The largest LGBTI rights group in the United States, the Human Rights Campaign, is officially backing Hillary Clinton for president.
Comprised of 32 community leaders from across the nation, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to endorse the potential Democratic nominee.
HRC President Chad Griffin said: ‘All the progress we have made as a nation on LGBT equality — and all the progress we have yet to make — is at stake in November.
‘In most states, LGBT people are still at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services simply because of who they are. Today, 63 percent of LGBT Americans report having experienced such discrimination, and we are seeing other troubling trends, from the onslaught of state and local anti-LGBT measures to the national scourge of anti-transgender violence to backsliding on HIV/AIDS prevention and youth homelessness.
‘Against this backdrop, we’ve heard the leading Republican presidential candidates repeatedly threaten to block our progress, and to revoke, repeal, and overturn the gains we’ve made during President Obama’s two terms.’
The HRC said they were voting for Clinton as they believe she will carry on the legacy began by President Barack Obama following the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, nationwide marriage equality and speaking out against ‘gay cure’ therapy.
Secretary Clinton has pledged to fight for an Equality Act – a bill that would offer explicit, clear and permanent non-discrimination protections for LGBTI people at a federal level, dropping the ban on trans people in the military, outlawing ‘gay cure’ therapy nationwide for minors, ending the epidemic of transgender violence and supporting HIV prevention and affordable treatment.
Clinton has been criticized by some for taking a long time to support the rights of LGBTI Americans. She previously opposed same-sex marriage but later said she ‘evolved’ on the issue.
Her opponent, Bernie Sanders, has supported LGBTI rights for longer. In 1983, as Mayor of Burlington, he supported the city’s first ever Pride parade. He also voted against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 1993 and DOMA in 1996.