Sen. Kamala Harris Says ‘It’s About Time We Have a Better Understanding of the Needs’ of Transgenders

By CNSNews.com Staff | January 21, 2019 | 4:20pm EST
Sen. Kamala Harris at Howard University, Jan. 21, 2019. (Getty Images/Al Drago)

(CNSNews.com) - After announcing she was running for president, Sen. Kamala Harris (D.-Calif.) talked to reporters at her alma mater Howard University today and said that she said it is time for America to “have a better understanding of the needs” of transgenders.

“I believe that we are at a point where we have got to stop vilifying people based sexual orientation,” Harris said, “and we’ve got to understand that when we are talking about a particular transgender community for too long they have been the subject of bias and, frankly, a lack of understanding about their circumstance and their physical needs, in addition to any other needs they have. And it’s about time that we have a better understanding of that.”

Harris also said that when she was attorney general of California she “worked behind the scenes to ensure that Department of Corrections would allow transitioning inmates to receive the medical attention that they required, they needed and deserves.”

Here is a transcript of Sen. Harris’s exchange with a reporter about her views on the care of transgender prison inmates:

Reporter: “I have a question for you on transgender rights. Many progressives have expressed concern about your role as California attorney general in defending the California Department of Corrections in seeking to deny gender reassignment surgery for two transgender individuals. How would you address those concerns?”

Sen. Harris: “So, I was, as you were rightly pointing out, the attorney general of California for two terms. And I had a host of clients that I was obligated to defend and represent, and I couldn’t fire my clients. And there were, unfortunately, situations that occurred where my clients took positions that were contrary to my beliefs. And it was an office of a lot of people who would do the work on a daily basis and do I wish that sometimes they would have personally consulted me before they wrote the things that they wrote? Yes, I do. But the bottom line is the buck stops with me and I take full responsibility for what my office did. But on that issue, I will tell you, I vehemently disagree and in fact worked behind the scenes to ensure that Department of Corrections would allow transitioning inmates to receive the medical attention that they required, they needed and deserves.”

Reporter: “Do you think that transgender inmates throughout the country, and should they have access to gender reassignment surgery?”

Sen. Harris: “I believe that we are at a point where we have got to stop vilifying people based sexual orientation and we’ve got to understand that when we are talking about a particular transgender community for too long they have been the subject of bias and, frankly, a lack of understanding about their circumstance and their physical needs, in addition to any other needs they have. And it’s about time that we have a better understanding of that.”

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