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4 Wild Moments From CNN’s LGBT Presidential Town Hall

Here are four highlights from CNN’s town hall featuring nine 2020 Democratic candidates to discuss their platforms on LGBT policies.


CNN held another town hall Thursday night featuring nine Democratic presidential candidates to discuss their platforms on LGBT issues.

Former vice president Joe Biden; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro; billionaire Tom Steyer; former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke; and Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Kamala Harris of California all laid out their proposed presidential LGBT policies.

Here are but a few highlights.

1. Chris Cuomo Calls Himself A Woman

Harris opened up her segment by introducing her pronouns to the audience when coming on stage.

“My pronouns are she, her, and hers,” Harris declared.

“Mine too,” Cuomo joked in response.

Cuomo’s joke sparked immediate backlash from liberal activists upset by Cuomo’s mockery of introducing oneself with pronouns, prompting a nearly immediate apology from the primetime host after the segment.

“When Sen. Harris said her pronouns were she her and her’s, I said mine too. I should not have. I apologize,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter.

2. O’Rourke: Back Gay Marriage Or Get Taxed, Bigots

O’Rourke made clear Thursday night that he believes churches should lose their tax-exemption status with the federal government if they fail to support same-sex marriage, a concept deeply at odds with the historic stances of all major world religions.

“Do you think religious institutions, like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?” CNN’s Don Lemon asked.

“Yes,” O’Rourke answered.

3. Trans Woman To CNN Anchor: ‘You Just Committed Violence Against Me’

A transgender woman who was being introduced to ask a question of Castro criticized CNN anchor Nia Mikayla Henderson for mispronouncing her name.

“I want to bring in ‘Shay Diamond,’ a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. She currently supports Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Shay, what’s your question?” Henderson asked.

“Uhm, it’s ‘Shia Diamond,’” an irritated Diamond clapped back. “Put that on the record… It’s violence to misgender, or to alter a name of, a trans person so let’s always get that right first.”

4. Anderson Cooper Thanks Protestors For Interrupting Primetime Event

Buttigieg’s segment with CNN’s Anderson Cooper was interrupted by transgender protestors whom Cooper was unable to calm down for quite some time on air.

After failing to quiet down, Cooper “applauded” them for speaking out and interrupting the event.

“Let me just point out there is a long and proud tradition in history in the gay lesbian and transgender community of protest and we applaud them for their protest,” Cooper said. “And they are absolutely right to be angry and upset at the lack of attention, particularly in the media.”