In an exclusive Q&A with the Washington Blade, Democrat Hillary Clinton underscores her commitment to LGBTQ rights, identifies Edie Windsor as a personal hero, and denounces criticism of the Clinton Foundation which provides 11.5 million with access to HIV meds.
I encourage you to read the full Q&A. Here's just a sample:
Washington Blade: Where would passage of the Equality Act fit among your legislative priorities as president?
Hillary Clinton: As you know, there are still places in America where LGBT people can get married on Sunday and fired on Monday, just because of who they are or who they love. That’s wrong, and it goes against everything we stand for as a country.
As President, I’ll make fighting discrimination against the LGBT community a top priority – including by working with Congress to pass the Equality Act. And we won’t stop there. We’ll also take on harassment, bullying, and violence – and youth homelessness, which disproportionately hurts LGBT kids. We’ll end the harmful practice of so-called “conversion” therapy for minors, because LGBT kids don’t need to be “cured” of anything. And we’ll bring people together to reform our gun laws and keep guns from falling into the wrong hands, so that what happened at Pulse never happens again. All of these things are part of my vision for a hopeful, inclusive America where everyone counts, and everyone has a place.
Blade: The Clinton Foundation has faced criticism for accepting millions of dollars from countries with laws that punish homosexual acts with death, including between $10-$25 million from Saudi Arabia. The foundation has done much good work, but do the ends justify the means?
Clinton: I am so proud of the work the Clinton Foundation has done on behalf of vulnerable people all across the world – especially the work to combat HIV and AIDS, an epidemic that disproportionately impacts LGBT communities around the globe. Due to the work of the Clinton Foundation, 11.5 million people in the developing world have access to HIV medication at 90 percent lower cost. That’s more than half of all adults and ¾ of all children receiving treatment today.
I’ve always believed that we shouldn’t shy away from confronting human rights abuses around the world – against LGBT people or anyone else. That’s why, as Secretary of State, I actively stood up to these countries and have advocated for the rights of many, including declaring that “gay rights are human rights,” and made advancing the rights of LGBT people around the world a cornerstone of our foreign policy, including advocating for the first ever United Nations resolution on LGBT rights. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has conducted business deals worth millions of dollars in or with some of these countries and has done it for the sole purpose of padding his own pockets.
Here’s the bottom line: As your president, I will continue to fight for LGBT rights here in the United States and around the globe.
Blade: In separate interviews with the Washington Blade in 2008, Barack Obama cited as a gay role model his college professor Lawrence Goldyn and John McCain cited 9/11 hero Mark Bingham. Whom would you identify as an LGBT role model?
Clinton: I’m inspired by Edie Windsor, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that paved the way for marriage equality. When Edie’s wife, Thea Spyer, passed away, Edie realized she owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal estate taxes she wouldn’t have had to pay if she had been married to a man. She had to choose whether to live with this injustice, or fight back. She chose to fight back – and as a result, the Court ruled that all legally married LGBT couples must be treated equally under federal law. Edie’s case opened the door for the Supreme Court ruling one year later, which held that marriage equality was the law of the land in all 50 states.
Edie is a truly remarkable woman: smart, feisty, and very brave. She came of age at a time when many LGBT people felt they couldn’t live openly – but she had the courage to stand up for her marriage in such a bold, public way and the faith to believe that justice would ultimately prevail. And even though her own case has been fought and won, she’s still fighting just as fiercely for the rights of all LGBT Americans.
Donald Trump was sent the same questions, but to date the Washington Blade has not gotten a response from his campaign.