There are various pressing issues affecting the LGBT+ community in the United States today.
Members of our community can be fired because of their sexual or gender identity and trans women are facing an epidemic of violence, among countless other issues.
But presidential candidates were not asked about these issues at a debate on Tuesday. Instead, they were asked about Ellen DeGeneres’ friendship with former president George Bush.
Towards the end of the debate, candidates were asked about the ongoing controversy surrounding DeGeneres and Bush, the Washington Post reports.
At that point of the debate, gay moderator Anderson Cooper spoke about the controversy surrounding DeGeneres’ friendship with the former president, and asked the candidates if they could pinpoint a time they were friends with someone they disagree with.
Candidates were asked when they had been friends with someone they disagreed with.
Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders all said they had worked with Republican John McCain. Meanwhile, Cory Booker said he had worked with Ted Cruz and James Inhofe. Kamala Harris referenced Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard and Trey Gowdy.
Gabbard shared a quote from President Abraham Lincoln, “who talked about how we should have malice for none and charity for all.”
Meanwhile, gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg didn’t mention other politicians, but instead said he had been friends with people in the military who “didn’t care” if he was going home to a boyfriend or a girlfriend.
“They didn’t care what country my dad immigrated from and whether he was documented or not. We just learned to trust each other,” he said.
I love all three of my brothers. And there are a lot of things that we’re divided on, but there are core things that we believe in together.
Julian Castro said he “completely understood” what DeGeneres meant when she spoke about being kind to others. However, he also said that we should “hold people to account for what they’ve done, especially public servants who have a record of having done something or not done something.”
Elsewhere, Elizabeth Warren said that she has three older brothers, two of whom are Republicans.
“I love all three of my brothers. And there are a lot of things that we’re divided on, but there are core things that we believe in together.”
Ellen DeGeneres has faced significant backlash over her friendship with George Bush.
The controversy surrounding lesbian talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres kicked off earlier this month when she was photographed at a football game with former President George Bush.
During his presidency, Bush defended the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy that prevented queer people from serving in the armed forces and also pushed for a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex couples from marrying.
DeGeneres’ LGBT+ fans were not impressed with her for spending time with the former president. She later told viewers on her daytime show that she is friends with Bush.
Here’s the thing, I’m friends with George Bush.
“In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different.”