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Michael Bloomberg refers to trans people as ‘it’ in resurfaced video that’s less than a year old

Emma Powys Maurice February 19, 2020
MIchael Bloomberg

MIchael Bloomberg speaking at Bermuda's New York Forum in March 2019 (YouTube/BDA)

Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg is attempting to defend his LGBT+ record after a resurfaced video shows him referring to transgender people as “it” and and “some guy in a dress”.

The video was taken at a business forum in March 2019, where Bloomberg chided the Democrats for their focus on social issues, such as gender dysphoria.

The billionaire businessman, a late entrant in the Democratic primaries, said that “you can understand where somebody like Trump comes from” and suggested that a candidate who vocally supports trans rights was someone bound to lose.

“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 with most people,” he said.

“They care about health care, they care about education, they care about safety and all of those kinds of things. And some of these social issues … we’re focusing on a lot of things that have little relevance to people who are trying to live in a world that is changing because of technology, communications and things like that.”

He continued: “So you can understand where somebody like Trump comes from. You can understand – if you look at the Democratic Party, they are so far left that two years ago, there was nobody on their side that would take these positions.

“And today, virtually all of the candidates for president in the Democratic Party have been so progressive – I don’t know what progressive means, but they are in a place where some of the American public is. And it remains to be seen if the majority of the electorate is.”

Bloomberg was a firm supporter of LGBT+ rights while serving as New York City mayor and has said he hopes to carry that through to the White House with a “comprehensive policy to ensure LGBTQ+ equality”.

The 2019 video calls this into question, coming as it does so soon after another the emergence of another controversial video in which he argued that America’s mid-west would never comprehend why “some man wearing a dress should be in a locker room with their daughter”.

The Michael Bloomberg campaign defended his LGBT+ record in a statement to Buzzfeed, saying that he supports passage of the Equality Act, but not explaining his words at the March 2019 forum.

“Mike understands that the transgender community has been under attack for decades and the advance of rights has not been equal,” they said in a statement.

“In April 2002, during his first year as mayor, Mike signed a sweeping transgender civil rights bill into law. His company provides comprehensive health care coverage for his transgender employees.

“As president, he has a comprehensive plan to secure rights for transgender Americans, including passing the Equality Act, ensuring transgender people have access to affirming health care and working to end the crisis of violence against transgender women.

“Mike is running to defeat Donald Trump and reverse the many policies he has implemented that attack the rights of the transgender community.”

More: 2020 presidential election, Democratic primaries, Michael Bloomberg, US politics

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