo by Phil Roeder, from Wikimedia Commons)

Tom Steyer, the businessman-turned-Democratic presidential candidate, was baffled by his own comments he previously made on protecting the health of LGBTQ asylum seekers when asked to flesh out his plan during a New York Times interview.

Steyer was unaware of his own his words — thus unable to provide more detail about his plan — during an interview with the New York Times editorial board that was published late Jan. 13.

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Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidates pitch for votes

By : Wire Report
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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) – Florida’s five Democratic candidates made their pitches to party activists at their annual convention June 30, hoping to swing support and drum up donations in advance of the August primary.

Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and developers Jeff Greene and Chris King dashed between interest group caucuses in hopes of solidifying support among party stalwarts in advance of the Aug. 28 primary.

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