STATEMENT: CAP Action’s Winnie Stachelberg Responds to Religious Liberty Rhetoric in Tonight’s First Republican Debate

Washington, D.C. — Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President of External Affairs at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, released the following statement after tonight’s Republican debate highlighted how new rhetoric from GOP candidates cannot overshadow the harmful reality of the impacts of their policies.

GOP candidates in tonight’s debate showed the emptiness of their rhetoric in touting opportunity for all when speaking about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, Americans. Not only did their comments about the LGBT community show that they are out of touch with the majority of Americans, but they also used the guise of religious liberty to argue that our nation should move backwards in affording all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, equal rights. Instead of discussing policies to broaden protections for LGBT Americans, such as comprehensive nondiscrimination reforms, the GOP candidates played to their conservative base.

In a majority of states, same-sex couples can be legally married and then be at risk of being fired from their jobs, evicted from their apartments, denied credit, or refused services or goods the next day, simply because of their sexual orientation. We need to broaden rights and equal protections for LGBT Americans, not shrink them, and Republicans who continue to oppose these basic rights fall further out of touch with a growing number of today’s electorate.

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