Rumoured Presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand to be honoured with LGBT award
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a strong LGBT ally who is rumoured to be preparing a Presidential bid, will be honoured with at the Human Rights Campaign gala next week.
Gillibrand is one of several Democrats rumoured to be preparing to run for the party’s Presidential nomination and challenge Donald Trump in 2020.
The Senator will be honoured next week for her unfailing support for LGBT equality in Congress.
The Democratic Senator from New York has taken a lead on LGBT rights issues, battling Republican efforts to roll back progress, and championing the Equality Act, which would extend federal civil rights laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination.
In response to President Trump’s discriminatory attempt to implement a transgender military ban, last year Gillibrand announced bipartisan legislation to protect currently serving transgender troops from being discharged.
She also recently spoke out against violence targeting LGBT Americans and the critical need for voters to make their voices heard at the ballot box.
Senator Gillibrand has consistently scored a perfect 100 percent on the HRC Congressional Scorecard throughout her time in the Senate.
HRC President Chad Griffin said: “Senator Gillibrand is on the front lines of the battle against the Trump-Pence administration’s politics of hate, fear, and discrimination.
“From fighting back against Trump’s transgender military ban to pushing for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections, Senator Gillibrand stands shoulder to shoulder with the LGBTQ community as a champion of equality.
“We are honored to welcome her to the 2018 HRC Greater New York Gala.”
The award is an added string in her bow in what is likely to be a tough Democratic contest with a wide open field and, as of yet, no clear frontrunner.
An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, filed by Gillibrand and GOP Senator Susan Collins, would have prevented the Department of Defense (DoD) from removing qualified service members from the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity.
Senator Gillibrand, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, said: “Any individual who wants to join our military and meets the standards should be allowed to serve, period. Gender identity should have nothing to do with it.
“I am proud to work with Senator Collins to introduce our bipartisan amendment to protect transgender members of our Armed Forces, and I will always fight for our brave transgender troops who put their lives on the line to protect our country.”
Senator Collins said: “Our armed forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country.
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“If individuals are willing to put on the uniform of our country, be deployed in war zones, and risk their lives for our freedoms, then we should be expressing our gratitude to them, not trying to exclude them from military service.”
The transgender ban was later blocked in the courts, with a string of rulings against the Trump administration. The first openly transgender troops were able to enlist earlier this month, though legal battles continue.
Also at the HRC event, Broadway legend Audra McDonald will receive the HRC National Equality Award, recognizing her outstanding efforts in standing up for the LGBTQ community.
HRC’s Chad Griffin added: “From the Broadway stage to the silver screen, Audra McDonald has captivated and inspired audiences around the globe in a truly profound way.
“Most importantly, she uses her incredible talent to help make the world a better place by speaking out for the vulnerable and the oppressed. We are proud to recognize such a vocal advocate for LGBTQ equality at this year’s Greater New York Gala.”
McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry, as both a singer and an actress. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts—America’s highest honor for achievement in the arts—from President Barack Obama.
She is a passionate advocate for LGBT equality and underprivileged youth. In 2014, she joined the Covenant House International Board of Directors, which oversees programs for homeless and at-risk youth in 27 cities in six countries across the United States, Canada, and Latin America. In 2011, she joined Mario Batali and other pro-equality marchers in Albany to lobby New York state senators in the days leading up to their groundbreaking vote for marriage equality, and in 2009, she joined Twitter to promote the cause, using the Twitter handle @AudraEqualityMc.