Kamala Harris tour to inspire ‘critical generation’ of young people in fight for LGBTQ+ rights

Kamala Harris

US vice president Kamala Harris is embarking on a university tour to encourage young people to fight for their “fundamental rights and freedoms”.

The White House announced on Thursday (7 September) that Harris will be touring universities in an effort to mobilise students on key issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, as well as encouraging students to register to vote.

The Fight for Our Freedoms College Tour will take President Joe Biden’s VP through key swing states including Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada – states which could prove critical for the Democrats in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

According to the White House, the month-long tour will focus on “key issues that disproportionately impact young people across the country, from reproductive freedom and gun safety to climate action, voting rights, LGBTQ+ equality, and book bans“.

Harris’ tour will also focus on historically Black universities, as well as community colleges and apprenticeship programmes. 

“This generation is critical to the urgent issues that are at stake right now for our future,” the vice president said in a statement.

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“It is young leaders throughout America who know what the solutions look like and are organising in their communities to make them a reality. 

“My message to students is clear: we are counting on you, we need you, you are everything.”

Harris is the first female vice president in US history, as well as the first African-American and first Asian-American vice president – and the first sitting VP to march in Pride.

She has been consistently outspoken on LGBTQ+ rights, slamming hateful legislation like Florida’s reviled Don’t Say Gay law as “outrageous”.

Condemning a rise in anti-LGBTQ+ bills being introduced in America in 2023, Harris said: “There are over 600 bills being proposed, anti-LGBTQ+ bills … people are afraid to be themselves, these are fundamental issues that point to the need for us all to be vigilant, to stand together.”