LGBTQ people across America should #turnOUT for Hillary Clinton

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LGBT or­ga­ni­za­tions, wary of Trump, em­brace Clin­ton

Still reel­ing from a June mas­sacre that left 49 club-go­ers dead at a gay dance hall in Or­lando, LGBT Amer­i­cans were thrust into a pe­cu­liar po­si­tion: They were sud­denly be­ing courted by Repub­li­cans and Democrats alike, and held up as the kind of Amer­i­cans who need the pro­tec­tion of law­mak­ers. Hil­lary Clin­ton and her fel­low Democrats were quick to call the at­tack, the dead­li­est mass shoot­ing in the his­tory of the United States, a hate crime against les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der peo­ple. Don­ald Trump joined other mem­bers of the GOP in call­ing the at­tack an act of ter­ror prompted by the al­leged affin­ity of the shooter, 29-year-old Omar Ma­teen, for the rad­i­cal Is­lamic State group. Then, weeks later at the GOP convention in Cleve­land, Trump in­voked “LGBTQ cit­i­zens” dur­ing a speech ac­cept­ing his party’s pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion. “As pres­i­dent, I will do ev­ery­thing in my power to pro­tect LGBTQ cit­i­zens from the vi­o­lence and op­pres­sion of a hate­ful for­eign ide­ol­ogy,” Trump said to rous­ing ap­plause. “And, I have to say, as a Repub­li­can, it is so nice to hear you cheer­ing for what I just said.” Politi­cos and pun­dits could hardly be­lieve it. Never be­fore has a pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee from the GOP made an over­ture to LGBT Amer­i­cans dur­ing the party’s convention. Yet it is Clin­ton who has been en­dorsed by vir­tu­ally ev­ery LGBT or­ga­ni­za­tion that has taken a stance on the can­di­dates. As sec­re­tary of state in 2011, she de­clared “gay rights are hu­man rights.” Some have called her the most pro-LGBT pres­i­den­tial can­di­date the United States has ever seen. “No sin­gle elected of­fi­cial has done more for LGBT civil rights than Sec­re­tary Clin­ton —and that’s com­pet­ing with Pres­i­dent Obama,” said Rick Zbur, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Equal­ity Cal­i­for­nia, the coun­try’s largest statewide LGBT group. The Log Cabin Repub­li­cans, the coun­try’s largest or­ga­ni­za­tion for con­ser­va­tive LGBT cit­i­zens, have re­frained from en­dors­ing a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. Although Trump, as many sus­pect, may be ac­cept­ing of LGBT Amer­i­cans, the Log Cabin Repub­li­cans have de­scribed the 2016 Repub­li­can Party plat­form as “the most anti-LGBT Plat­form in the party’s 162-year his­tory.” “The choice be­tween the Demo­crat and Repub­li­can ticket could not be more stark in terms of its im­pact on the LGBT com­mu­nity,” said Kate Ken­dell, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Cen­ter for Les­bian Rights in San Fran­cisco. Same-sex mar­riage: Clin­ton, who un­til 2013 fa­vored civil unions in­stead of mar­riage for same-sex cou­ples, has said her view on the mat­ter evolved over time. To­day, she sup­ports pre­serv­ing same-sex cou­ples’ right to marry — and has vowed to nom­i­nate Supreme Court jus­tices who would do the same. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same­sex cou­ples had the right to marry, Clin­ton re­sponded with a one-word tweet: Proud. Clin­ton has also promised to “end dis­crim­i­na­tory treat­ment of LGBT fam­i­lies in adop­tions.” Trump’s po­si­tions on same­sex mar­riage have also evolved. Be­fore the Supreme Court rul­ing, Trump had sup­ported do­mes­tic part­ner­ships and civil unions over same-sex mar­riage. In 2015, he said though he dis­agreed with the court’s rul­ing, he would not sup­port a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment al­low­ing states to re-ban same-sex mar­riage. But over the course of his cam­paign, Trump’s rhetoric has sharp­ened. He told Fox News in Jan­uary that he would “strongly con­sider” ap­point­ing jus­tices to over­turn the court’s mar­riage de­ci­sion. His run­ning mate, Mike Pence, has been fight­ing same­sex mar­riage for more than a decade. In 2003, then-con­gress­man Pence co-spon­sored the Fed­eral Mar­riage Amend­ment, a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment that would have as­serted that mar­riage in the U.S. “shall con­sist only of the union of a man and woman” and that no state or fed­eral law could change or ex­tend those ben­e­fits to same­sex cou­ples. In 2011, he voted to reaf­firm the De­fense of Mar­riage Act. LGBT dis­crim­i­na­tion: Clin­ton, who as a U.S. sen­a­tor sup­ported a fed­eral an­tidis­crim­i­na­tion law to pre­vent work­places from treat­ing LGBT work­ers un­fairly, has pledged her sup­port to the Equal­ity Act — a sweep­ing piece of fed­eral leg­is­la­tion that would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ex­tend the list of pro­tected classes to in­clude sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and gen­der iden­tity in ad­di­tion to those it al­ready pro­tects (race, color, sex, re­li­gion and na­tional ori­gin). Do­ing so would ren­der dis­crim­i­na­tion of LGBT peo­ple il­le­gal in credit, ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment, fed­eral fi­nan­cial aid, hous­ing, jury se­lec­tion and public ac­com­mo­da­tions. Be­fore he was the Repub­li­can can­di­date for pres­i­dent, Trump had sup­ported a sim­i­lar change. He had said pro­tect­ing peo­ple from dis­crim­i­na­tion based on sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion “would be sim­ple.” But as a can­di­date, he has aligned him­self with the party’s push for in­creased “re­li­gious free­dom” laws that would al­low in­di­vid­u­als, busi­nesses and public ser­vants to refuse ser­vice to LGBT peo­ple be­cause do­ing so would con­flict with their re­li­gious be­liefs. As gover­nor, Pence signed into law one such mea­sure in In­di­ana. Trans­gen­der rights: When North Carolina law­mak­ers ap­proved a law that banned trans­gen­der peo­ple from us­ing the bath­room of their choice, Trump op­posed the mea­sure. He said that Cait­lyn Jen­ner, per­haps the most fa­mous trans­gen­der celebrity, would be wel­come to use any bath­room she pleased at Trump Tower. But later, Trump re­versed his po­si­tion and said he sup­ported North Carolina’s so-called bath­room bill. Clin­ton, mean­while, has taken an un­am­bigu­ous stance against such bills. She has vowed to ad­dress the dis­pro­por­tion­ate vi­o­lence trans­gen­der peo­ple are sub­ject to and sup­ports in­creased “law en­force­ment train­ing fo­cused on fair and im­par­tial polic­ing, in­clud­ing in­ter­ac­tions with LGBT peo­ple.” When she was sec­re­tary of state, Clin­ton is­sued a pol­icy that made it eas­ier for trans­gen­der Amer­i­cans to change their gen­der marker on U.S. pass­ports. She has said she would sup­port ex­pand­ing that kind of pro­vi­sion to in­clude other forms of ID. Con­ver­sion ther­apy: Clin­ton op­poses so-called con­ver­sion ther­apy, con­tro­ver­sial prac­tices meant to cure LGBT peo­ple of be­ing gay. Trump has not taken a clear stance, though the GOP plat­form alludes to its sup­port of such prac­tices by not­ing that par­ents should be al­lowed to make med­i­cal de­ci­sions about their chil­dren with­out in­ter­fer­ence from state leg­is­la­tors.

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