Mike Bloomberg apologizes for calling transgender people 'it'; says he backs transgender rights
Sat. February 29, 2020 7:57 AM by Carlos Santoscoy
In a statement given to LGBT blog NewNowNext, Bloomberg said that he realized that his "words had caused hurt."
"It was a poor attempt to describe how some who oppose transgender equality think about this issue – and those words do not reflect my unwavering support for equality for transgender Americans," Bloomberg said. "I want to offer my sincere apologies to the members of the transgender community."
Video of Bloomberg's comments made in 2019 surfaced earlier this month.
Bloomberg made the comments at a forum hosted by the Bermuda Business Development Agency in Manhattan. He was not a presidential candidate at the time.
"If your conversation during a presidential election is about some guy wearing a dress and whether he, she, or it can go to the locker room with their daughter, that's not a winning formula for most people," Bloomberg said. "They care about health care, they care about education, they care about safety, and all of those kinds of things."
"And so you can understand where somebody like Trump comes from; you can understand when you look at the Democratic Party, they are so far left that two years ago there was nobody on their side who would take these positions, and today virtually all the candidates for president of the Democratic Party are so progressive. I don't know what progressive means."
The video was posted on YouTube shortly after the March event but received little attention.
In his statement, Bloomberg noted a recent fatal attack in Puerto Rico against a transgender woman.
(Related: Homeless transgender woman murdered in Puerto Rico.)
"We need a president who will set the moral compass to ensure safety, respect, and dignity for all trans people," Bloomberg said. "As mayor, I signed a sweeping transgender civil rights bill and, as president, will promote policies that advance equality for transgender Americans who have been attacked by the Trump administration over the past three years."
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which had criticized Bloomberg for his remarks, accepted the candidate's apology.
"He took the time to engage members of the transgender community and it's heartening that he has realized his comments were unacceptable," HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. "Today, Mayor Bloomberg and his campaign rededicated themselves to pursuing a safer, more inclusive future for the LGBTQ community, and for transgender people specifically."
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