Hillary Clinton has won an endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign, largest LGBT group in the United States.
The former Secretary of State is currently running for the Democratic nomination, against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Senator Sanders is a lifelong supporter of LGBT rights, and has vocally stood up for equality in the Senate for a number of years.
Meanwhile, despite once opposing same-sex marriage, Hillary Clinton has evolved on the issue to become a strong and vocal LGBT rights advocate. She became the first Presidential candidate ever to launch a specialised LGBT manifesto this year.
None of the 12 Republican Presidential candidate have backed proposed LGBT rights protections, and HRC says none replied to requests for LGBT policy information.
Ahead of the first primaries, the Human Rights Campaign’s Board of Directors, comprised of 32 community leaders from across the nation, unanimously voted to endorse Secretary Clinton.
She will accept the endorsement next week, at an event with HRC President Chad Griffin.
The Human Rights Campaign board explained: “Secretary Clinton has made LGBT equality a pillar of her campaign and recently unveiled the most robust and ambitious LGBT plan any candidate for president has ever laid out.
“She has vowed to fight for the Equality Act – a bill that would finally offer explicit, clear, and permanent non-discrimination protections for LGBT people at the federal level – and her detailed LGBT policy platform specifically calls for dropping the ban on open transgender military service, outlawing dangerous ‘conversion therapy’ for minors, ending the epidemic of transgender violence, and supporting HIV prevention and affordable treatment, among other proposals that would advance equality and support the LGBT community.”
HRC President Chad Griffin said: “All the progress we have made as a nation on LGBT equality – and all the progress we have yet to make – is at stake in November.
“In most states, LGBT people are still at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services simply because of who they are.
“Today, 63 percent of LGBT Americans report having experienced such discrimination, and we are seeing other troubling trends, from the onslaught of state and local anti-LGBT measures to the national scourge of anti-transgender violence to backsliding on HIV/AIDS prevention and youth homelessness.
It added: “Against this backdrop, 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.”
“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.”
In a statement to PinkNews, Hillary Clinton said: “I’m honoured to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign—the nation’s largest organization working to achieve full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.
“Thanks to the Human Rights Campaign and millions of advocates across the country, we’ve made tremendous progress. But our work is far from over. 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.
She continued: “As President, I will continue to fight alongside the LGBT community to pass the Equality Act. I’ll support efforts to allow transgender personnel to serve openly, and I’ll end the dangerous practice of ‘conversion therapy’ on minors. I’ll expand access to HIV prevention and treatment, and confront the epidemic of violence facing the transgender community, especially transgender women of colour.
“And I’ll continue the efforts I led as Secretary of State to advance the human rights of LGBT people around the world.
“I’m proud to stand with the Human Rights Campaign in this fight. Together, we can and will make our country—and our world—more just, fair, and equal for generations to come.”