Opinion: LGBTQ people across America should #turnOUT for Hillary Clinton

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Human Rights Campaign -

Hillary Clinton will make sure that we take the advancements of the last several years and build on them. She has laid out the most inclusive and progressive platform on LGBTQ equality in our nation’s history. Human Rights Campaign endorses Hillary Clinton for President.

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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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