Feb 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mike Bloomberg apologizes for calling transgender people "it"

Michael Bloomberg

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized in a call with transgender leaders on Thursday for previously referring to transgender people as "it" after more than a week of silence on the issue, per NewNowNext.

Driving the news: BuzzFeed reported on the ex-mayor's 2019 remarks earlier this month, citing a recently uncovered video in which Bloomberg stated: "If your conversation during a presidential election is about some guy wearing a dress and whether he, she or it can go to the locker room with their daughter, that’s not a winning formula for most people."

  • He reportedly made a similar comment in 2016, BuzzFeed notes.

Why it matters: The move comes as another example of Bloomberg walking back previous positions and comments as he competes for the Democratic nomination.

  • Last week, Bloomberg offered to release three women from nondisclosure agreements related to claims of sexual misconduct and gender discrimination amid mounting criticism.
  • He also apologized for implementing stop-and-frisk policies in New York City that disproportionately affected people of color.

The other side: Bloomberg's recently released LGBTQ equality plan calls for a return to Obama-era protections that President Trump has moved to undo, specifically increasing law enforcement training to protected transgender people of color.

What he's saying:

"It was a poor attempt to describe how some who oppose transgender equality think about this issue — and those words do not reflect my unwavering support for equality for transgender Americans."
— Mike Bloomberg in a statement
  • "As mayor, I signed a sweeping transgender civil rights bill and, as president, will promote policies that advance equality for transgender Americans who have been attacked by the Trump administration over the past three years," he added.
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