Endorsement: Hillary Clinton makes her own best case for why you should vote for her

BY TROY MASTERS  |  The Pride Los Angeles is pleased to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States of America.

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This election offers a stark choice between progressive evolution a regressive devolution of society and all we have fought for as LGBTQ people.

Clinton has evolved and will continue knocking down barriers to LGBT equality.

She supports passage of the Equality Act, which will amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend federal protections against discrimination of LGBT people, she supports inclusion of transgender people serving in the military, and would end the practice of gay ‘conversion therapy’ on minors.  She has a grasp of HIV and AIDS issues that is unprecedented.

Where LGBT people are concerned, those are powerful statements.  And in contrast to her opponents pledges on LGBT issues, Hillary is the “last thing standing between you and the apocalypse,” as she told The New York Times this week.

Her record, many would point out, is that of someone who has often struggled with equality for LGBT people, offering late support to gay marriage only after it was clear it was a winning issue. Once she embraced LGBT people it was complete and she has proven that she is willing to leave no stone unturned as she expands on our fight.

We need a President who can and will evolve in every way.

Donald Trump has devolved and will continue resurrecting barriers to LGBT equality.

Donald Trump has shown he has no loyalty to anyone on any issue, in particular to LGBT issues.  Trump likes to say he’d be a better President for the LGBT community and offers up donations and ties between the Clinton Foundation and donations from nations that routinely impose the death penalty for homosexuality as evidence.  Yet, his selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the most notoriously anti-gay politician who ever ran on a national ticket, as his running mate, tells you everything you need to know about the ever devolving Donald Trump.

He says he wants to make “America Great Again,” but that is a dog whistle of hate to forces who despise us and who vow to do all they can to reverse the political, legal and social gains LGBT people have made in the past several decades, particularly the past 8 years.

The Pride Los Angeles stands with other LGBT newspapers around the county in endorsing Hillary.

In San Francisco, the Bay Area Reporter says “Clinton has her faults, to be sure – we’ve written about them – but at her core she is an accomplished politician who will work to move the country forward in a positive direction for all, address income inequality, defend marriage equality, and, as she said during her recent rally in Oakland, “end discrimination against the LGBT community.”

In Dallas, the Dallas Voice says “Clinton has said she will take the fight for LGBT equality to other nations, promoting LGBT human rights and making sure that America’s foreign policy is inclusive of LGBT people, including increasing the country’s investment in the Global Equality Fund to advance human rights.” This endorsement was the first in the newspapers 30 years.

Gay City News in New York City says ” Clinton is a natural on the question of HIV/ AIDS given her lifelong commitment to expanding health care opportunities for all Americans. With the Affordable Care Act facing challenges from both continued Republican recalcitrance and the recent threats by some leading insurers to pull out, America needs a president committed to building on Obama’s progress, which for all the poisoned backlash aimed at it, has brought health care to more than 20 million Americans previously uninsured. Not enough, but not a record we can afford to retreat from.”

Bay Windows in Boston says “Clinton has the most ambitious plan for LGBT Americans of any candidate ever. More than any candidate before her. She has vowed to fight for the federal Equality Act, work to outlaw dangerous “conversion therapy” for minors, ending the epidemic of transgender violence, and supporting HIV prevention and affordable treatment. Clinton will forward the success of the Obama administration.”

Windy City Times in Chicago says “Just because Clinton is qualified to do this job does not mean she has not made mistakes. There is no one that makes it to that level of public service and achievement, living in the spotlight for five decades, without some baggage. Elizabeth Warren shines so bright because she has only recently entered the electoral arena. If she served longer, she would likely have made some compromises. Even Bernie Sanders made compromises on guns because of his electoral base, and his own political career had many years of non-participation. Clinton never stopped. She has had far more time in the spotlight—and as a woman that has meant an even tougher road. Perhaps not everyone would make the same mistakes as Clinton, and her lapse in judgment about emails, speeches and the appearances of conflict at the Clinton Foundation are troubling, but these things do not disqualify her to be U.S. president.”

Philadelphia Gay News, the newspaper that solicited Hillary’s op-ed below, extolls readers to realize they are key to her election…or the election of Donald Trump…since Pennsylvania is a swing state vital the election of either. “Just like our current president, Clinton’s stance on marriage equality evolved over the years, and she became a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage several years ago. Critics have pointed to her husband’s signing of the Defense of Marriage Act and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as indications of flip-flopping, but as has needed to be repeatedly pointed out this campaign season, Hillary, not Bill, Clinton is running for president. The America in which those two laws were signed two decades ago is vastly different from the America of 2016. Scores upon scores of political figures have moved forward on our community’s issues in recent years, rightfully pushed and pressed by our community. That a politician has completed that process, not necessarily on what day it happened, is the important factor.”

But, with all the words the gay press can summon SHE makes her own best case:

BY HILLARY CLINTON  |   More than half a century ago, at Independence Hall, participants at the first Annual Reminder march picketed, chanted and sang. They did this to show their fellow Philadelphians that the LGBT community lacked fundamental civil rights.

In the decades since those protests, our country has come a long way. Marriage equality is the law of the land. This year, the last state law prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting was finally struck down. And President Obama signed an executive order protecting federal workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We should celebrate that progress.

But the simple truth is that even now, in 2016, there are still too many states in America where LGBT people can be fired or evicted from their home because of who they are or who they love. Pennsylvania is one of them. Here, you can get married on Sunday and fired on Monday, just for being gay or transgender.

That goes against everything we stand for as a country.

We need to act on the federal level to take on discrimination in all its forms. That’s what I’ll do as President — with your help.

But first, we have to win this election. Donald Trump must not be elected president. He would rip away so much of the progress we’ve made. He would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn marriage equality and rescind many of President Obama’s executive orders — including those protecting LGBT people.

It’s not just Trump’s policies that reveal the kind of president he would be. So does his choice of running mate. Mike Pence is one of the most anti-LGBT public officials in America. As governor of Indiana, Pence supported a bill that legalized discrimination against LGBT people. As a member of Congress, he voted against expanding the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation and gender identity. He opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” saying doing so would be “social experimentation.” And he’s said that homosexuality would bring about “societal collapse.”

That’s why the stakes in this election are so high.

If I’m fortunate enough to be elected president, I’ll protect the progress we’ve fought so hard to achieve — and I’ll keep fighting until every American can live free from discrimination and prejudice.

That means working to pass the Equality Act. It would finally provide LGBT people full federal nondiscrimination protections in housing, employment and so much more. I know that differences of opinion on LGBT equality still exist in the hearts of some Americans, but they should not exist under our laws. As president, I’ll be your partner in bringing about the vision of the inclusive nation that advocates, activists and allies have been seeking for decades.

I also believe we must address the ongoing issue of violence against the LGBT community. LGBT people are now more likely than any other group to be the target of a hate crime. America saw the effects of hate in Orlando, with the attack on the Pulse nightclub — the deadliest mass shooting by a single person in our history. The danger is compounded for LGBT people of color, who face intersectional pressures and dangers, particularly transgender people of color. Last year, more than 20 transgender women were killed in America. Recently, three were murdered right here in Philadelphia.

We need to stop the violence and save LGBT lives. We need to collect more data around gender identity and sexual orientation in hate crimes, so we can stop them in a smarter, more effective way. And we need to finally pass common-sense reforms to address the gun violence epidemic. Along with the vast majority of Americans, I believe that we can protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners while still making sure that guns don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Finally, we need to continue our fight to achieve our goal of an AIDS-free generation. HIV and AIDS still disproportionately impact gay and bisexual men, communities of color, transgender people and young people. We need to increase research, expand the use of effective prevention medications like PrEP, cap out-of-pocket drug costs and reform outdated HIV-criminalization laws.

Like many, I’ve lost friends and loved ones to AIDS. We owe it to them — the people we love and miss, and the people whose names we’ll never know — to continue this fight.

As First Lady and Senator, I fought to significantly expand funding for AIDS research. As Secretary of State, I changed the rules so that State Department employees in same-sex relationships were treated the same as their colleagues and so that transgender Americans could obtain passports that reflected their true gender identity. So these fights aren’t new to me.

And as president, I’ll keep fighting for LGBT rights, because — as I told the world in one of the most important speeches I gave as Secretary — they are human rights. And I won’t quit until all our laws reflect that basic reality.

Hillary Clinton in different colored pantsuits

Philadelphia Gay News (PGN) reached out to the Democratic and Republican candidates for president, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to discuss LGBT issues in advance of next month’s election. Clinton provided PGN this exclusive op-ed detailing her LGBT-rights record and her goals for future LGBT-equality efforts. Their offer —and ours — remains open for Trump.

This is the first time a major-party presidential candidate has written an op-ed for an LGBT newspaper. 

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