Day 68 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She really walked the walk with LGBT rights at State.
When I started this, there were a few issues I stayed away from because I already “knew” where she stood and where I stood vis a vis her position. One of these was her slow acceptance of full marriage rights, i.e., full rights, for the LGBT community. I was disappointed in her on this so I resisted investigating it because I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to make it a positive.
Imagine my surprise when I – finally – did go down this path and discovered that while, yes, she was slow to move away from civil unions, she ran the State Department quite openly and in full support of the LGBT community.
Hillary directed the State Department’s equal employment opportunity policy to “explicitly protect against discriminatory treatment of employees and job applicants based on gender identity.”
At the time, the Washington Post reported, “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon announce that the partners of gay U.S. diplomats are eligible for many benefits currently denied them and allowed to spouses of heterosexual diplomats, according to lawmakers and others advocating the change. […] Thus those partners were denied a wide array of benefits, such as paid travel to and from overseas posts, shipments of household effects, visas and diplomatic passports, emergency travel to visit ill or injured partners, and evacuation in case of a security emergency or medical necessity. Those benefits will be extended to all unmarried domestic partners — both same-sex and heterosexual — under the policy shift to be announced by Clinton in the coming days, according to a draft memo prepared for Clinton’s signature.”
The State Department’s passport policy – transgender people could choose which gender is indicated on their passports – quietly influenced laws around government identification for transgender people—laws that directly affect employment, housing, and public accommodations. The policies of the State Department regarding LGBT rights became the model for many other US government departments.
But that’s not all. She then used her position to encourage the rest of the world to follow suit.
The Global Equality Fund used public-private partnerships to bolster LGBT equality around the world. Hillary outlined in her platform that she would increase funding to the GEF as president, but the program is now working with a budget of $3M.
In March 2011, the UN Human Rights Council passed the first-ever resolution condemning violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Hillary herself led the charge for the resolution along with leaders from Colombia and Slovenia, and ultimately 30 cosponsors and 85 member nations came on board to support the sentiment that all people – regardless of who they love or who they are – deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
She earned an 89% grade from the Human Rights Campaign as a Senator, indicating her strong support for queer and trans rights.