US Senator Kamala Harris is questioned about her attitude to trans people in the wake of announcing that she is running for Presidency

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US Senator Kamala Harris has announced her candidacy for the 2020 presidential election in a video announcement posted on January 21st. But the Californian senator, who was the state’s Attorney General for six years until she was elected to the US Senate in 2016 had a rather controversial transgender record – she used to say that transgender prison inmates should not have been given access to gender confirmation surgery behind bars as she did not believe it to be medically necessary. Harris’ approach to these cases has been highlighted by activists online who tweeted messages calling her transphobic and claiming that the trans people and their allies would not want to see her as a candidate. Trans campaigner Chelsea Manning, who has an experience of trying to gain access to gender-related treatment behind the bars, accused Ms. Harris of holding a war against trans people. However, Emily Rose Johns, a civil rights lawyer who has fought for trans inmates in California, told The Guardian that if Harris “would grapple publicly with what was going on when she was denying the rights of trans people in prison and admit that her mind has changed… I might not call her a hypocrite.”

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