President Hillary Clinton celebrates 100 days in office
Donald Trump is finishing his first 100 days as President of the United States, and it’s been a tough few months for LGBT equality.
Writing our recap about the difficult times on LGBT rights under Trump, we can’t help but think about an alternate universe, where we are writing a different kind of article…
Hillary Clinton is marking her first 100 days as President of the United States, and she’s off to a good start for LGBT equality.
The Democratic President took office in January following a victory over Donald Trump, gaining 3 million more votes than her opponent.
Historians believe Mr Trump could have won had the election been held under something called the ‘electoral college system’. We’ve never heard of it.
Clinton has not always been considered a progressive on LGBT rights, but she firmly committed herself to equality in her detailed LGBT policy plan ahead of the election.
So far, her Presidency has seen a solidification of many of the changes brought in under her predecessor, Barack Obama.
Before taking office, President Clinton packed her immediate team with LGBT rights supporters and allies to help make good on her promises.
Taking advantage of a pro-LGBT surge in the Congressional elections, early on President Clinton was able to fulfil her promise to sign the Equality Act – a law amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to outlaw discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation across all areas, including employment, housing, schools, access to credit, public education, jury service, and public accommodations.
Meanwhile, she has continued to fully implement and enforce Barack Obama’s executive actions on LGBT equality in schools, safeguarding workers and transgender students from discrimination.
A number of states have shelved anti-LGBT laws bills as the government continues its legal action against North Carolina.
Clinton also followed through on another campaign promise to fill the vacant slot on the Supreme Court with a progressive justice who believes in constitutional protections for LGBT people.
As the newly-confirmed justice fills the seat vacated by ultra-conservative Antonin Scalia, a reliable vote against LGBT rights, the balance of the court is now 6-3 in favour of equality.
Three of the current pro-LGBT justices are rumoured to be reaching retirement, but due to their likely-progressive replacements, activists are confident the court will remain an avenue for progress on equality for years to come.
On transgender rights, President Clinton has begun to enact plans to overhaul and streamline the processes for transgender people to gain legal recognition, helping to eliminate obstacles in employment, health care, education, housing, and voting.
The President has committed to ensuring global LGBT rights is a key focus of the US foreign policy agenda – speaking out against the persecution of gay men in Chechnya, and urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to fully investigate.
Early budget plans include a promised $50 million boost for the Global Equality Fund – supporting programmes that advance the human rights of LGBT persons abroad.
The leader is also working with the CDC to put her expert-led plan on HIV/AIDS into action. Federal schemes to extend HIV-preventing PrEP drugs to at-risk groups are expected to bring down the infection rate and cut the cost of the epidemic in the long run, as well as helping to create an “AIDS-free generation”.
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President Clinton has strongly backed Senator Cory Booker’s bill to outlaw ‘gay cure’ therapy practises, vowing to support his effort in Congress to pass the bill, which would end conversion therapy for minors.
Meanwhile, Vice President Tim Kaine is starting work consulting with local school districts across the country, aiming to secure LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying stances.
Beyond the 100 days, there are still plenty of challenges that lie ahead on LGBT equality, with continued resistance in a number of states.
But with 1,361 Days left to go in Clinton’s term, LGBT activists are in it for the long haul.