Although Hillary Clinton has a confusing and sometimes embattled relationship to the LGBTQ community, she is now asserting her commitment to sexual minorities. In a historic op-ed published in Philadelphia Gay News, Hillary talks marriage equality, workplace discrimination, and the effects her opponent Donald Trump would have on gays and queers if he were to win the presidential race. This article also marks the first time a presidential candidate from a major party has written for an LGBT newspaper.
First outlining the recent progress made for LGBTQs in the past few years, Clinton went on to specify her positions about important issues we face in the future: "[T]he simple truth is that even now, in 2016, there are still too many states in America where LGBT people can be fired or evicted from their home because of who they are or who they love. Pennsylvania is one of them. Here, you can get married on Sunday and fired on Monday, just for being gay or transgender."
"That goes against everything we stand for as a country," she continued. "We need to act on the federal level to take on discrimination in all its forms. That’s what I’ll do as President — with your help."
Next, Clinton took her adversary to task for his potential negative impact on the queer community: "Donald Trump must not be elected president. He would rip away so much of the progress we’ve made. He would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn marriage equality and rescind many of President Obama’s executive orders — including those protecting LGBT people."
Hillary also took this opportunity to point out the shameful anti-LGBTQ history of her opponent's choice for Vice President: "Mike Pence is one of the most anti-LGBT public officials in America. As governor of Indiana, Pence supported a bill that legalized discrimination against LGBT people. As a member of Congress, he voted against expanding the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation and gender identity. He opposed the repeal of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,' saying doing so would be 'social experimentation.' And he’s said that homosexuality would bring about 'societal collapse.'" (Notably: Hillary's pick for VP, Tim Kaine, failed to raise these points while he was debating Pence.)
Smartly, Hillary also noted the importance of intersectionality in discussions of LGBTQ people: "The danger [of violence] is compounded for LGBT people of color, who face intersectional pressures and dangers, particularly transgender people of color."
You can read the full op-ed, which also discussed continuing research on HIV/AIDS and gun violence, over here.
Ultimately, the letter is a way for Hillary to silence critics of hers who have questioned her commitments to these issues. The sincerity of these commitments is another question entirely.
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