Senator Cory Booker has announced his run for president in 2020.
The New Jersey Democrat chose the first day of Black History Month to announce his run.
He announced: ‘The history of our nation is defined by collective action; by interwoven destinies of slaves and abolitionists; of those born here and those who chose America as home; of those who took up arms to defend our country, and those who linked arms to challenge and change it.’
Booker will be the second black senator to join the presidential race, alongside his colleague Senator Kamala Harris.
Rumors have long suggested that Booker could be gay due to his unmarried, single status.Cory Booker is running for president
In a recent interview in December 2018 with the Philadelphia Inquirer, he addressed these rumors.
‘I’m heterosexual,’ he said simply.
Booker added, however, his opinion of political candidates is they should be authentic.
He explained: ‘Every candidate should run on their authentic self, tell their truth, and more importantly, or mostly importantly, talk about their vision for the country.’
Booker served as mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013. In 2013, the people of New Jersey elected him senator. He has been serving in that position ever since.Ally to the LGBTI community
When same-sex marriage became legal in New Jersey on 21 October 2013, Booker officiated nine weddings in city hall shortly after midnight.
A heckler yelled out ‘it is unlawful in the eyes of God’ during the ‘speak now or forever hold your peace’ part of the ceremony. In response, Booker simply stated: ‘Not hearing any substantive and worthy objections, I now will proceed with the vows.’
Before the state legalized marriage equality, he refused to officiate any weddings.
This was his way of ‘protesting the painful reality that I could not marry all citizens equally’.
In 1992, he wrote about realizing the similarities between growing up black and gay for the Stanford student newspaper. A counselor at the school discussed the realities of people growing up gay.
‘It was chilling to find that so much of the testimony was almost identical to stories my grandparents told me about growing up black. People found it revolting to share a meal with them and often felt it to be their duty to beat them so that they would learn proper living,’ he wrote.
‘In these efforts I have found another community with which I feel akin and from which I draw strength. The gay people with whom I am close are some of the strongest people I know — and their demands for justice are no less imperative than those of any other community.’