On Full Federal Equality
In the United States Senate, Clinton was a strong supporter of LGBT non-discrimination legislation, including being an original cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Now she has called it her “highest priority” to pass and sign into law the Equality Act -- landmark legislation that would establish full federal equality for LGBT Americans. This groundbreaking, comprehensive bill would establish explicit, permanent protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service. In addition, it would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in federal funding and access to public places. Clinton has vowed to fight with HRC for full LGBT equality.
On Marriage Equality
In 2013, Hillary Clinton announced her support for marriage equality in an exclusive video for the Human Rights Campaign.
“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones – and they are full and equal citizens, and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage,” Clinton said in the video. “That’s why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law, embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and for all Americans. […] To deny the opportunity to any of our daughters and sons solely on the basis of who they are and who they love is to deny them the chance to live up to their God given potential.” - Hillary Clinton
In 2004 and again in 2006, then-Senator Clinton voted against the discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment. The following year, in response to California’s decision overturning Proposition 8, Clinton said LGBT couples should have the “same rights and responsibilities as all Americans.”
Hillary Clinton understands what is at stake in this election and has made it clear she is committed to appointing justices to the Supreme Court “who will protect the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or political viewpoint” and said that the Obergefell ruling “was a clear reminder of what any court can do: stand for equality or against it; make America a fairer place, or roll back the progress we’ve worked so hard to achieve.”
On LGBT Equality Abroad
Hillary Clinton used her platform as Secretary of State to be a champion of LGBT rights abroad.
In 2011, Secretary Clinton stood before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and told the world’s leaders, “gay rights are human rights” – and during her tenure at the State Department, the United States helped pass the first-ever UN Resolution on the Human Rights of LGBT Persons. As Secretary of State, she also launched the Global Equality Fund to support programs that advance the human rights of LGBT persons abroad, and she went toe-to-toe with world leaders over the government-sanctioned violence against the LGBT community:
“I don't believe that people who are the L, the G, the B, or the T should be persecuted, assaulted, imprisoned, even killed for who they are. This was the debate that I was having with leaders in many parts of the world, who first denied there were any such people in their communities, that it was all an invention and export of the West. And then they would change the argument that they didn't want people being proselytized, they didn't want children being abused, and I said, ‘Well, there are laws against that, that are certainly appropriate. No one should be coerced, no one should be abused. But you're talking about the status, the very core of who a person is.’” - Hillary Clinton
On Transgender Equality
As a candidate, Hillary Clinton has pledged to help end the scourge of violence facing the transgender community, and to improve data collection to better document the difficulties faced by transgender Americans. Last year, Clinton said, “we've got to address the crisis of transphobic violence. 2015 has seen the murder of at least 19 transgender women, primarily women of color. And nobody knows how much violence goes unreported or ignored. And we need to say, with one voice, that transgender people are valued, they are loved, they are us, they desire to be treated fairly and equally.”
Clinton has called for lifting the ban on transgender military service so that everyone can serve openly.
At the State Department, Clinton expanded the State Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Statement to include gender identity, and the Department also eased the rules for passports to make it easier for transgender individuals to change their listed gender. As a presidential candidate, Clinton has pledged to streamline identity documents and remove barriers for those seeking to change their gender markers.
And as candidate for the president of the United States in 2016, Clinton reiterated her support for transgender rights. After President Obama announced a sweeping directive to public schools to allow students to use restrooms that align with their gender identity, Clinton's campaign told the Washington Post, "Hillary Clinton applauds the Obama administration for taking actions this week to stand up for the rights of LGBT people — and particularly for the rights of transgender people — across the country. As president, she will fight to make sure all Americans can live their lives free from discrimination." The previous week, Clinton reached out to a transgender woman who had been verbally attacked on a NYC subway, saying, "The all-too-high prevalence of violence and hatred faced by the transgender community—today, in 2016!—is a rebuke to all of us. Every single person deserves to be safe and live free from discrimination and cruelty, period. And transgender people need to hear from every one of us that you are loved, respected, and deserving of equality under the law. Know that you have my support, and I'm on your side."
Ahead of the election, more and more transgender advocates and leaders are announcing their support for Clinton.
LGBTQ Youth & Families
Hillary Clinton has been a long-time advocate for giving all children the opportunity to have a family of their own in a loving and caring home. She called it a “fundamental obligation” in remarks to HRC in 2007. As First Lady, she worked to defeat a measure preventing unmarried couples from adopting in the District of Columbia, and has remained committed to ending the discriminatory treatment of LGBT families in adoption. In her policy platform, she has committed to working with Congress to pass the Every Child Deserves A Family Act to prevent discrimination against potential foster care and adoptive families on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
In 2010, as Secretary of State, Clinton released a video for It Gets Better to combat the scourge of suicides as a result of bullying. She urged for the creation of safe spaces for LGBT people, “particularly young people, particularly teenagers who still, today, have such a difficult time and who, still, in numbers far beyond what should ever happen, take their own lives rather than live that life.” As a presidential candidate, Clinton has committed to fight for passage of the Safe Schools Improvement Act to help prevent harmful bullying and the Student Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit public schools from discriminating against students on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. She has promised to fight to end the harmful practice of “conversion therapy” for minors, and to work with Congress to ensure adequate funding and safe and welcoming shelter for homeless youth, including LGBTQ youth who are vastly overrepresented in the homeless population.
“I think about the parents and the kids who worry about whether their teachers and classmates will be accepting of them, whether law enforcement will treat them fairly — all those millions of worries, large and small, that LGBT Americans live with every single day. I’m fighting for an America where, if you do your part, you can get ahead and stay ahead, where you can be accepted for who you are; where liberty and equality, where diversity and unity, where opportunity and justice are not just values we recite but goals we work to achieve. I don’t want anybody to be left out. We need everybody’s talents in America today.” - Hillary Clinton
HIV & AIDS
When Martin Shkreli, the notorious former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, hiked the price of a life-saving treatment by 5,000 percent overnight, Secretary Clinton quickly laid out a detailed plan for holding bad actors like Shkreli to account. She announced a plan to hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable and achieve lower drug costs for Americans, including for medications that reduce the risk of HIV as well as those that help treat it.
Clinton additionally called for every state to extend Medicaid coverage to provide life-saving healthcare to people living with HIV. She has also proposed capping out-of-pocket expenses for people living with HIV and AIDS, and expanding funding for the CDC in a specific effort to expand knowledge and access to PrEP. In the U.S. Senate, Clinton was the lead Democratic sponsor of the Early Treatment for HIV Act and the reauthorization of PEPFAR, which included a repeal of the HIV travel ban. As Secretary of State, Clinton called on the world to created the first “AIDS-Free Generation” and committed more than $150 million in funding to try and make an AIDS-free world a reality.
Advocating for Hillary Clinton on the Ground
HRC staff and volunteers have been hard at work to get out the pro-equality vote. HRC's efforts across the country are part of an unprecedented organizational effort to register and mobilize HRC supporters and members by phone-banking and door-knocking.