December 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Clinton unveils plan to promote LGBT rights
Hillary Clinton, gay news, Human Rights Campaign, HRC, Washington Blade

Hillary Clinton has unveiled her LGBT policy platform. (Washington Blade photo by Damien Salas)

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.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • All good. But what we need is a promise that the provisions of The Equality Act (bill) will be INCLUDED in the FIRST BUDGET she proposes. Non-discrimination in jobs, housing, federal programs, credit and education – are ALL budget issues for us. And especially nondiscrimination in “all federal funds” – this is clearly a BUDGET gov’t spending issue – and belongs in a budget proposal. The Equality Act will not otherwise pass any other foreseeable way. Promise this Secretary Clinton – and I promise you a LOT of support from our community.

    • What’s to prevent the GOP from refusing to approve the budget as long as the Equality Act is part of it then blame Clinton for the gridlock? They can always try and omit the provision under final deliberations between the House and Senate can’t; they? Clinton can promise the world but delivering the is the real challenge!

      The fact that getting such legislation passed through Congress is a longshot despite all the legal victories we have achieved goes to show we still have a long way to go. Most of our achievements have been due to the judicial branch not legislative which emphasis the importance of having judges appointed that support the notion that we do have constitutional rights unlike social conservatives who contend we have none!

      • It’s not a longshot if they nominate Trump

      • Democrats must take an aggressive principled stand for our equality – and stop running scared from Republican grandstanding and temper-tantrums. The people support our equality. We need leaders, not excuses. Fight the good fight – and let’s see how it plays out. All too often, DNC cuts itself off at the knees, out of fear of the opposition – and thus loses the mojo and respect of its own supporters. Clinton – I hope – will be tougher than that. She’s a fighter. In the meantime, LGBT groups need to be pushing the Equality Act in the Congressional races. Time to build the push! Too bad Human Rights Campaign has ZERO republican strategy.

    • Agreed. We need substance behind the verbiage.

      The article mentions promised improvements in federal data collection, but we don’t need “improvement”, we need “rectification”. States must be mandated to report accurately & fully.

      It also says that a restaurant “can” refuse service to a trans person. No. Restaurants DO refuse service to trans people,…and gays, and etc, etc,…usually under the guise of sincere religious belief.

      We need real force and substance.

    • Unlike a certain “independent” who claims that he’d be a hypocrite for running as a Democrat, yet is doing just that, Hillary has a plan AND a way to pay for it that won’t raise our taxes.

      • And that plan includes starting wars, going “tough” on the corporations that bankrupted us ( which is BS talk for allowing them to flourish) and ultimately leading to the rise in taxes.

  • How will Clinton expand access without single-payer? There are over 1.2 million Americans living with HIV. What about HIV treatment medication? A $250 monthly drug expense is too high for many in the very demographic she’s appealing to.

  • Trust me, she said?
    That woman isn’t anybody’s friend but hers, and standing behind me is the last place I want her.

    • Anyone pushing this talking point has zero credibility. This “lie” motif is just the same fake-GOP scandal being used now by the ISO-socialists – who hate the system (understandably) but blame Hillary for it (unfairly) – or worse yet “progressive” liberals (shame on them) who support Bernie (fine, but no reason to hate on HRC) – a great man – who is above this type of crap thankfully. It’s especially sad to see women spewing this refrain – because it is so obviously the same anti-Hillary (anti-woman) bullying that the male-dominated system has been attacking her with for decades. She broke the mold on first-ladies, and they intended to put her in her place, and still think they can. The men just can’t stand the idea that a woman is beating them at their own game. And they didn’t like it from a black man either – which is why both Hillary and Obama have such low-favorability ratings with white-old-men. Wake up women of America! This is your chance to put men in their place. If we don’t balance the hormones in our governments, we will never fix the world of greed which is all one big penis-power-play, who has the bigger stick – blah blah blah. Think bigger – than just this one election – think about your daughters growing up KNOWING they could be President of the World.

      • So, your response to those who don’t like Hillary is: that is a mean response, if you don’t mind my saying so :-)

        • And this comment of yours – is what, nice or mean?

          QUOTE: “That woman isn’t anybody’s friend but hers”.

          That kind of nastiness is what causes mean refrains, because what you’re doing is so anti-woman, and mean.

          No more double-standards. This is exactly what’s happening with Hillary – she is in the cross-hairs of double-standards.

          She’s in politics – most every other politician I know is in it MORE for themselves. EXCEPT Hillary – who has been a public servant at HEART since college.

          This is why it’s so obviously a double-standard – why is SHE taking all the heat for the political system and that world.

          And who in their job in the private sector – is in it for anyone other than themselves. Seriously. What standard are we applying against this woman? And where did it come from?

          And maybe include some analysis and not just one-liners, that read exactly like GOP talking points.

          • I love you, but your demand for silence about Hillary’s long career is unreasonable. For example, her first real job was on the Watergate committee, and she got fired for unethically grubering and hiding evidence. That is a mark against her honesty, and that is not my fault, and the “How Dare You!” response to me mentioning Hillary’s unethical behavior is unreasonable.
            American culture allows me to not like your favorite candidate :-)

          • This is the first mention you’ve made of any thing substantive or unethical. Your original post was a complete dismissal of her as a human being and any possible credibility as being anything other than self-motivated, as if self-motivation is a crime or a reason to be shunned. You’re now switching gears and referencing a 1970s political fight of the century. I don’t know the details, but again, just don’t think anything that happened that long ago – set against a HUGE record of public service ever since – is enough to justify these types of dismissive generalizations.

            It’s much easier for folks like Bernie – to avoid this type of criticism – because he’s done very little of any major significance his whole life.

            This again, is evidence of the double standard.

            A hard working risk-taking leader – female – instead of being haled for decades of service and dedication – is being sliced and diced, with one factoid here and another fake-fact there – to undermine her generally. And this has been going on since the health-care battle – was GOP generated, and the over all disrespect she is being shown now – is the fruit of that poison tree.

            She can take it. But as a gay man who was bullied horribly – I see our community Bullying Hillary – and it pisses me off.

          • Trust me, she said, again?

            That woman isn’t anybody’s friend but hers, and standing behind me is the last place I want her.


            My OP is an entirely reasonable, and supportable, conclusion about Hillary as a presidential candidate. Your suggestion that Hillary can run for president w/o criticism is unnecessarily protective of the most powerful woman on earth.

            The Clinton Foundation is a towering achievement of pay-to-play politics and has made Hillary personally rich beyond the dreams of Midas by selling nothing but political support. That is immoral, illegal, and unhelpful conduct for a presidential candidate, if you don’t mind my saying so. And I count that against her. Do you mind?

          • Yes, I do mind. The Clinton Foundation is using their political power to solve some of the worlds worst problems – as I hear of it – though I’m not an expert, but will look into it.

            And she had to make money – you can’t run for president if you’re broke or poor. And the first-lady didn’t get paid.

            But what you’re doing now – is a classic example of mud-slinging. You raise one talking-point after another. Hoping the totality of the half-truth-non-scandals – – will create a general negative impression — as it has affected yours.

            These talking points were spoon-fed by the GOP.

            Yes, I do mind hearing them again. Show me some evidence on the Watergate accusation or Clinton Foundation. Some real investigative analysis – not just some link to an opinion piece or Fox-news piece.

            If you’re going to attack Hillary’s credentials – put more effort into it than a one-liner. She deserves at least that much respect from ALL queer people.

          • What I am doing is classic American political comment about a presidential candidate. What you are doing is “How Dare You!” responses that claim only evil people could object to anything about the first woman with a chance to be President. Between the two of us, I am being reasonable and you are stomping your pretty little foot at all who dare express the slightest disagreement with any of your opinions.

            Like I said, I can love you without thinking you are smart about politics. And I can’t think anybody who supports that evil woman for president is well informed. You are free to love her. You are free to vote for her. You are free to wear a 44 boys is too many T-shirt to church if you wish. My opinion is well justified by both facts and logic. If you wish to change my opinion, intimidation apparently isn’t working. Perhaps you should work with facts and logic for a bit, if you wish.

            Again, I can disagree about Hillary being a good person or good president without committing punishable evil, true or false :-)

  • The last time a Clinton promised to promote gay rights, we got Don’t Ask, a ban on travel for people with HIV, and DOMA.

    Would you buy a used car from this woman?

    • Yes, Bill was a pathetic horror for us. But she is her own person – and deserves to be evaluated on her own record, where she was actually in charge.

      On that, she has an amazing record as SOS on LGBT human rights globally. I am deep in the trenches in our movement, and she was a life-line in 2011 for advocates all over the globe working to free our people.

      Bill was a jerk. She married beneath herself. But that’s nothing new for women. Ha.

      Give her a chance – and then judge her on HER administration. Or better yet – just look at her record as SOS – where she banned anti-gay foreign officials from getting passports, ceased funding to anti-gay groups globally (which is a big deal locally), and ended joint military exercises with anti-gay states (a huge message).

      And more personally, I sure wouldn’t want anyone blaming my husband for my behavior – ha. Plus, times have changed. No vanguard liberal woman could be president now – and it was unfathomable in the 1990s. You have to start somewhere in breaking the male-domination of the world. And this is that chance.

  • While Hillary Clinton lies by maintaining that the support for the DOMA was to stop some great republican conspiracy, that only she knew of, from altering the constitution Bernie has been far more consistent and progressive. The difference between your flip-flopping candidate who supports the rich, war, destruction of non-whites and Bernie Sanders is that he recognises that religious organisations are charities by definition. He also recognises that religious organisations aren’t subject to federal law and thus have no need to recognise same-sex marriages. So if you remove the tax-exempt status for one religious organisation, then you’ll have to do the same for everyone. What he means by religious freedom is the decision to do what you want in your own church, mosque, temple without having the state force you do anything because they are *by definition* non-profit and therefore the government cannot force it to do anything it doesn’t want.

    I knew Hillary Clinton supporters were stupid and manipulative, but not to this extent.

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