On MSNBC, Human Rights Campaign's Alphonso David explains what's at stake for LGBTQ Americans this election

David: “We have confirmed at least 31 transgender people killed in this country -- violence that has been spurred by the Trump administration”

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Citation From the October 7, 2020, edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe

MIKA BRZEZINSKI (HOST): I wonder if you can just, first of all, talk about the contrasts that we're seeing between these two candidates, the contrast in terms of how they're running their campaigns, and, also, the contrast just in terms of the sense of confidence that they are emoting to the American people. And then what are you looking for in the debate tonight for the vice presidential candidates?

ALPHONSO DAVID (HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN): Well, Mika, thank you, first, for having me. I think what we're seeing is a stark contrast between two presidential candidates. Donald Trump that only cares about himself, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that are actually focused on the people. 

And we have example after example after example where we're seeing the Trump administration attack marginalized communities, attack the LGBTQ community, specifically. And just this week alone when we look at what we've seen, transgender violence. We have confirmed at least 31 transgender people killed in this country -- violence that has been spurred by the Trump administration. We also have seen a war against marriage equality by two justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, and LGBTQ people are suffering from COVID. 

So, the Trump administration has been creating a climate where marginalized communities and LGBTQ communities specifically are being the target. And then you look at the other end of the spectrum, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are actually focused on people. They're focused on making sure that all of us are actually represented, and the Trump administration has not been doing that.

What we're looking forward to in this vice presidential debate is making sure that Kamala Harris is able to highlight the record, the record of the Trump administration, the Trump-Pence administration, and what the Harris-Biden administration is going to do. 

We have one out of five people, LGBTQ people, living in poverty; 17% of LGBTQ people lack health care coverage. LGBTQ people are 50% more likely not to -- actually, to have a pay cut in this COVID-19 pandemic. 

People are suffering, and the Trump administration is looking the other way. They're focused on their individual policies. They're not focused on people, and that is what we are focused on. We need to make sure that everyone understands the stakes in this election. 

Mika, I think earlier today folks were talking about, you know, the justices issuing this opinion, which effectively says, you know, it's an attack on the relationships of same-sex couples all over this country. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are married, and now we have an opinion that says, well, we're questioning whether or not marriage equality should continue being the law of the land. This election is the election of our lives, and we need to make sure that LGBTQ people and people of color are protected.

BRZEZINSKI: So you tweeted, “I have no doubt Amy Coney Barrett would join Thomas, Alito, and others to chip away at LGBTQ rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, and health care rights. She gave us a road map in her writings.” Can you tell us about that road map?

DAVID: Sure. So, Amy Coney Barrett has said that she agrees with the dissenters, Alito and Thomas. She says she agrees with them in the Obergefell case. For many people who may not know, the Obergefell case said that there is a constitutional right to marry, and that constitutional right includes same-sex couples.

Coney Barrett has also called into question whether or not reproductive rights are protected under the Constitution. Coney Barrett has taken the position that religious liberties or religious exemptions, I should say, should effectively supersede individual rights. And that is a huge concern for us.