Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised supporters of the Human Rights Campaign in October “from one ‘HRC’ to another” she’d stand up for LGBT rights. On Tuesday, the other HRC returned the support.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, announced in a statement his organization’s 32-member board has unanimously voted to endorse Clinton in her bid for the White House.
“We’ve heard the leading Republican presidential candidates repeatedly threaten to block our progress, and to revoke, repeal, and overturn the gains we’ve made during President Obama’s two terms,” Griffin said. “While they fight to take us backwards, Hillary Clinton is fighting to advance LGBT equality across our nation and throughout the world. We are proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for president, and believe that she is the champion we can count on in November — and every day she occupies the Oval Office.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, Clinton is set to accept the endorsement Sunday at an event in Des Moines, Iowa, with Griffin and HRC supporters.
The Human Rights Campaign is the most prominent LGBT endorsement Clinton has received following a series an endorsements from LGBT people. Others who’ve declared support for her are Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit that brought marriage equality to entire nation, and Jimmy LaSalvia, who founded the gay conservative GOProud and has since bolted the Republican Party.
A Human Rights Campaign spokesperson said the vote on the endorsement was held Monday afternoon. The public policy committee recommendation was unanimous as was the vote by the full board of directions that followed, the spokesperson said.
Clinton said in a statement she’s “honored” to receive support from the Human Rights Campaign, which she said is in part responsible for “tremendous progress” on LGBT rights.
“But our work is far from over,” Clinton said. “Too many LGBT Americans still face discrimination — in employment, in housing, in education, in health care — because of who they are or who they love. And the stakes in this election couldn’t be higher. The Republican candidates for president have not only hurled hateful, insulting rhetoric about the LGBT community — they’ve made it clear that if elected, they will roll back the rights that so many have fought for.”
Clinton reiterated her pledge to support the Equality Act, allowing transgender people to serve openly in the U.S. military and ending widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors. In addition, she said she’d expand access to HIV prevention and treatment; confront disproportionate violence facing transgender people, especially transgender women of color; and continue her work as former secretary of state on international LGBT rights.
“I’m proud to stand with the Human Rights Campaign in this fight,” Clinton added. “Together, we can and will make our country — and our world — more just, fair, and equal for generations to come.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, the endorsement was based on support for issues of concern to LGBT people, demonstrated leadership on LGBT issues and viability.
All candidates — both Democrat and Republican — were asked to fill out a questionnaire on LGBT issues, but only Clinton as well as Democratic candidates Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley responded with answers, according to HRC.
Asked whether the endorsement means Clinton is entitled to monetary support as a result of the endorsement, an HRC spokesperson said staff and volunteers will organize 1.5 million members and supporters about what’s at stake in the election and are already on the ground in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
As part of the endorsement announcement, the Human Rights Campaign unveiled a video contrasting Clinton with Republican presidential candidates and their anti-LGBT statements.