Tulsi Gabbard says that she’s “deeply sorry” for her homophobic past.
The Democratic Representative from Hawaii, who announced her presidential campaign earlier this week, tweeted an apology Thursday for her anti-LGBTQ+ entrée into politics, Politico reports.
“In my past, I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, hurtful to people in the LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones. I’m deeply sorry for having said and believed them,” wrote Gabbard. “Many years ago, I apologized for my words and, more importantly, for the negative impact that they had. I sincerely repeat my apology today.”
As a state representative in the early 2000s, Gabbard advocated and legislated against the “homosexual extremists” trying to “promote their agenda to our vulnerable youth.” Before entering the Hawaii state legislature in 2002, she worked for the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, an anti-marriage equality organization run by her dad.
“My views have changed significantly since then, and my record in Congress over the last 6 years reflects what is in my heart: A strong and ongoing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ+ rights,” she wrote.
Gabbard is correct that her recent LGBTQ+ record is strong. Since her election to the House of Representatives in 2012, Gabbard has opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, spoke out against the President’s proposed trans military ban, and supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The Representative is also a member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus, Politico notes, and her voting record on LGBTQ+ rights has a score of 100 out of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign.
Rep. Gabbard is not the only 2020 hopeful seeking the Democratic nomination against the presumptive Republican nominee, Pres. Donald Trump. Former Sec. of Urban Housing and Development Julian Castro and Rep. John Delaney of Maryland have also declared their candidacies, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have launched presidential exploratory committees. Sen. Kamala Harris is reportedly going to announce her campaign later this month.