In one of the strongest pro-LGBT statements from a presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton has promised to defend LGBT rights across America.
Speaking to the nation’s largest LGBT rights group – the Human Rights Campaign – Clinton told an enthusiastic audience of activists that, if elected President, she would fight for further LGBT rights.
“Our work is not finished until every single person is treated with equal rights and dignity that they deserve, no matter how old they are, no matter where they live, whether it is New York or Wyoming or anywhere else,” Clinton said.
Clinton also took a forceful stance on trans issues during her breakfast speech – and called for the US military to allow transgender people to serve openly.
“We need to say with one voice that transgender people are valued, loved, and one of us,” she said.
“Transgender people are still banned from serving – that is an outdated rule.
“I support the policy review that Defence Secretary [Ash] Carter recently announced in the Pentagon,” she added.
“I hope the United States joins many other countries and lets transgender people join openly.”
Clinton also vowed that her presidency would be dedicated to protecting the rights of LGBT Americans and expanding them further.
“I will fight to end discrimination wherever it occurs,” she said.
Referencing this summer’s Supreme Court ruling that granted same-sex couples the right to marry, Clinton said some progress had been made – but not enough.
“Every single American, no matter where you live, is free to marry whoever you love,” she said, before noting that same-sex couples still faced hurdles when it comes to adoption, employment and housing.
She went onto attack anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis – who secretly met with the Pope during his US visit this week.
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“There are still public officials who are doing everything in their power to interfere with your rights,” Clinton said.
She claimed the Davis case — and others like it — was discouraging for young LBGT Americans, before attacking her Republican rivals for supporting Davis’ obvious homophobia.
“We assure them that it gets better, but it can still be really hard to believe that.
“Especially when you turn on the TV and you see a Republican candidate for President, literally standing in a courthouse door in Kentucky, calling for people to join him in resisting a Supreme Court ruling, celebrating a county clerk who is breaking a law by denying other Americans their Constitutional rights.”
Clinton was referencing Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee – who held a rally for Davis in September.
However, the former Secretary of State also took time to acknowledge the fact that she was not always such a strong supporter of gay rights.
During her 2008 bid for the White House, she was opposed to same-sex marriage – and in 2011, tried to block gay-inclusive passports.
“You’ve helped to change a lot of minds,” she said towards the end of speech. “Including mine.”