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Buttigieg Endorses Reparations, Ending Electoral College

Pete Buttigieg

Those are among several positions newly posted to his campaign website.

Pete Buttigieg, the only out gay candidate among the 20-plus Democratic presidential hopefuls, has released an issues platform on his website.

The South Bend, Ind., mayor offers his positions on LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, racial justice, health care, gender equity, and more. He also endorses abolition of the Electoral College, which allowed Donald Trump and George W. Bush (in the 2000 election) to win the presidency even though they lost the popular vote.

On LGBTQ rights, not surprisingly, he calls for passage of the Equality Act, which the House of Representatives is scheduled to take up Friday. He also supports reversing Donald Trump's ban on military service by transgender people and enforcing the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act (something the Trump administration is seeking to undermine) as well as passing safe schools legislation, combating bullying and harassment, protecting LGBTQ asylum-seekers, and promoting LGBTQ equality around the world.

On reproductive health care, much in the news due to Alabama's enactment of a ban on almost all abortions and antichoice moves in several other states, Buttigieg is unequivocally pro-choice. "A woman should have the freedom to make medical decisions on her own or with the counsel of her doctor, family, and faith leaders -- those whom she chooses and she trusts," the site reads. "The government's role should be to make sure all women have access to comprehensive affordable care, and that includes preventive care, contraceptive services, prenatal and postpartum care, and safe and legal abortion." He also supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, which blocks Medicaid funding for abortion, with a few exceptions.

Regarding racial justice, he proposes that the U.S. "create a commission to propose reparations policies for Black Americans and close the racial wealth gap." When he appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe back in March, he said he had not seen "a proposal for a cash transfer that people would be able to come together around and view as fair," although he added that he saw "some kind of accounting for the persistent racial inequities today." However, in speaking with MSNBC's Rev. Al Sharpton in April, he did endorse the concept of a commission. His other priorities on racial justice include defending affirmative action and voting rights, addressing inequality in the criminal justice system, and supporting self-determination for indigenous peoples.

On gender equity, Buttigieg endorses the Paycheck Fairness Act and other moves to assure that people receive equal pay for equal work no matter their gender. He also calls for increasing protections for pregnant workers and enacting nondiscrimination law covering sexual orientation and gender identity (which is what the Equality Act would do).

In the realm of health care, he stops short of calling for "Medicare for all," as some candidates have done. Instead he supports the offering of a Medicare-type public option on Affordable Care Act exchanges to begin with. "If corporate insurers don't lower costs to deliver something dramatically better than what is available today, competition will create the glide path toward Medicare for All," the site reads. Other priorities include improving health equity, investing in the health of mothers and children, enhancing mental health services, and lowering drug prices.

Dealing with a variety of other issues, he supports a "Green New Deal" to move the nation toward use of 100 percent clean energy; universal background checks for gun purchases and other actions to reduce easy access to firearms; raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour; increasing federal resources to counter domestic terrorism and white supremacist violence; comprehensive immigration reform including a pathway to citizenship; and possibly restructuring the Supreme Court to depoliticize it. Options include term limits or promotion from lower courts with the approval of sitting justices.

And on the Electoral College, he asserts, "States don't vote, people vote, and everyone's vote should count exactly the same." The best means of abolishing the Electoral College would be a constitutional amendment, but that will take time. In the meantime, he proposes enacting the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement among states to award their electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote.

Find Buttigieg's positions on all the issues here.

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