Human Rights Campaign Clarifies Gillibrand Record on LGBT Issues

With regard to confusion about Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand’s positions on LGBT issues, Towleroad has received a clarification from the Human Rights Campaign:

Gillibrand“There has been some discussion about the record of Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Governor David Paterson’s pick to replace Hillary Clinton, regarding her stance on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and additional LGBT issues. In particular, we’d like to clarify references to the Human Rights Campaign Scorecard for the 110th Congress. Although Kirsten Gillibrand did not co-sponsor legislation to repeal DADT, non-cosponsorship does not mean support for the policy or opposition to repeal. In fact, in conversations with her office the Human Rights Campaign has confirmed Gillibrand is in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and supports full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.”

Additionally, HRC confirmed with Gillibran’s staff additional points regarding her LGBT record:

· Supports marriage equality
· Co-sponsored and voted in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act
· Co-sponsored inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and supports enactment of inclusive bill
· Voted in favor of ENDA
· Supports repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
· Supports repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act
· Supports equal tax treatment of employer provided domestic partnership benefits
· Voted against allowing discrimination in hiring for the Head Start program
· Voted in favor of allowing Washington, DC to fund needle exchange programs with local funds
· Voted against procedural attempts to derail ENDA and hate crimes
· Endorsed by HRC PAC in 2008
· Supports the Early Treatment of HIV/AIDS Act (ETHA) to allow states to provide Medicaid coverage for HIV-positive persons


  1. Anonymous says

    Her support of marriage equality is a new position… she is moving to the left to appeal to her larger constituency now. This is good news — good news also that marriage equality is now “mainstream” in NY politics and to not support it puts you to the right of center.

  2. says

    What about her position on Uniting American Families Act (previous Permanent Partners Immigration Act)? Some sources say she is opposed to this important legislation, in contrast to former N.Y. Senator Hillary Clinton and current Senior N.Y. U.S. Senator Chuck Shumer who have expressed support, along with President Obamna, of UAFA. What gives? Immigration is likely to be a high priority for this Congress and we need every vote in the senate to make sure that UAFA is part of any Comprehensive Immigration Reform package. Corey/Andy, can you get an interview with Rep. Gillibrand and ask her the same questions you posed so well to Representative Jerrold Nadler earlier this week?

  3. says

    What’s more disappointing? Paterson choosing someone with a shitty record on GLBT issues or HRC and Towleroad bending over backward to excuse him for it?

    Jesus. She’s a bigot. It’s an insult to LGBT people that she was chosen. Not a big huge insult, just a little one.

    Maybe HRC should avoid giving scorecards if they are then going to claim that they don’t actually mean anything.

  4. Cyd says

    Landon, I think your criticism of HRC bending over for this woman is right-on, but I think your criticism of Towleroad is misplaced. Andy’s reporting what is going on, keeping people informed.

    HRC is a joke. If she were a Republican with the same positions, they’d label her an enemy. But Andy is doing his job here, and he’s doing a good one.

  5. Pender says

    Landon, I’m not sure I understand. Her record is not perfect, but she does come from a very conservative district, and she has explicitly repudiated those positions in favor of full equality the very moment her constituency expanded to be the entire state. Clearly it’s where her heart is. If we’re going to consider every politician who has not supported full gay equality for his entire political life a villain, we’re going to have a hard time finding politicians whom we don’t consider villains. The time for recrimination for past wrongs will come; but until we achieve full equality, it is a time for making alliances and welcoming all the supporters we can find with open arms no matter their past. If James Dobson himself had a change of heart tomorrow and rededicated himself to gay equality, we should be the first to celebrate his unexpected enlightenment and give him the highest podium and loudest bullhorn the community could muster.

  6. says


    She is as weak on GLBT issues as she could have been and gotten the job, right? If she hadn’t repudiated those views now, she could not have gotten the job at all, right? If she was not an utter piece of shit, she would oppose bigotry against us especially in the most conservative places, those where standing up to evil matters most, right?

    Paterson chose a bigot or someone who is willing to act like a bigot in order to get elected.


    Look how many headlines on the site trumpet supposedly pro-LGBT issues. This is not journalism. It is propaganda, just like the Advocate site refusing to mention that Gene Robinson’s prayer, all over their front page, was not broadcast on television.

  7. Glenn says

    I think HRC is ridiculous to have a scorecard where, if you haven’t signed on as a cosponsor, you’re counted as opposing the legislation. That’s just stupid. The ACLU, for example, only scores actual votes.

  8. says

    I apologize for the part of my last message that did not make sense. Of the last twelve headlines on Towleroad, four are about Gillibrand and two are about how great she is for gays, which is not really true. She is being pushed to an irresponsible degree here. It’s propaganda.

  9. Philip says

    From what I’ve read about her here, on the links provided and the comments, Gillibrand has a track record that is not entirely pro-gay… due to previously serving a very conservative constituency.

    I’m sorry, and you want to paint her as the devil and a bigot for that? She was elected by her constituency. She had a responsibility to vote with what her constituency wanted. Sure, she could’ve stood up and voted with her heart (if it was indeed where her heart lies), but that would be, you know, betraying her costituency, eventually losing her seat to some actual bigot and then where would we be?

    Instead, she chose to vote with what she knew her constituency wanted and now that she’s free from them, she’s quickly told the world about her personal views and positions (which happen to not clash with her new constituency).

    If you are elected to office, you are elected to do a job, to serve the people who voted you into office, not to be a rogue and vote however you want.

    Give the woman a break. If she indeed supports full gay rights in pretty much all respects and becomes a champion for us, I will forgive her for, you know, DOING HER JOB in the past.

  10. says

    “She is being pushed to an irresponsible degree here. It’s propaganda.”

    How is it irresponsible propaganda, Landon? It just seems like information to me, from which we can draw our own conclusions. I assume the multiple posts were simply meant to clarify where she stands on LGBT issues since her current statements and HRC record seemed at odds. It appears that her positions have evolved in our favor, which is good to know and wouldn’t have been evident from the first post. It doesn’t prevent anyone from questioning her motives and credentials or taking her to task if her record doesn’t live up to her words.

  11. mark says

    Take a look at the press conference photo. It speaks volumes that Al D’Amato is standing at her right hand. And the NRA gives her an A+ on her voting record. Our in-over-his-head clown of a governor has blown it. Time for him to go.

  12. Rob says

    This doesn’t change anything. So what? She doesn’t like that she’s catching heat and makes the Human Rights Campaign issue a statement to try to draw the attention away from her conservative record.

    Kirsten Gillibrand has the lowest HRC rating of any NY in Congress. We deserve better. At least someone who is proud to stand by their record and doesn’t have to go back and “clarify” where they stand.

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