May 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm EDT | by Kevin Naff
CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT
Hillary Clinton, gay news, Washington Blade

Hillary Clinton (Photo by Gino Santa Maria; courtesy Bigstock)

Sen. Bernie Sanders has done the country a great service by shining a bright (if shrill) light on the entrenched problem of income inequality but his message failed to produce the revolution he sought and now it’s time for practicality to prevail.

While the Republicans have burned through 16 losing candidates and turned their party over to a racist, sexist bully with zero experience in elected office, the Democrats are still slugging it out — in May. This should be a time for Hillary Clinton’s victory lap, not a time for enduring more misguided attacks on her fitness for office from fellow Democrats.

Sanders deserves credit for running an effective campaign that caught the imagination of a younger generation tired of the status quo. His presence in the primaries has forced Clinton to up her game and sharpen her economic message. We owe him a big “thank you” for that.

But he has been mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination with pledged delegates. There simply is no credible path to victory. And the specter of what comes next should scare all voters into realizing the responsible thing for Sanders to do is to withdraw, endorse Clinton and start planning a national tour of college campuses to rally young voters to her side.

With Trump waiting in the wings, there is too much at stake to risk further damaging Clinton in the eyes of Sanders’s supporters, 25 percent of whom in a recent poll foolishly and naively said they would not vote for Clinton. Sanders must disabuse his followers of such self-destructive nonsense. Ralph Nader’s causes didn’t fare so well under George W. Bush. We mustn’t repeat the mistakes of third-party folly or pouty stay-at-home stubbornness.

The notion that Clinton is unqualified for the presidency, as Sanders has intimated, is absurd; Trump’s claims that she’d be soft on terrorism is at odds with her sometimes hawkish record.

On LGBT rights, Clinton was late to the marriage party but she has arrived — and there’s no turning back now. The time has come to forgive the many Democratic Party leaders who paid lip service to our issues for so long and move forward in this radically changed political environment in which anything but full-throated support for LGBT rights will not fly for any Democrat seeking the presidency. Clinton has pledged her full support for a range of LGBT causes. She even hired a gay campaign manager. Our progress is not only safe in her hands, it will continue.

Clinton has pledged to support the Equality Act, to allow transgender people to serve openly in the U.S. military and to end widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors. In addition, she has said she would expand access to HIV prevention and treatment; confront disproportionate violence facing transgender people, especially trans women of color; and continue her work as former secretary of state on international LGBT rights. She has consistently raised LGBT issues during the primary season, making them a centerpiece of her campaign.

At risk of playing the “woman’s card,” we should also seize this historic opportunity to elect the nation’s first female president. I want my 11 nieces and nephews to grow up in a country where electing an African American or female president is no big deal. We’re halfway there.

Perhaps most importantly, we can trust her judgment in making at least one — and possibly multiple — Supreme Court picks. With Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat vacant amid unprecedented, reckless GOP obstructionism, and three more justices aged 77 or older, it is imperative that Trump not be allowed to put his stamp of ignorance and bigotry on the high court.

We’ve made stunning progress thanks to President Obama, but make no mistake that Trump can and would turn back the clock on our equality in myriad ways. First, Trump has pledged to immediately revoke President Obama’s executive orders, which would certainly include the order that bars discrimination against LGBT employees of federal contractors. That order covers about 20 percent of the entire American workforce and our advocates fought hard to get it implemented. The thrice-married Trump has also promised to nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn the Obergefell ruling and end marriage equality.

He has endorsed the First Amendment Defense Act, a federal version of the so-called “religious freedom” bills that have emerged in North Carolina and elsewhere that would legalize discrimination against LGBT Americans from coast to coast.

The LGBT community cannot risk a Trump presidency.

Hillary Clinton has promised to continue President Obama’s fierce advocacy on LGBT issues. And she’s backed up those words with specific, detailed policy proposals. Further, she has a record now of advocating for LGBT people around the world as secretary of state. The Blade has interviewed scores of overseas activists and they routinely cite her Geneva speech in which she famously said, “gay rights are human rights” as a game changer. Make no mistake that her public stand in defense of gay rights abroad has saved lives.

The time has come to move past divisive fights of the past and rally around an ally who has pledged to put the full weight of her administration and bully pulpit into maintaining and advancing LGBT equality. Hillary Clinton is that ally and has earned LGBT support in November.

Kevin Naff is editor of the Washington Blade. Reach him at knaff@washblade.com.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

53 Comments
  • “Younger generation tired of the status quo.”

    I’ve heard enough of this preposterous nonsense about how toddlers who are voting in their first election have epic ennui about the status quo they’ve been enduring for sheer hours.

    • I wish there was a way to super-upvote this post.

    • I’ve heard enough of this preposterous narrative that Bernie supporters are young white males. Stop propagating myths created by the Hilary camp. The Bernie Bro narrative was created by her social media agency that hires people to comment for her to explain why their attempts have failed. It’s really sad. The majority of Hawaii is old and non-white and they absolutely love Bernie so umm… yeah please stop with the false narrative that only babies like Bernie. In fact, on the top 10 contributors to Bernie Sanders is the US Army: http://vetsforbernie.org/2016/03/military-supports-bernie-sanders/

      • .

        What in the world are you attempting to illustrate with a citation of one of the smallest states in the union (ranked 40th by population), which is 40% Asian, barely 10% Latino, and a teeny-tiny 2% black?

        Furthermore, Hawaii conducted a caucus, not a primary.

        You picked the most UN-representative, atypical state possible.

        Are you are laboring under the delusion that your citation proves Mr. Sanders does not have an inordinate share of young white men as supporters? That is his single biggest group, for pity sake.

        And to cap off this joke you’re telling, you give a link to a military vets organization?

        Ummmm, dude: The U.S. military is 70% white, and 85% male.

        http://download.militaryonesource.mil/12038/MOS/Reports/2012_Demographics_Report.pdf

        .

        • Bernie has won 54% of the popular vote since Super Tuesday (After all of the election fraud stealing Bernie votes and giving them to Clinton).

          These are not the young white males the media is telling you they are and if you look at the crowds you will see old people as well!

        • Actually, Hawaii has a MAJORITY Asian population, with Japanese-Americans alone comprising 54 percent of the Aloha State’s residents.

          • .

            All right then, 54 percent Asian. That doesn’t alter the fact that Ms. Clinton’s two largest bastions of minority community support are Blacks and Latinos. To refer to these groups as “non-white” then point to Asian-Hawaiians was a complete nonsequitur.

            .

          • Lmfaoo her support is BS. She’s only won the south because of name recognition, her support among those groups has TANKED since hence why she lost the last 8 of 10 primaries and the 2 she won are under investigation for election fraud. She didn’t even win a SINGLE county in West Virginia. That SPEAKS VOLUMES.

          • Lmfaoo her support is BS. She’s only won the south because of name recognition, her support among those groups has TANKED since hence why she lost the last 8 of 10 primaries and the 2 she won are under investigation for election fraud. She didn’t even win a SINGLE county in West Virginia. That SPEAKS VOLUMES. More than the BS establishment rhetoric you fools keep regurgitating.

          • .

            >> She didn’t even win a SINGLE county in West Virginia. That SPEAKS VOLUMES. <<

            Oh, it speaks volumes, all right. In 2008, with a black man for an opponent, she won by 41 points, 66 to 25, because she's white. This time around, because she has embraced Mr. Obama so closely, they turned on her. West Virginia is one of, if not "the" most racist states in the union.

            As far as "election fraud," the Sanders campaign has not filed a single protest anywhere — obviously, because there's nothing to protest.

            It's about time you shut up and learned something, you know-nothing, insolent little brat.

            .

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          • Way to completely skip my point. I don’t care what happened 7 years ago and it isn’t relevant to this election.

            Also, with respect to election fraud, I don’t care if you claim it doesn’t exist because I know for a FACT it exists because of MATHEMATICS.

            Exit polling data is used to detect election fraud and since you don’t seem to know ANY statistics or how a MARKOV BOUND works to figure out the probability that exit polls in NY were outside the margin of error by over 11% then I’ll just tell you the probability: 1/265,000.

            That is the probability that there WASN’T election fraud (0.00000377358% chance)

            Unlike you I went to a great school and have an education. I know how to read through your bullshit and you’re not going to fool any millennials because WE’RE NOT STUPID LIKE YOU.

      • Millennials are stupid and lazy.. all they want is a free ride… And as for the Army being in favor of Bernie and contributors…… that’s pure bullshit…Enlisteds don’t have the money or time to get involved and the officers are waaaay smarter than to support a Communist..

        • Lol I posted a link with FACTS showing that the Army is a top contributor. Why are there so many paid $hillary trolls like you saying the same thing over and over again now? Like, you’re not even trying to address my argument you’re just injecting your narrative that “everyone under 35 is stupid and lazy”.

    • Lmao moderator keeps deleting comments here guys. Don’t even bother trying to inform these brainwashed commenters propagating the false narrative that Bernie’s supporters are young and white. Wake up. Only 30% of Democrats, 0% of independents and 0% of Republicans support Hilary.

  • Agree wholeheartedly and compliment Mr. Naff for the correct use of “myriad.”

    • Good Lord why do queers always rant on about correctly using grammar or spelling? Getting your message across clearly and making a good point counts a lot more! The rest is petty.

      • For the record – it was also a “Heathers” reference.

      • Because grammar and spelling are important to getting the message across clearly and making a good point?

        • Our being petty and focusing on such minutiae is perhaps a way to assert some air of knowing better when you have no real point and your responses fall falt!

          • Well, I don’t do it because I’m gay (which I am) or because I’m petty (which I’m not) – I do it because I’m not the only person (gay OR straight) who questions the point of people who can’t demonstrate basic literacy. If I have a point to make, I make it – if the point doesn’t sit well with someone, It’s not because I don’t know how to say it grammatically or spell it properly. If you’re comfortable with our society/culture dumbing itself down through sheer intellectual laziness, fine – I am not.

      • .

        >> Getting your message across clearly and making a good point counts a lot more! <<

        Umm, yes, well……

        Plural subject usage requires plural verb. "This and this COUNT" a lot more, not "counts."

        :-P

        .

  • It’s very clear: whoever becomes president will appoint the supreme court justices to fill the upcoming vacancies. That person’s choices for SCOTUS could affect a generation. A hard right court could decimate all the gains LGBT people have made over the last 20+ years. And it’s a documented fact that with an increase in anti-LGBT legislation and rulings, there’s an increase in suicides of LGBT youth. No matter Hillary’s negatives, it is absolutely imperative for the safety of a generation that a Democrat occupy the White House. Even if you can’t stand her, please for the love of LGBT youth, hold your nose and vote for her this fall. If you have a shred of decency, you’ll vote for the Democratic nominee.

    • If one had a shred of deceny they would not vote for Hillary or even any Democrat including Republican that are corrupt and non-representative of the people. For the love of the LGBT youth, it is time for change in this country for their sake and ours. A new and more prosperous nation with a government of representatives for the people by the people. As a Princeton study showed, we are an Oligarchy and it does not matter if you’re Gay or Straight, identify as a Helicoper or a Dog, electing the same aristocracy will do them or us any good in the future. Plus most LGBT youth actually support Sanders and not Hillary who is as disliked as Trump in some cases.

      • Your pursuit of a pure candidate who reflects your idealism perfectly is no different from the Evangelical Right. The Evangelical Left is just as destructive, just as scary. You’d risk sacrificing the lives of LGBT youth to pursue your vision of a pure country (or is it just free college you want?). You learned no lessons from the election of 2000. When the Democratic vote splits, the Republicans win, and make things worse. It is always about the SCOTUS; all else is secondary. We can have incremental change for the good or drastic changes for the worse. Those are the two options available to us, because that’s how the world works.

      • Here is a fact for you, Kyle. You’re not going to get an ideologically pure president. Sanders cannot even win his own nomination let alone a presidency. You might have ideas. You might have goals. But here’s one thing you don’t have: common sense. If you’re willing to sacrifice an entire generation of LGBT+ freedom, then by all means, pull a Nader. I’m sure Susan Sarandon and Bernie Sanders will be there to bail you out when your gay son or daughter are beaten to within an inch of his life simply for existing. Hillary Clinton is the nominee of the party Bernie Sanders decided to run as president under. He lost. You either vote for her or you throw away your vote. No third party candidate is ever going to get enough of the vote to win. The only thing you will accomplish by not voting for Hillary Clinton is handing the presidency and therefore the Supreme Court to Donald Trump. It might be a tough pill for you to swallow and you might just be shaking your head in stubborn, naive certainty. But them’s the facts. Sorry if you’re being too obtuse to see them.

      • you REALLY are misguided – won’t go into the SLEW of things that are WRONG with burnie $CAMders – just this one Re Gay rights – http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2015/10/05/bernie_sanders_on_marriage_equality_he_s_no_longtime_champion.html

        Sanders is not quite the gay rights visionary his defenders would like us to believe. Sanders did oppose DOMA—but purely on states’ rights grounds. And as recently as 2006, Sanders opposed marriage equality for his adopted home state of Vermont. The senator may have evolved earlier than his primary opponents. But the fact remains that, in the critical early days of the modern marriage equality movement, Sanders was neutral at best and hostile at worst. in his statements to the press at the time, SANDERS DEFENDED STATES’ RIGHTS AND MADE NO MENTION OF GAY AMERICANS’ DIGNITY.

        Earlier in his political career, Sanders was even more indifferent toward gay rights, which W.J. Conroy recounts in his book Challenging the Boundaries of Reform: Socialism in Burlington. When serving as mayor of Burlington, Sanders told an interviewer that LGBT rights were not a “major priority” for him. Asked if he would SUPPORT A BILL TO PROTECT GAYS FROM JOB DISCRIMINATION, SANDERS RESPONDED, “PROBABLY NOT.”

  • I just hope that Hillary’s staff learns a tough lesson. When under the spotlight, please don’t forget to tip generously for good service. Thank you.

  • Naff has assessed the situation pretty well. The SCOTUS could have several vacancies under the next administration and most of all our civil rights gains have been through the courts. The question of transgender bathroom rights will likely be settled there as well as the question of whether invoking faith in the secular trump the rights of GLBT Americans!

    It’s not unprecedented that the SCOTUS can reverse itself given the makeup of the court. When it was highly conservatives in the eighties, it ruled that there was no constitutional right to sodomy only to reverse itself a generation later when a more balanced court was in place. Our marriage equality win was a narrow victory with 4 very vociferous dissents!

    We cannot take it for granted that Hillary will win a slam dunk victory simply because Trump seems relatively worse. It could easily become a tight election. Trump is a showman and voters like that. Remember Ronald Reagan an actor was successful in winning office.

    We don’t need Bernie’s ego siphoning off votes away to give us another Ralph Nader effect where we ended up with George W. Bush instead of Al Gore as President. This isn’t an academic exercise for idealist. This is real and reality can have harsh consequences for people who treat this as a game! Be very concerned.

    Pay particular attention to the fact that Trump is taking advice from many who oppose our rights in selecting a vice president and setting his policies including Ben Carson. He’s reached out to Pat Robertson. In his victory speech when he became the presumptive nominee after Cruz dropped out he thanked Jerry Fallwell, Jr. and Liberty University. He thanked women and racial minorities but made no mention of GLBT Americans. Who he chooses as his VP and that person’s record on our rights will say volumes on what we can expect. Pay close attention.

    Just because he’s come out in support of Caitlyn Jenner using his bathroom at Trump tower doesn’t make him trustworthy nor signify anything more than he seems to be a chronic flip flopper who keeps changing his message to suit his audience much like Mitt Romney. I’d say a backstab could well be expected.

    • The worst thing about a Trump presidency (shudder!) is that he will be a puppet, just as Bush was. He will nominate who they tell him to nominate, in return for embracing him as a candidate. It’s always quid pro quo with that guy.

      • Yeah and to emphasize the threat to our court gains trump today said he will appoint judges who oppose roe v wade to reverse it. Judges like that would also revese marriage equalty that was approved by a much narrower margin than roe v wade!

        Another Cheney was bush’s brain nightmare regarding the vp!

  • Oh please, Kevin. You supported her in 2008. She was a loser then. She is a loser now. You support a loser. And a war criminal to boot.

    Here she is consoling with a kindred spirit, at Nancy Reagan’s funeral, Nancy Reagan, the one who opened the debate about AIDS in the 1980s, according to Clinton’s obituary of her.

  • Love this! Agree on every point. It’s time to rally behind Clinton, and make sure Trump does not get into the White House. I can’t believe that any “progressive” in America would actually consider doing anything that could help Trump. Sanders is quickly becoming that “spoiler” candidate, which could be disastrous for all Americans, but especially those that were helped under President Obama’s tenure. For every progressive that says that there’s no difference between Clinton and the GOP, is either being deliberately obtuse, or operating in a reddit sound chamber. The contributions Hillary Clinton made to the LGBT community as Secretary of State, alone, should be enough to squash that kind of thinking.

  • On the gay rights record, don’t forget that Bill Clinton (with Hillary’s support) caved and signed DOMA and DADT into law. Nor did they do much to push ENDA. But I would add the election is about more than gay and transgender rights. Hillary’s hawkish policies have resulted in more Americans getting killed in other nations’ civil wars. Her promises to get tough on Wall Street lack credibility. She has flip-flopped once on trade and may flip back when it suits. Her incrementalism in areas like healthcare, student debt and minimum wage signals she already is giving up on getting anything significant through a Republican Congress. I say stick with Bernie through the convention. Don’t let yourself be taken for granted by the Democratic establishment.

  • Hillary Clinton 2008 did not drop out until June 7th. There is no reason for Bernie to drop out yet. We must look deep and ask ourselves if our prejudices keep us from even considering Sanders. He is beating Clinton after everybody has called the match for Clinton. Why? And if we truly want to trump Trump look at the match up polls. The negatives on Hillary are part of the mathematics as well. It is important to stay united against Trump . But let California vote.

    • .

      Unless California breaks the 85% threshold for Mr. Sanders, he cannot possibly win the nomination. That is simply the cold, hard, mathematical fact of it.

      And the odds of that big of a win for him are about equal to the earth detaching from its orbit and turning somersaults toward Andromeda.

      .

      • Fraud? There is no fraud. Delusional? Sounds like a typical Hillary supporter to think she will be a representative of the people for the people.

        • .

          Let’s analyze in more detail what I said:

          If Mr. Sanders does comprehend that he cannot possibly win the nomination, but keeps soliciting donations anyway, then he is taking peoples’ money under false pretenses.

          What is another name for that action?

          .

    • Hillary was far closer to Obama in June than Bernie is to Hillary. The two situations are not identical. And no, he’s not beating Hillary.

  • Hillary an LGBT ally? Maybe now but it was not always like that since as usual she always flip flops on everything unlike Sanders who has always been an LGBT ally. Furthermore he hasn’t forced her to up her game as usual she is just pandering. It’s quite pathetic that a country of 320 million we get stuck with the usual warmongering Hillary and Donald. Ralph Nader did not give the White House to Bush in 2000, that was the Electoral College see Bush vs Gore furthermore we mustn’t rake the risk of damaging Hillary anymore towards Sanders supporters? Her records speak for themselves and no Sanders revolution did not halt. Even if he is not the nominee his message will continue to resonate and have a big impact. Funny you mention those young people where a majority support Sanders. I think reading the article Why Young People are Right About Hillary Clinton from the Rolling Stones would do you good:

    Young people don’t see the Sanders-Clinton race as a choice between idealism and incremental progress. The choice they see is between an honest politician, and one who is so profoundly a part of the problem that she can’t even see it anymore. They’ve seen in the last decades that politicians who promise they can deliver change while also taking the money, mostly just end up taking the money.And they’re voting for Sanders because his idea of an entirely voter-funded electoral “revolution” that bars corporate money is, no matter what its objective chances of success, the only practical road left to break what they perceive to be an inexorable pattern of corruption.
    Young people aren’t dreaming. They’re thinking. And we should listen to them.

    With the rise of Sanders who practically no one knew until last year and Trump singles how a majority Americans are tired of the status quo. She is the weakest candidate and in the end it is not just about LGBT rights. This is about America itself and regardless of Hillary or Trump we’re screwed.

    • A lot of individuals who are now LGBT allies weren’t always. Opinions change as people become more enlightened, educated and aware. Hillary was marching in the Gay Pride parade in NYC back in 2000, before it was considered trendy for politicians. The fact that someone’s able to look at a situation or a cause and allow their opinions to evolve is far more admirable than someone who dogmatically repeats the same lines for 40 years without compromising, understanding that he’s out of touch with reality, etc.

      Young people are eating up the line that Sanders is feeding them without even looking around to see if it’s correct or not. I’ve had conversations with Berners where they claim, up and down, that Sanders’ health plan is just like the ones in Canada and Europe. When you actually show them that the plans in Canada in Europe have no resemblance to what Sanders wants, they suddenly get very quiet. They haven’t bothered researching it. They keep going on about Hillary’s corruption without being able to produce a single instance in which she’s been seen to vote in line with corporate contributions.

      I’m wondering if the poster making this comment perhaps was too young to remember what actually went on with the 2000 election. Nader most definitely did cost Gore the presidency. The final count was so, SO close that if those Nader-ites had swung their votes to Gore instead, there would have been no question in anyone’s mind that Gore had clinched it.

  • Amid all the arguments between Hillary supporters and Bernie supporters, one question remains unanswered: With Hillary almost certain to win the Democratic nomination, who will she choose to be her vice-presidential running mate?

    With Bernie likely to win most, if not all, of the remaining Democratic primaries between now and June 7, Hillary would be hard-pressed to name Bernie as her running mate — especially if Bernie wins the all-important California primary.

    Just as no Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio, no Democrat has won the White House without winning California since John F. Kennedy in 1960.

    As I see it, with Donald Trump having won the GOP nomination, Hillary and Bernie would be foolish not to join forces for the general election. And if they can’t get their act together, Hillary should name Elizabeth Warren her running mate. Aside from Bernie, Warren is the only other Democrat who can fire up the Democratic Party’s progressive base and draw them to the polls in November.

  • Bunch of rich gay men, so easily bought off by the Clinton campaign. Hillary worked against gay rights and flip flopped just in time before the Supreme Court struck down her husband’s anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). But today, gay men are so enthralled with her (and her money) that our major gay rights groups are endorsing her. Hillary Clinton is UNQUALIFIED to be my President because she’s a LIAR, because she worked against lesbian and gay equality (human rights are not something you “flip flop” on), and because she’ll make the rich richer at the expense of the rest of us. So sad that upper middle class gay men think she and the billionaires who back her will ever let them into the billionaire club. Sorry boys, you’ll never be rich or straight enough to join the .01% that Hillary is bought off by.

  • does it not bother the LGBT people that clinton has taken millions of dollars from countries that abhor gay lifestyle? They kill gays! They stone women and allow women to be abused or murdered? She is using you only for your vote. She does not care for the LGBT and that is proven facts.

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