From 2011-2012, Tulsi Gabbard was a member of the Honolulu City Council. During that time, she introduced Bill 54. Other co-introducers included Ernie Martin, Ann Kobayashi, Stanley Chang, and Ikaika Anderson. Though it was opposed by the ACLU and Occupy Hawaii because it authorized city workers to confiscate personal belongings stored on public property -- and potentially conflicted with Hawaii's constitutional law, Kānāwai Māmalahoe, which protects "those who sleep by the roadside" -- the bill passed and became City Ordinance 1129.
Gabbard resigned from the County Council in 2012 to run for Congress.
In 2002, Gabbard, who at the time used her married name, "Tamayo," was elected to the Hawaii State Legislature. Gabbard Tamayo not only opposed the civil unions bill that was being considered in 2004, she joined protesters holding signs outside the hearing committee room.
In 2004, Gabbard Tamayo made a floor speech against a resolution to study suicide rates among gay youth:
She ultimately joined her colleagues in voting for HR 58, HD 1, to support a Study of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth of Hawaii.
Gabbard Tamayo was "excused" from voting on SB0616, relating to hate crimes. This law provided that a convicted defendant may be subject to an extended term of imprisonment if the convicted defendant intentionally selected a victim because of actual or perceived hostility toward the gender identity or expression.
In January 2016, Ozy attempted to reconcile Gabbard's prior anti-LGBTQ positions with her current progressive image. According to the article, Gabbard expressed that:
"No, her personal views haven't changed, but she doesn't figure it's her job to do as the Iraqis did and force her own beliefs on others."
Click on image for Ozy story link
In November 2017, the New Yorker published a feature about Tulsi Gabbard which discussed her "spiritual master" Chris Butler. In "What Does Tulsi Gabbard Believe," Kelefah Sanneh writes:
'It is possible, though, to discern something more specific than all-purpose aloha in the shifting political priorities of Butler’s followers. In the nineteen-eighties, Butler excoriated same-sex desire; he wrote, for instance, that bisexuality was “sense gratification” run amok, and warned that the logical conclusion of such hedonistic conduct was pedophilia and bestiality.'
Racism in Auto Loans
In her second term as a US Congresswoman, Gabbard co-sponsored and voted for HR 1737, Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act.
The bipartisan bill was co-sponsored by 101 Republicans and 65 Democrats and negated a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) bulletin from 2013. As reported by Huffington Post in November 2015, the law helps "banks and car dealerships discriminate against customers of color. And it wasn’t just Republicans [who voted for it] — 88 Democrats, including Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) — voted in favor of the legislation."
According to US News and World Report, "CFPB and Department of Justice have both concluded that auto financers' policy of giving dealers discretion to mark up the interest rate of auto financing results in discrimination against minority borrowers. In enforcement actions against Ally Bank, American Honda Finance Co. and Fifth Third Bank, the agencies found that borrowers of color paid higher interest rates than white borrowers with similar creditworthiness. The CFPB has urged all auto financers to move to a method of compensating auto dealers that does not result in discrimination."
Maui Time reported on Gabbard's vote and when she ultimately responded to the Maui newspaper's request for an explanation, she used the same language as the National Automobile Dealers Association, turning "the issue around from racially motivated lending practices to robbing minorities of discounted loans." (As of 2018, the National Auto Dealers ranks as Gabbard's top career contributor with a total of $36,400.)
Maui Time further noted:
"On Nov. 17 of this year, a coalition of 24 organizations that included the NAACP, the National Urban League, the A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Center for Women Policy Studies issued a statement denouncing HR 1737. Their reasons stemmed directly from a history of discrimination–a history that compelled the CFPB to act."
Violating Constituents' Rights
Like Donald Trump, Tulsi Gabbard blocks individuals on social media; she has also called the Capitol Police on constituents who call her office to express their views on legislation.
Gabbard also requires that constituents asking for services to fill out a detailed 3-page"Privacy Release Form" before office staff will provide assistance on an issue. This form requires detailed information from the constituent including immigrant status info, business tax ID, Medicare, and Veteran's Administration numbers. These forms are not required by other Congressional offices.