Almost six days after her anti-LGBT remarks surfaced,
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, posted a video to Twitter Thursday apologizing.
In 2002, Gabbard boasted about supporting her father, an anti-gay activist, in his effort to promote the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage passed in 1998. After her election, she continued to espouse anti-gay views. In 2004, she opposed a bill legalizing civil unions.
“To try to act as if there is a difference between ‘civil unions’ and same-sex marriage is dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful to the people of Hawaii,” Gabbard said at the time, according to CNN’s KFile. “As Democrats we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists.”
In her apology Gabbard said:
“In my past, I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, they were very hurtful to people in the LGBTQ community and to their loved ones.
“My father was very outspoken. He was an activist who was fighting against gay rights and marriage equality in Hawaii – and at that time, I forcefully defended him, But over the years, as I grew up, I formed my own opinions, based on my life experiences.”
“I know that LGBTQ+ people still struggle, are still facing discrimination, are still facing abuse and still fear that their hard-won rights are going to be taken away by people who hold views like I used to,I regret the role I played in causing such pain, and I remain committed to fighting for LGBTQ+ equality.”
Gabbard’s father was more than just a “conservative activist”. As well as his working with Alliance for Traditional Marriage, Gabbard’s father was also the director of Stop Promoting Homosexuality and served on the steering committees of the National Campaign to Protect Marriage and Save Traditional Marriage, according to CNN. He also hosted an anti-gay radio show called “Let’s Talk Straight Hawaii.”