Each week we are profiling a political candidate to see where they stand on transgender issues. We have no interest in taking sides politically and we will try to look at these candidates solely based on their intentions towards the transgender community.
This week: Republican Candidate Jeb Bush
John Ellis “Jeb” Bush was born on February 11, 1953. He is the son of President George H. W. Bush and the brother of President George W. Bush. He was also the 43rd Governor of the state of Florida.
So where does Jeb Bush stand on transgender issues? You may be surprised to learn that recently he came out in support of transgender citizens serving in the military. That is a s long as it does not affect morale. He cited having the best people possible serve in our military. He did use the term “transgendered” however which demonstrates a lack of education on the issue. Here is a snippet from Yahoo News.
“And I’m very open-minded about – otherwise about what their personal lives and proclivities are, provided they can do what we need them do for us. That’s the important criteria. Are they going to be excellent service members?” – Governor Jeb Bush
So we now know Governor Bush would allow transgender citizens to serve. But what are his positions on other LGBT issues?
We know he opposes gay marriage. We know he now believes in preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation but he has not taken a side on ENDA. Bush opposed allowing same sex couples to marry as Governor but he respected the decision once it was made legal through the courts. We know he has come out stating he would undo any executive orders issues by President Barack Obama which includes LGBT protections. We did not find evidence of him specifically referencing them however. Governor Bush has also come out in support of allowing businesses not to serve members of the LGBT community based on their religious beliefs.
In an article for MSNBC, Bush was quoted as saying, “We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law. I hope that we can also show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue — including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty.”
So though there is not too much to go on there is some evidence Jeb Bush has evolved a little from his previous stances on LGBT issues. We will not go as far as saying he would be a friend to the LGBT community; however we do not see him going out of his way to change any laws that have currently been enacted with possibly the exception of executive orders issued by President Barack Obama. Based on the current field he may be one of the more LGBT friendly Republican candidates, but that is not saying much given the average beliefs of the current field.
As always we did reach out to his campaign and will post any response we receive regarding the Governor’s position on transgender issues.