Hillary Clinton unveiled on Thursday her comprehensive policy platform aimed at continuing advancements in LGBT rights.
The Democratic presidential front-runner said in a statement her proposal would build off the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling this year in favor of same-sex marriage.
“America is better when we are inclusive, open, and striving towards full equality,” Clinton said. “The Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality was a watershed moment in this fight, but our work to reach the promise of full equality remains unfinished.”
Much of the policy proposal consists of objectives she’s already announced on the campaign trail and during a speech in October before supporters of the Human Rights Campaign, such as support for the Equality Act; openly transgender service in the U.S. military; ending discrimination against LGBT families in adoption; and capping out-of-pocket drug expenses to $250 a month.
But the document announces a few new initiatives, including ending “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors; expanding the utilization of HIV prevention medications, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); and supporting efforts in the courts and federal government to clarify under federal statutes “sex discrimination” constitutes discrimination on the basis of “gender identity” and “sexual orientation.”
For transgender rights, Clinton pledges to protect transgender people from violence in a record year record for murders throughout the country; streamline processes to allow transgender people to change their gender marker on identification documents; and educate police officers on identifying bias-motivated crimes.
Four years after her speech in Geneva in support of international LGBT rights, Clinton promises to make America’s foreign policy inclusive of LGBT people everywhere to expand the Global Equality Fund by $50 million over the next decade to advance the human rights of LGBT people around the world.
Amid complaints from advocates the federal government collects insufficient data on the transgender population, Clinton promises to work to improve data collection on critical issues such as LGBT unemployment, health coverage, violence and poverty. Adding sexual orientation and gender identity questions to U.S. government-backed surveys, such as the American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey, is among her proposals.
The policy platform was unveiled days after the debut of “LGBT for Hillary,” an initiative the campaign launched with gay singer Ricky Martin and lesbian tennis legend Billie Jean King aimed at motivating LGBT people to support Clinton’s campaign.
“As president, I will continue to fight so that LGBT Americans and families can live, work, and pray free of discrimination. I will not settle for anything less,” Clinton said. “It is unacceptable that LGBT kids continue to be discriminated against and bullied at school, a restaurant can refuse to serve a transgender person, and a same-sex couple is at risk of being evicted from their home. We have to do better. And it’s why I will continue to fight so every person and every family is treated with respect and dignity no matter who they are or who they love.”
Kate Kendell, executive director of the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, hailed the policy proposals as “a bold vision for our community in this country and beyond.”
“We applaud Secretary Clinton for her audacious and uncompromising support for a range of policy initiatives which, if realized, would improve the lives and futures of every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person in our nation and the world,” Kendell added. “By addressing issues like parenting and adoption, protections for LGBT youth, conversion therapy, violence against transgender people and transgender service in the military, and health care access for people with HIV — issues which have long been part of NCLR’s work — Secretary Clinton reflects a genuine understanding of the issues facing LGBT people and their families. Her passionate support is extremely gratifying.”
JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president for policy and political affairs for the Human Rights Campaign, said the proposal “puts in stark relief what’s at stake in this coming presidential election.”
“On the one hand we have witnessed pro-equality candidates put forward robust plans to address LGBT discrimination at the federal level, fight the epidemic of violence against transgender Americans, advance equality around the globe and more,” Winterhof said. “And on the other side, we’ve seen an unprecedented level of vocal opposition to LGBT equality from vowing to overturn marriage equality and rushing to Kim Davis’s side to treating transgender people as a punchline.”