Reports & Research

The 2004 Democratic presidential candidates on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues

Report Type: 
May 27, 2003

The first comprehensive report of the positions of the 2004 Democratic presidential candidates on key lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues finds that while the candidates — as a group — hold the most pro-LGBT positions ever taken by a field of candidates for president, the majority are not leading but reflecting public opinion.

The report, prepared by the LGBT community’s premier think tank, analyzed the positions of the nine declared Democratic candidates in 11 issue areas, including sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination laws, civil unions, marriage, the ban on lesbian and gay people serving in the military, and LGBT-supportive education policies.

Key findings include:

  • Full equality in family recognition is area of greatest disagreement
  • Candidates lag behind general public on issue of freedom to marry
  • Pro-LGBT positions span many issues
  • Marked contrast with positions of President Bush
  • Marked progress and sharp contrast to 1992
  • The LGB vote has emerged as a loyal and potent force, particularly in Democratic primaries: a sizable, discrete voting bloc of 4 to 5 percent of the vote in national Congressional and Presidential elections and close to 10 percent in Democratic primaries.