Hillary Clinton detailed her record on LGBT rights and her plans to continue fighting for them if elected president in a new interview.
Speaking with Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Clinton was unequivocal about the stakes of the 2016 race. Said Clinton, “LGBT rights are absolutely on the ballot in this election.” She added, “We have so much more work to do, and I want LGBT people in every corner of this country to know that as president, I will always have your back.”
Clinton said she would make fighting anti-LGBT discrimination a “top priority” and would work to pass the Equality Act, combat bullying and ban conversion therapy:
We’ll also take on harassment, bullying, and violence – and youth homelessness, which disproportionately hurts LGBT kids. We’ll end the harmful practice of so-called “conversion” therapy for minors, because LGBT kids don’t need to be “cured” of anything. And we’ll bring people together to reform our gun laws and keep guns from falling into the wrong hands, so that what happened at Pulse never happens again.
Clinton also reminded voters that many of the strides made during the Obama administration in the fight for LGBT equality are thanks to executive orders President Obama signed–orders that could be repealed if Trump wins the election. Clinton promised to “protect” and “build on” those executive orders if elected:
We’ll make sure we’re enforcing the President’s executive actions in a real and meaningful way. And we’ll support the efforts that are already underway in the courts and across the federal government to clarify that protecting people from “sex discrimination” means protecting them from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, too.
The former Secretary of State defended the Clinton Foundation and its record of expanding access to HIV/AIDS medication for millions of people around the world.
Asked to comment on Donald Trump’s “ask the gays” remark, in which he implied that he had a better record on LGBT issues than Clinton, the candidate responded, “I’ll gladly put my record on LGBT rights next to Trump’s for the voters to decide any day!”
Clinton went on to remind voters of just how anti-LGBT Trump really is:
He’ll appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn marriage equality, and said he’ll repeal President Obama’s executive actions to protect LGBT people from discrimination. And in case there’s any doubt about the kind of president he would be, look who he chose for his running mate: Governor Mike Pence, who signed a law that allowed Indiana businesses to legally discriminate against LGBT customers. We also know that Donald Trump has a long track record of bullying, harassment, and discrimination in his businesses, including reportedly against LGBT employees.
Of her own record on LGBT rights, Clinton said,
LGBT equality is an issue that’s so close to my heart. As First Lady, I fought to expand funding for HIV and AIDS research – and became the first First Lady to march in a Pride parade. As Senator from New York, I championed legislation to address hate crimes, fought for federal non-discrimination legislation to protect LGBT Americans in the workplace, and pushed for an end to discriminatory and harmful laws that blocked LGBT Americans from adopting children. As Secretary of State, I led the effort to pass the first-ever U.N. Resolution on LGBT Human Rights, launched the Global Equality Fund, ended State Department regulations that denied same-sex couples and their families equal rights, helped implement LGBT-friendly workplace policies, and updated the State Department’s policy so that transgender individuals’ passports reflect their true gender.
Clinton also promised to veto the so-called ‘First Amendment Defense Act’, a federal ‘religious liberty’ bill that would legalize anti-LGBT discrimination.
She reiterated her commitment to an AIDS-free generation, saying,
…as president I will convene an “End the Epidemic” working group to end AIDS as an epidemic in the United States and globally. Here at home, we’ll expand the availability of HIV prevention medications like PrEP, take on disparities and barriers to accessing care, cap out-of-pocket drug costs, and launch a campaign to end stigma and discrimination. Around the world, we’ll dramatically increase the number of people on HIV treatment through programs like PEPFAR, increase our investment in HIV and AIDS research, and engage in public education campaigns in key countries where stigma and discrimination are rampant.
Discussing the disproportionate violence facing transgender women of color, Clinton said we have to fight for “strong anti-discrimination laws” and do a “a better job of collecting data on gender identity and sexual orientation, because we can’t solve the problem of discrimination until we understand its full scope.” She added, “Most of all, it’s far past time we say with one voice that transgender people are valued, they are loved, they are us, and they deserve to be treated that way.”
You can read Clinton’s full interview with The Blade here.