Hillary Clinton Slams Donald Trump on LGBT Rights

April 21st 2017

Ethan Simon

Last night at a New York fundraising event for The Center—an LGBT rights organization—Hillary Clinton told the audience that "we may not ever be able to count on this administration to lead on LGBT issues."

Hillary Clinton

"We've learned something important," Clinton said in her speech after accepting The Center's Trailblazer Award in recognition for her work for LGBT equality. "That the progress that we fought for, that many of you were on the front lines of, and that we've celebrated—and maybe even taken for granted—may not be as secure as we once expected."

Clinton went on to slam the administration on several key issues.

She criticized the decision not to count the LGBT community in the census.

A Protester Carries a Sign of Clinton's Words

While sexual orientation and gender identity were initially part of the census's proposed categories, the 2020 census proposal has ultimately opted not to include them. According to the Associated Press, "The U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday that it mistakenly proposed counting LGBTQ Americans and has since 'corrected' the proposal to remove the gender and sexuality category."

Gay rights activists condemned the decision as an effort to render LGBT individuals invisible—And visibility has long been a key issue for the group. In 1978, it was Harvey Milk who famously said, "Gay brothers and sisters, you must come out. Come out to your parents. I know that it is hard and will hurt them, but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth!"

The AP also notes that back in March, the Trump administration "quietly deleted questions on sexuality from two government surveys."

Clinton questioned "the future of the Supreme Court," which could be a jab at the appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch, a far-right justice with a poor record on LGBT issues.

Oppose Gorsuch Sign

In a 2005 Op-Ed, Gorsuch once mocked liberals on the battle for marriage equality, claiming they had turned a political fight into what ought to have been a constitutional one. And as Slate notes, the Justice's record on transgender rights is similarly revealing: "Gorsuch once joined a decision flatly rejecting the constitutional claims of a transgender prisoner who alleged that she was being given inadequately low doses of hormone treatment in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and being housed in an all-male facility in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The court found that prison officials had not inflicted a 'cruel and unusual punishment' on the woman by giving her insufficient doses of estrogen because they had not treated her with 'deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.'"

Clinton decried the oppression of gay men in Chechnya.

In response to a recent wave of violence against Chechen gay and bisexual men, Clinton criticized the administration's silence, saying, "The United States government, yes, this government should demand an end to the persecution of innocent people across the world." Former vice-president Joe Biden has called on President Trump to address the issue as well.

Gay Pride Flag

Finally, she called on supporters to get active in pursuing their agenda.

"I know the election hit a lot of us hard," said Clinton, delivering a line which got a big laugh from the crowd. But she ended her speech on a defiant note: "Just remember: we need to resist, insist, persist, and enlist—and make sure our voices and our votes count."