US: Democratic Party pledges to "address HIV criminalization laws" in its 2016 draft party platform

Democratic Party Comes Out Strong for LGBTQ Equality in 2016 Party Platform

HRC Blog by post by Stephen Peters

Today, the Democratic Party released its draft 2016 party platform, including key provisions that focus on improving the lives of LGBTQ people and advocating for full equality.

“This is the most LGBTQ-inclusive platform of any major U.S. party,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “We will continue to work with the Democratic Party to ensure the most robust platform for LGBTQ Americans. From protecting LGBTQ young people to ending the epidemic of violence against transgender people to passing an explicit and comprehensive federal non-discrimination law to bringing about an AIDS-free generation, the platform addresses many of the major challenges facing our community today.”

Here are some of the highlights:

LGBT Rights

Democrats applaud last year’s decision by the Supreme Court that recognized LGBT people— like every other American—have the right to marry the person they love. But there is still much work to be done. LGBT kids continue to be bullied at school, a restaurant can refuse to serve a transgender person, and a same-sex couple is at risk of being evicted from their home. That is unacceptable and must change. Democrats will fight for comprehensive federal non- discrimination protections for all LGBT Americans and push back against state efforts to discriminate against LGBT individuals. We will combat LGBT youth homelessness and improve school climates, and we will protect transgender individuals from violence. We will promote LGBT human rights and ensure America’s foreign policy is inclusive of LGBT people around the world.

Civil Rights

Democrats will always fight to end discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. We need to promote civility and speak out against bigotry and other forms of intolerance that have entered our political discourse. It is unacceptable to target, defame, or exclude anyone because of their religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, or sexual orientation.


Democrats believe an AIDS-free generation is within our grasp. But we know far too many Americans still suffer, which is why we will implement the National HIV and AIDS Strategy, increase research funding for the National Institutes of Health, cap pharmaceutical expenses for people living with HIV and AIDS, address HIV criminalization laws, and expand access for HIV prevention medications, particularly for the populations most at risk of infection. Abroad, we will make the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief more effective and increase global funding for HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment. Democrats will always protect those living with HIV and AIDS from stigma and discrimination.

Supporting our Troops

[…]Democrats welcome and honor all Americans who want to serve and will continue to fight for their equal rights and recognition. We are proud of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the opening of combat positions to women. Our military is strongest when people of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identities are honored for their service to our country.

Racial Justice

Democrats will fight to end institutional and systemic racism in our society. We will challenge and dismantle the structures that define lasting racial, economic, political, and social inequity. Democrats will promote racial justice through fair, just, and equitable governing of all institutions serving the public and in the formation of public policy. We will push for a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter and there is no place for racism in our country.

Gun Violence Prevention

With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. We will expand background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws, hold irresponsible dealers and manufacturers accountable, keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons—off our streets, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues.