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Joe Biden’s Likely VP Picks And Their LGBT Credentials

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In just three months, Americans will go to the polls to vote for their next president, and while Trump continues to be, well Trump, attention is turning to who Joe Biden will announce as his running mate.

Biden, who is the Democrat’s presumptive nominee, pledged in March that his running mate will be a woman. As 2020 has progressed the vibe has risen and fallen around various candidates, but as reported by the BBC here are three likely contenders.

Kamala Harris

Largely considered the front-runner, Harris, who is in the US senate was previously California’s attorney general, San Francisco’s district attorney.

Harris also has a strong record on LGBTIQ rights, advocating for equality. In 2004 as San Francisco district attorney she established a LGBT hate crimes unit. Harris also led the charge on abolishing gay and transgender panic defences in criminal trials and refused to defend California’s discriminatory Prop. 8 in court.

Coming from California Harris brings substantial financial support – she raised $2 million in a virtual fundraiser for the Biden campaign.

Gretchen Whitmer

Whitmer is the Michigan’s governor and a former state legislator who has received national attention in recent months due to her response to the Coronavirus pandemic where she enacted social distancing and business shutdown measures. Being critical of the federal government’s response to the pandemic, Whitmer has been on the receiving end of Trump’s vitriol.

In 2019, as governor, Whitmer signed an executive directive to strengthen prohibitions against LGBTIQ discrimination in state employment, contracting and provision of services.

Hilary Clinton narrowly lost Michigan in the 2016 election, so choosing a running mate from that state might help Biden’s chances of taking it.

Tammy Duckworth

Duckworth is a junior senator from Illinois who previously served in the military where she was involved in a helicopter accident that was shot down by insurgents.

In 2019 Duckworth alongside US Representative Chris Pappas introduced legislation that would amend existing veteran legislation to specifically include the LGBT service men and women as a minority group member. This was largely seen as a counter balance to the Trump administration’s push to exclude LGBTIQ veterans from outreach programs operated by the Centre for Minority Veterans.

Illinois is a safe Democratic state, but its proximity to key Midwest battlegrounds – as well as her middle-of-the-road politics – could make her an attractive pick for Biden.

Americans will go to the polls on 3 November.

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