In the spotlight we have Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton’s pick for Vice President, Senator Tim Kaine, as we assess his stance on transgender and LGBT issues.
Timothy Michale Kaine was born on February 26, 1958 in in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He was the former Governor and now the junior United states Senator of Virginia. He is now running for Vice President of The United States as Hillary Clinton’s running mate.
“I do believe that people shouldn’t be kicked out of their jobs or discriminated against because of who they are.”
Like his running mate, Kaine’s stance seems to have evolved over the years. As mayor of Richmond in 2001, Kaine would not come out fully to support gay marriage or civil unions. “I have never said I supported gay civil unions, gay marriages,” Kaine told the AP at the time. He did come out against discrimination however starting, “I do believe that people shouldn’t be kicked out of their jobs or discriminated against because of who they are.”
In 2005, Kaine opposed allowing gay individuals and couples the right to adopt a child. His stance loosened up in 2011 when he said it would be okay if a judge determined it was in the best interests of the child.
In 2006, Kaine campaigned against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions in Virginia. Despite his efforts, the bans did ultimately pass. Also in 2006, Kaine signed an executive order adding sexual orientation protections to the non-discrimination policy for state workers.
As a member of the Senate in 2013, Kaine voted for Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). In 2015, Kaine voted for the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA), would establish a comprehensive federal prohibition of discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
On May 3, 2016, Kaine along with 38 other Senators took part in creating a letter urging the Department of Education to release comprehensive guidance on the full scope of protections afforded to transgender and gender non-conforming students in our middle schools, high schools, and colleges.
On June 30, 2016 Kaine took to twitter in support of lifting the transgender military ban.
Glad to see military transgender service ban lifted by #SecDef Carter today. Openness & inclusivity will make our armed forces stronger
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) June 30, 2016
On the same date, Kaine along with 129 other members of congress filed an amicus brief arguing that discrimination on the basis of seual orientation or gender identity is already prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as these types of discrimination are linked to sex which was banned under title VIII.
Kaine also has information on his website that shows his support for LGB issues; however there is no mention of the “T” or anything related to gender identity.
It appears that Senator Tim Kaine is now on the side of transgender rights, though that may not have always been the case. In his defense however, back in 2001 it may have been political suicide to do so. We have also seen Kaine be careful with what he says in regards to LGBT issues as he sometimes seems to be threading the line between his religious beliefs and human rights. Regardless of his past, he seems to be in line with Hillary Clinton’s goals to support transgender rights. In recent years he has voted and acted in accordance. Should he one day have to step in as President of the United States, it appears he would continue to be on the side of LGBT rights.