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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard apologizes for past anti-LGBTQ views

The Hawaii Democrat and 2020 presidential hopeful released a video saying her “past positions” on gay rights are “at odds” with her current values.

Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii who last week announced she would run for president in 2020, released a video Thursday apologizing for her past anti-LGBTQ views.

"In my past, I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, they were very hurtful to people in the LGBTQ community and their loved ones," Gabbard stated in the nearly four-minute-long video.

Gabbard came under fire when CNN reported Sunday that she worked for her father’s anti-gay organization, the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, in the late '90s and early 2000s. In her video apology, Gabbard described her father as “activist who was fighting against gay rights" and acknowledged the role both she and her dad played in fighting against same-sex marriage in Hawaii.

“I grew up in socially conservative household where I was raised to believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman," she explained. The Alliance for Traditional Marriage also supported so-called gay conversion therapy.

In the video, Gabbard also made clear that she has previously addressed her past anti-gay views.

“Many years ago, I apologized for my words and more importantly for the negative impact that they had," she said. "I sincerely repeat my apology today. I’m deeply sorry for having said them.”

Since the early 2000s, Gabbard's views have evolved, and she has become a supporter of LGBTQ rights. She was among 212 members of Congress who in 2013 filed an amicus brief encouraging the Supreme Court to strike down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and pave the way for federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Gabbard ended her video by saying, “I’m so grateful to my friends and loved ones, both gay and straight, who have patiently helped me see how my past positions on these issues were at odds with my values."