[F6 EDITOR'S NOTE:] Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton issued this guest post on THE BILERICO PROJECT to talk about her support for LGBT civil rights.
A message to LGBT Americans: I want to be your President
As I have traveled around the country these past twelve months, what I sensed in my heart has been confirmed – America is embracing its LGBT sons and daughters with an acceptance and understanding as never before. On the campaign trail, a father of a gay son will ask about ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. A woman will ask why she can be discriminated against just because of who she is. Sometimes they wait furtively for the crowd to thin and then whisper their confidences in a soft voice and sometimes they stand up proudly at town meetings and want me to share my views on how I will help lead the change to assure that this country fulfills its promise to everyone.
Let me tell you what I have been telling voters across America. I am fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of LGBT Americans. For seven long years, the Bush Administration has tried to divide us - only seeing people who matter to them. It's been a government of the few, by the few, and for the few. And no community has been more invisible to this administration than the LGBT community.
I will change that. The best evidence of what I will do as President is what I have already done.
* I am proud of my record as First Lady, as a U.S. Senator and as a candidate for President in working toward the fair and equal treatment of LGBT Americans.We have so much work to do. When I am President, we will work together to make sure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal benefits and that nothing stands in the way of loving couples who want to adopt children in need. We're going to expand our federal hate crimes legislation and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and assure that they are both fully inclusive of all people. And finally, we will put an end to the failed policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice – the traits that define our men and women in uniform – have nothing to do with sexual orientation.
* I am proud that as Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee in 2006, I worked closely with LBGT community to develop a smart strategy that defeated the Federal Marriage Amendment. I am proud of fighting the FMA as divisive wedge politics at its worst.
* I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligation Act which would grant the same benefits (including health insurance) to domestic partners of federal employees that are currently offered to employees’ legal spouses.
* I am proud to have authored the Early Treatment for HIV Act, which expands access to vital treatment options for low-income individuals living with HIV, and fought to fully fund the Ryan White CARE Act.
* I am proud that I hired a National Director of LGBT Outreach within a month of announcing my candidacy for President and to have openly gay and lesbian staffers serving at all levels of my campaign.
* I am proud to have a National LGBT Steering Committee of over 130 that includes openly LGBT elected officials, Board members and opinion leaders on issues ranging from transgender rights, to HIV/AIDS, to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.
* I am proud to have marched in Gay Pride parades as both First Lady and as Senator and to have spoken in front of so many LGBT audiences ranging from the Human Rights Campaign, Empire State Pride Agenda, the Hetrick Martin Institute, PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis), and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
* I am proud to have fought Republican efforts to demonize and marginalize the LGBT community, and I will continue to do that as President.
My father was a conservative Republican, who held very traditional views for much of his life. Yet in his last years, it was a gay couple who lived next door who provided much of the compassion and comfort he and my mother needed as he grew ill. And it was that same neighbor who held his hand as he died. If my father can move, America can move.
To each and every LGBT American, I say this. You have done so much to help this country understand your lives by simply being open and honest about who you are and living your lives with dignity. Thank you for your courage. It is time that we recognize your hard work. I know that this country is ready for changes in the law that reflect the evolution in our hearts.
America deserves a President who appeals to the best in each of us, not the worst; a President who values and respects all Americans and treats all Americans equally no matter who they are or who they love. I want to be that President. I want to be your President.
My response is as follows:
No offense intended to the honorable Lady from Arkansas/New York; however your own words on the campaign trail and many of your actions while in office or right next door to it anyway counter this hullabaloo that I am reading now. Madam Senator, I respectfully disagree with your presentation of the record of either yourself or your husband. My condolences in the loss of your father.
Why is this coming out right before Super Tuesday except to pander to your perceived constituents in GLBTIQAS Americans, Mrs. Clinton? This pandering pissed me off so much that I actually created an account on here to be able to post a comment, before I just lurked about.The choice left to Democrats in the primary is for someone who sometimes stands for us or someone who asks us to stand next to people who wish us destroyed and worse yet archaically disenfranchise us. I am sorry Senator neither you or your remaining opponent are someone that this gay boi wont swallow lying down or standing up. Give us a fresh candidate without political baggage and you might get me to vote again for a Democrat.
That failed DADT policy that you so blatantly slipped in was signed by your husband into law and it has caused the honor of 12,000 American men and women to be tarnished and our military to be stretched to its breaking point and beyond when called to serve on multiple fronts. If we cant trust him to veto bad legislation and address direct discrimination as the CIC with an EO how can you ask me or any of my kids who are in the military now silently serving that you wont back down just the same or only come through partially. How many more GLBTIQAS Service Members have to be abused by their command or die for being true to who they are, AMERICANS: the only place on earth where all are created equal.
And just to think, even I as a Libertarian, was willing to consider voting for you three months ago. But this latest attempt, along with some of the fiascoes along the campaign trail, is just showing politics as usual. Rewrite the history when it is convenient, no one will notice. Sorry Mrs. Senator, we noticed and were tired of being pandered to. Give us a real message not just wishful thinking.