Guest Blogger

A message to LGBT Americans: I want to be your President

Filed By Guest Blogger | February 04, 2008 7:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: America, Don't Ask Don't Tell, election 2008, ENDA, federal legislation, hate crimes against LGBT people, Hillary Rodham Clinton, LGBT community, primaries, voting

[EDITOR'S NOTE:] Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton issued this guest post to talk about her support for LGBT civil rights.

hillaryclinton.jpgAs 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.
  • 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.

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.

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.


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Given the trail of broken promises that we have heard over the past few years and decades, I can't help but be skeptical of some interesting word choices.

In Clinton's position statement on LGBT rights, trans people or gender identity is never mentioned, but we are left to assume that employment protections for who someone is or who someone loves is a reference to sexual orientation and gender identity. And here, despite the common use of the term "trans inclusive" we are left to assume that the phrase "fully inclusive" means the same thing.

The only mention of trans or gender anything is to mention that members of her committee care about "transgender rights," without specifically mentioning what any of those rights are, or stating whether or not she supports them (and not just her committee members).

Other than issues, trans people are never mentioned. While gays and lesbians are at "every level" of campaign staff, apparently bi and trans folks are not involved at all?

If you're reading this, Sen Clinton, I hope you understand where I'm coming from when I say, I need more. LGBT is not just the PC term for the gays, and I need to know that you're aware of that.

This might just be an issue of terminology, and maybe you really do fully understand these issues. Maybe you really do support all the issues that are important to me. It might even be reasonable, based on this communication, to assume that. I'm sorry, though, I just can't assume anything. We as a community have been burned too many times.

The War Hillery?
Are you proud of the War too, or will you get our sons and daughters out of harm's way and home where they belong?
That is the Real Human Rights Issue in front you.
You alone as President can bring them back with nothing more then your word.

Sue

Michael Bedwell | February 4, 2008 9:07 PM

Well, yes, only Obama defines "full" as in "full equality" as "except for that marriage thingy." Unless someone has evidence to the contrary, I think "fully-inclusive" covers trans-inclusive. There was a time when it sufficed to say LGBT. Matt Foreman and NGLTF won alot of hearts with their support for submitting a trans-inclusive bill even if it guaranteed failure and voting against any bill that wasn't. Yet the only T in their acronym STILL does not stand for transgender.

Found these names among an older list of Sen. Clinton supporters: Dana Beyer, Human Rights Campaign Board of Governors, Transgender activist
Barbara Casbar-Siperstein, National Board of Stonewall Democrats, Transgender activist
Donna Rose, Transgender activist; Board member, GLAAD; Board member National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

I think the problem is that both campaigns have been poorly served by most of their LGBT advisors. Anyone listening to Michelangelo Signorile's Sirius radio special last week with Hilary Rosen representing the Clinton campaign and Stamp Corbin representing the Obama campaign must have been as shocked as I was at how poorly informed they were both about their candidate's positions and the details behind the bullet points of the issues themselves. I would be more shocked if a single listener's mind was influenced by anything they said and the show's real time "poll" results were only interesting in their contradiction. Obama won by online voters; Clinton won with those voting by telephone.

I empathize with your concerns, but if both candidates consistently dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts [pun intended] only a mind reader/fortune teller could give us any real comfort, but then I believe in neither of those.


Michael Bedwell | February 4, 2008 9:11 PM

PS: If we were able to identify and deduct those who would fall under the category "NOTHING Hillary Could Say Would Convince Me" or "NOTHING Obama Could Say Would Convince Me" I wonder how many people would be left?

Dear Senator Clinton
I may be voting for the losing candidate in November but rest assured it will not be you who gets my vote. I may have helped vote in Bill his first term yes I voted for him and yes im a Republican but Mz Clinton you are not Bill. He won me over with his good old boy image he passed off on me. But you ma’am are not even close to that and yes back then I still thought I was male who happened to Cross Dress and liked guys as well as girls. So rest assured if you win it will not be with my vote and yes Rebecca I like Senator Obama and if my preferred candidate doesn’t win tomorrow on Super Tuesday I just may hold my nose and vote for Senator Obama even if im not crazy about his ideas on foreign policy.

Michael, I'd point out that in reference to Hillary's Steering Committee, Donna Rose recently (2/3 post) said this on her blog:

"Almost a year ago I was approached by people from Hillary Clinton's campaign (who also happen to be involved with HRC, which should not be a surprise to anyone) to join a GLBT steering committee that was being formed. I agreed. Since that time I haven't gotten one call, not a single personal email, nothing asking for guidance or input. When I see things I don't like and send an email expressing my concern it never gets returned. Not once. So as far as I'm concerned this GLBT steering committee is there to (a) collect names but provide no steering and (b) raise money."

You people are absurd...what about this what about that? This lady has walked down the NYC streets with pride @ GAY PRIDE!!!!!! Quit being such typical cynical gay activists...this is OUR GIRL!!! She and Bill will take us Gay People to the next level of Human Rights. The Clintons are the most progressive leaders that America has to offer, and they are legitamite politicians.

I am voting for Hillary, and I hope the rest of you wake up and smell the Yuban...because the Clintons are on "OUR" side!!! Take a big whiff baby!!!

WE LOVE YOU HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Transferred over from Alex's original post)

Y'know, I'll say this: It IS nice to see Hillary finally come out publicly and stake out a position on trans-inclusion in ENDA.

The questions I have that still remain are these:

1. Why did it take her until literally the last minute, the day before Super Tuesday, to do it?

2. Why was this apparently released only to OurChart, a lesbian site, and not to other LGBT political blogs? I'd venture to guess that if we'd gotten that statement here at Bilerico we'd have it up already, just as we did when Obama released his public statements on these issues.

I've just now done a tour of many of the major LGBT political blogs and I can find it nowhere else. While I'm certainly willing to be corrected here, I have to wonder why this statement was only released to a lesbian site owed by one of Hillary's most well-known LGBT supporters.

(Ok, I was wrong, or at least a bit early, on this one. Certainly not the first time)

3. What will she do if the non-inclusive ENDA Barney Frank has promised makes it to her desk as President, sign it or demand a fully-protective bill? (In fairness, to my knowledge, Obama still hasn't answered this question, either.).

Yes, it is nice to see her finally go on the record on this issue. At the same time, I still think we have the right to expect more from her.

I'll feel a little better now if Clinton becomes the nominee, but I'm still voting for Obama tomorrow.

christ!
Tough fu*8ing crowd.
That's right. Hill, you go girl.
I'd take either one of the Dems. You're not going to hear anyting remotely like this from a rethug.
What you will hear is outright verbal violence against the GLBT community from the rethugs. And Rebeca, I think Pams house blend has commentary from others on the steering committee. Seems Rose may just be too far away for the political power source (Arizona, I think) I'm not making excuses, but jzeese.

Smart strategy or not, I will never forget being home from college when the Federal Marriage Amendment debates were raging in 2004. Democratic senator after Democratic senator, including two I held in such high regard -- Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein -- stood and made the argument that we need not bother with an amendment, for DOMA had done the trick.

I've been looking for transcripts of that debate, which are hard to find, since the substance of these events tend to get subsumed beneath all the e-chatter. Nevertheless, the senators' remarks left indelible marks.

At the time, I was so distraught, so let down, so...19 years old, that I actually sat down and wrote fiery letters to Clinton and Feinstein -- Clinton, because I'd expected her to do so much more; Feinstein, because I had just watched The Times of Harvey Milk for the first time, and was stunned by the image of her announcing the double assassination of Mayor Moscone and Harvey in San Francisco.

Watching her, nearly 30 years later, dodge the issue of equality and dignity for all, after her political career was arguably enhanced by her stint as mayor post-Moscone, made me sick.

At 19, I wasn't sure that I wanted to be an advocate for LGBTQ rights, but I was coming to realize it more and more each day, each time I saw the duck-and-cover politics of the Democrats, "dodging bullets" for us when instead they could have turned the guns back on the Republicans and the bigots.

Understand that I know this is the emotional side of me speaking, not the one who accepts a fair amount of Realpolitik, but when I sent those letters off, I never imagined I, a citizen of Georgia at the time, would end up on the campaign lists of both Clinton and Feinstein.

That's right, I started receiving constituency mail, and because I had addressed something "gay," I received updates on the senators' "civil rights" records. I wanted nothing to do with it. I wrote letters back, explaining in clear terms that not all people are fully represented by our geographic democracy. Growing up, I disdained the Democrats in my area as much as the Republicans, if not more. In 2000, the Democrat running for Senate in South Carolina came out against "gay marriage" before it was officially an amendment. Zell Miller hailed from next door.

I told Clinton and Feinstein that I had expressed my concern as a citizen without due representation, a young, queer kid trapped in the deeply anti-gay South. They were the liberal senators from California and New York. They were supposed to stand up for us when we couldn't. I was not writing as a voter. As a voter, I had no one to write to who would listen. Which didn't stop me from calling my representatives when the amendment was on the table, but I knew I was calling to no avail.

For this and other reasons, I have never felt that I could trust Clinton or much else of the Old Democratic Guard. And though this post isn't intended as a lead up to an Obama endorsement, let me say this: I am voting for Obama tomorrow morning here in Massachusetts. I don't know if he'll stand up for LGBTQ people the way I want him to. So far, I think he will.

In my mind, none of their hands are clean. But some hands I've seen more than others. And that's the stuff of American politics, if you ask me. I'm not a Hillary Hater, but my reaction to her candidacy is, in part, personal, yes. I was 19 years old when I thought it was a powerful, supposedly liberal senator's job to stand up proudly for people like me. And I was 19 years old when my faith in these "kind" of politicians took a serious hit. That doesn't just go away with "changed minds" and last minute campaign statements.

Not all issues are policy battles at their core, though Clinton almost always paints them as such.

From the HRC/Logo Debate:

"Q: Why let the states maintain their jurisdiction to ban gay marriage?

A: It's easy to forget that just 2 years ago we were facing all of these referenda that were enshrining discrimination in state constitutions. Unfortunately, they passed. Now, we're beginning to see other states take different approaches, because stopping the Federal Marriage Amendment gave the states the breathing room to make different decisions.

Q: In the civil rights struggle, the same argument of states' rights issue was used as a red herring. Doesn't marriage as a states' rights issue resonate the same way?

A: Absolutely. But this has not been a long-term struggle yet, and I think the states are moving much more rapidly to deal with the inequalities than you would find at the federal level. The reason we were plotting strategy to beat the Federal Marriage Amendment is that we were worried it was going to pass. But I don't know that we could have defeated the Federal Marriage Amendment if we had not had DOMA."

What about our struggle hasn't been long term? State legislatures were debating civil rights ordinances and domestic partner-type laws in the 1970s! And the DOMA issue -- whether, politically speaking, the existence of DOMA helped tamp down the fervor for the FMA isn't what I want to hear in a debate aimed at LGBTQ people!

For me, whether she ends up on the right side of strategy or the right side of policy, she's on the wrong side of history, because she doesn't truly make the case for our kind. I want someone who has the ability to make that case. And like I said, whether Obama will or not, time will only tell, but I can imagine it coming out of his mouth. I cannot imagine it coming out of hers.

So, to all the people voting for Hillary tomorrow, Godspeed. I can understand where you're coming from. I do not hold you in contempt. The truth is, there's no great candidate for LGBTQ people, and we all have to make our decisions based on hope, faith and other issues.

While gays and lesbians are at "every level" of [Hillary's] campaign staff, apparently bi and trans folks are not involved at all?

Half of the gays I know in the "LGBT community" don't even believe that bisexuals exist, and you want Hillary Clinton to make specific mention of them in a public statement? Don't hold you breath I'm afraid.

Not justifying it, just sayin'...

This would feel much more genuine to me if:

(1) it had been released anytime before the night before Super Tuesday, and

(2) it had been released to the national media rather than only to the LGBT blogosphere.

Why do you "wait furtively for the crowd to thin and then whisper" your support for our community "in a soft voice," when true moral courage demands that you "stand up proudly," Senator Clinton?

If we were able to identify and deduct those who would fall under the category "NOTHING Hillary Could Say Would Convince Me" or "NOTHING Obama Could Say Would Convince Me" I wonder how many people would be left?

Well, I'm not saying that NOTHING could convince me, just nothing that they've said so far. Talking about trans people as people (instead of issues) would really help. Spelling out a direct "I support a trans-inclusive ENDA," instead of rewording it to suggest that without using the word "trans" would help too.

Hell, if she said "I'll use the pulpit of the presidency to ensure that the only version of ENDA that makes it to my desk is one that includes sexual orientation and gender identity" then she'd have me won. But, uh, I don't think that's going to happen.

As for "fully inclusive of all people," well, it's pretty clear we're meant to interpret that as trans inclusion, but the fact that trans people aren't mentioned worries me. It gives the wiggle room needed to come back and say, well I was thinking of everyone gay or straight, I wasn't really thinking about trans people -- and it's not like that kind of thing hasn't happened before. After all, it's fairly clear that "inclusive of all people" doesn't mean poly folk, furries, and BDSM practitioners.

I want to hear some campaign pledges that we can hold candidates accountable for after we vote for them.

Half of the gays I know in the "LGBT community" don't even believe that bisexuals exist, and you want Hillary Clinton to make specific mention of them in a public statement? Don't hold you breath I'm afraid.

Half of the gays I know are bi (Maybe I just know the other half). And yes, I do want specific inclusion. If she can say she supports "LGBT" rights, why can't she say she has "LGBT" staff?

I, myself, am voting for Kucinich, because by the time my state has a primary, it'll already be decided. On the one hand it means my vote doesn't really count, but on the other hand it gives me the freedom to be a political purist (or at least as you much as you can within this system).

Zach Adamson | February 4, 2008 11:32 PM

I have been for Hillary for some time now. I just like her. She seems to be right on it for both health care and the war. I do have to admit, Obama has been moving up in my mind as well though.
Tonight we just watched her virtual town hall meeting on the hallmark ch. and it was really good. Her statements on here make me feel even better about casting a vote for her.
I like both Dems, but Hillary I know you can hit the ground running and bring us back home. Its hard in the primaries trying to be everything to everybody. Just keep it up.
Love that picture by the way.. From the Cover of the Advocate for those of you who didnt know. (Ive only seen Obama on GQ and Esquire.)

Zach - It's her official campaign headshot.

To clarify Becky's comment about Alex's previous post: We did have a copy of it. I just hadn't had time to put it up yet. Pam also has a copy of it up on her site now too.

Now, I for one appreciate that Senator Clinton released this guest post to the queer blogosphere. I'm no more shocked that OurChart got a copy than I was that we got a Bill Richardson guest post. There's benefits to supporting a candidate sometimes... *grins* I enjoyed the guest post by Barack Obama too. They should all be commended for reaching out to us here.

I've been rather hard on the Senator over other issues here on the blog. But as she says - she has been a longtime supporter of our community for the most part... I respect her decision to engage us in our own spaces.

I don't understand the whole "She didn't say transgender" thing though... She also didn't say bisexual or lesbian and only said "gay" when referring to gay pride, names of orgs and a gay couple. Instead she used the common shorthand we use ourselves: LGBT. What's the big deal?

Please, you people who criticize HC for not mentioning the transgendered are what's wrong with the movement today. Do you think Obama is any more with the concept of the transgendered community than HRC? And not all of the community sees it as imperative -- just ask Barney Frank! Vote for Obama on your "principle" and enjoy it when McCain is inaugurated into office in January.

Michael Bedwell | February 5, 2008 12:40 AM

Of the many things I miss from my youth [yes, poor me, I'm probably older than a couple of you put together : - ( ] the cheap high of "purity" in politics is not one of them. Hell, what is "pure"? Not even Ivory soap. If we held our friends, or they us, to the same standards we hold politicians we've never met, well, maybe that's what some Beatles' songs refer to: "all the lonely people" or "he blew his mind out in a car."

Adlai Stevenson once said he believed in "the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance." There has been so much ignorance during this campaign and so little forgiveness.

As Tom Hanks might say, this is what I know: legislators of mostly good intentions and hearts when faced with those with bad intentions and rotten hearts are often like the "robbee." Of course, it's morally wrong and just plain unfair, dagnabit, for the robber to be sticking that gun in your face in order to take for him what belongs to you. But only a suicidal idiot would choose that moment to lecture said robber about how dangerous guns are or "thou shalt not steal" or, gee, your breath sure stinks—why don't you go brush your teeth and come back and rob me later.

No, you say what you need to survive; you say what you need to live to fight another day; just as the legislator compromises and obfuscates and distracts the rabid dog opponent who, if you don't do that, just might bite into enough votes to do something you don't want them to do.

That's often politics, and, yes, it's often Life.

Bil,

The important part of "she didn't say transgender" is that I'm looking for more than communication of her perspective. I'm looking for campaign pledges that she could be held accountable for.

I get peeved when folks say gay and lesbian and leave out the bisexual (see my comment above), but I rarely see any policy implications of it. I don't see a bisexual-exclusive version of ENDA on the horizon, but it's a realistic fear that she might ditch trans folk when the going gets tough. What I want is something I can point to that shows this is more than a courting process.

Using LGBT shorthand is a step in the right direction, but I've certainly seen politicians do so without really understanding what the T stood for or have any clue that the political reality and issues are different than LGB stuff.

Now don't get me wrong, what she is pledging is big. And I'm excited that the dem candidates all seem to support trans inclusion. But the avoidance of directly mentioning trans people is worrying. This is just not enough to make me comfortable she'll follow through (Bill's DADT as just one example of how that can turn nasty)

Steven Pimentel | February 5, 2008 12:47 AM

It's a bit disturbing to read some of the measures in which we use to vote for our Leadership. One blogger wrote "He won me over with his good old boy image he passed off on me" when speaking of his/her vote for Bill Clinton (obviously not speaking of Mr. Bush). And then there are those who acclaim activism and discount alot of the work that Hillary has put into the LGBT community. Even more sad than all of this, there are the few who have given up and decided not to vote or to waste a vote on a candidate that has no chance any how. This is the type of decision making that has supressed our community and it has to stop. As much as we want the candidates to stick to the issues, so should we! Do your research and if you've concluded that Hillary is not the best candidate, then vote for whomever you feel will serve in the best interest of your best interests. But lets not resort to lazy tactics!

Steve

I think I'm gonna vote for her. Not because of anything she said in the guest post, but because I just have the feeling that she will be the most likely one to use the presidency to advance the cause of our community. I understand that all the candidates have to be careful about forming too strong an alliance to our community for fear of alienating the bigoted straight vote - that's politics, but once elected, I just have the feeling that she will show her true colors and that we will like them.

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.

Blessings and Thank you.

Hi Steve
If you are going to quote me give credit where credit is due.For the record Bill Clinton and Al Gore ran in the south as the two good old boys next door.I dont know how they presented there selfs in the rest of the country.

yours truely
Cathy

I came out at 17 . Just a few years after Bill Clinton took office. I remember being excited to see him engaging with glbtq people across the country and in person as he ran for office. I had high hopes. I had a feeling that the future was going to be different. Then , he began to govern. Then he began to capitulate to the Gingrich Republicans. The n he began to signs bills into law that hurt gay families . Then he signed a clearly unconstitutional bill called DOMA .
All in an effort to neutralize these issues for Republicans. (Much as he tried to get John Kerry to do in the 04 election)
that matters. So no, Hillary, I don't believe a word that either of you say. It's not enough to "have some gay friends".
History shows that if it comes down to fighting the good fight for my family , you'll throw us under the bus in a instant. You've already done it to other minority groups that have supported you (South Carolina ? Hello?)
So no. Obama won't sign on for full marriage (or at least the word), but at least I know he won't use my family as a wedge issue if times get tough, and more simply, I believe what he says is what he'll do. I don't believe you.


Exusez me I was wrong on my email address.
Excuse me for the translation, that's why I put in french too.
excusez-moi pour la traduction, c'est pour ça que je met en français aussi.

Bonjour
Je suis française et ce que je viens de lire est très bien, car votre candidate n’hésite pas à prendre position sur la question de tous ce qui concerne les LGBT. Il n’y a pas de tabou la question n’est pas éludée lors de la campagne présidentielle et je voulais témoigner que je suis contente de ça pour votre pays.
Car si nous en France nos candidats voulaient plus débattre du sujet en profondeurs et non en trois mots, à chaque échéance présidentielle, nous aurions peut-être passé le stade des « je sais qu’ils existent mais ont se voile la face et nous n'en parlons pas. » Ou que des promesses d’hypocrisie pour l ‘électorat et ensuite ont retombe dans un silence et de l’inaction en projet de lois.
Hello
I am French and what I have read is very good because your candidate does not hesitate to take a stand on the issue of all regarding LGBT. There is no taboo question is not ignored during the presidential campaign and I wanted to tell you that I am satisfied with this for your country.
Because if we in France our candidates wanted more discussion of the topic in depth and not in three words, every presidential election, we might have gone beyond "I know they exist but have to hide our face and we 'talk. "Or that the promises of hypocrisy for the electorate and then have back into silence and inaction in the draft laws.

Senator Clinton, I hope you get the chance to read these comments. There is one thing you need to remember going into today. One percent of Americans are under the transgender umbrella, and millions more are Americans who do not prescribe to society's narrow gender norms. One percent. Transgender people vote, but you have ignored us from Day One. If you lose any of the states on Super Tuesday by less than 1%, you'll know why.

Credit where credit is due.

Waiting until the night before the national primary?

You decide *what* credit is due.

Myself - being originally from Texas and always being a transsexual woman, I say: Remember Southern Comfort!

Senator Clinton's posting here bothers me for two reasons, both of which have been previosly mentioned: the timing and the forum. This is a good and important source of information for us but it's not the New York Times or the Washington Post. The day of election day????

I believe Senator Obama when he says that he will work to end the divisiveness. I want to believe him when he talks about hope. I know that he has already fulfilled one promise - he has brought about change by involving people who never voted before.

When Mrs. Obama told a large crowd of people on the UCLA campus the story of her encounter with a 10 year old girl in South Carolina, it brought tears to the eyes in many in the crowd - and at least one in the tv audience.

There are many issues to discuss and each has good positions. I wish both had much stronger and supportive stands concerning the trans community. But one of the determining factors for me will be the answer to the question, "Who would I prefer to be "First Spouse?" It is a minor point, but to me the overwhelming choice is Michelle Obama. When they go to other countries to represent us, I firmly believe they would do so with a lot of class, and we, as a country, could be very proud of them. A minor point, perhaps, but something to consider all else being somewhat equal.

This world of crazy people never seems to amaze me. Do you idiots hear anyone else standing up for our community? No one can define us or change who are and if you sit back waiting for a candidate that gives everyone everything you’ll never stand up and speak for yourself. In my heart I believe she truly wants what is best not just for the LGBT community, but for the United States as a whole. And for the person who said she only sent this to blogs for the LGBT community I found this statement on a bulletin through myspace……it just depends where you are looking. Also, it is not like her defense of the LGBT community is new, because for years she has stood for us and worked for us when no one would. Take a real look at her record, because unlike any other candidate it speaks for its self.

Kim,
i think if we don't deal with the war we may not have a country to have a community in.

By the way i saw where Hillery did the crying game again last night....
That and the phony Kentucky accent don't boost her honesty quotient.
Take care
Sue

Hillary Clinton is one of two antigay candidates running for the Democratic nomination. The other is Barak Obama. They both pigheadedly oppose samesex marriage. Their party dropped the hate crimes bill and gutted ENDA and refused to even try to repeal Clintons DOMA and DADT so they wouldn't be election issues.

They both support union busting laws, endless tax breaks for the rich and deregulation of corporate predators what have sabotaged our standard of living and sent the economy into a steep nosedive. They support the war but oppose socialized medicine. A vote for them is a vote for eight more years of Bush Lite gaybashing, war and economic disasters.

If you want real change then vote for any communist, socialist, labor or other left wing party or for ‘none of the above’ as we do here in Nevada. In addition tens of millions will refuse to vote, disgusted at the latest round of lesser evils to come down the pike.

Gee, Bil. Don't hold back. Tell us how you REALLY feel. Oh, I forgot. If you did that, you have to put yourself on moderation. (giggle)

You hit the nail right on the head Bill.
You can't judge a politician by what they say..
You have to judge them by their actions.
Take care
Sue

Just as it's somewhat condescending to say that all African-Americans will vote for Senator Obama, or that all women will vote for Senator Clinton, I believe that someday when we have a trans person running for President, I'm certain that all of us will not vote for that person.

This is an important forum to discuss our choice of candidate. I think it's important for us to not only talk about it though, but to get out and vote. I believe that by actively and visibly participating in the process, and being noisy about the issues that matter to us, someday "We Shall Overcome" the bigotry and the oppression. Someday.

May I suggest we stop wringing our hands, roll up our sleeves and just get busy. Not someday -but now.

I am not convinced, but that may very well be an irrational reaction. I think that I actually fear her dupilicty - and for some unknown reason I have always equated her to the evil emperor on Star Wars. She was part of DOMA, she was a part of DADT. She and Bill were always a team. No one, including Hillary, has ever disputed that.

In spite of my original re-action, I must say that I am highly impressed by her very outspoken support for GLBT rights. Her underlined emphasis on a fully inclusive ENDA and Hate Crime legislation takes my breath away. Unfortunately, so did Joe Solomnese. And we all know what happened next. So, I am really left with one very important question.

Is she sincere?

My heart wants to say yes, wants desperately to believe her. Unfortunately, her history of duplicity just won't allow it. I need something more substantial to convince me. I will definitely try to keep an open mind. Her proclamation of support has not been entirely wasted.

"Hillary Clinton is one of two antigay candidates running for the Democratic nomination. The other is Barak Obama. They both pigheadedly oppose samesex marriage."

This pretty much lays bare the gay marriage greed mindset. Marriage is all that matters. The economic realities of transgender lives (and the lives of all *gay* people who are not partnered) simply do not matter. The fact that Obama actually has a track record of supporting trans-inclusive civil rights legislation and the eleventh-hour 'looks like a conversion but probably isn't' of HRC's HRC doesn't matter.

"Their party dropped the hate crimes bill and gutted ENDA and refused to even try to repeal Clintons DOMA and DADT so they wouldn't be election issues."

Welcome to transgenderdom, Bill. All of that was fine when it came to cutting transpeople out of ENDA, but when its done to gay-specific stuff, then 'Oh No!'

On timing (and I know mine's late)~

She prolly came out with this yesterday as a reaction to her Jason Bellini interview on Sunday. So a reaction to Sunday press on Monday isn't all that late or last minute.

Which I guess proves the need for a strong queer press.

Federal Marriage Equality MUST be a priority for the transgender community, as well as for the entire GLBT community. If you don't believe that it affects the trans community, allow me to remind you of Christie Littleton in Texas. Laws concerning gender identity and recognition vary from State to State. The transgender community resides in a legal limbo.

Opposition to Marriage Equality is nothing short of bigotry. It robs dreams from our youth, and replaces them with the nightmares of discrimination. It has no place in a society that purports to champion liberty.

Marriage Equality isn't just about marriage. There is the issue of equal treatment before the law. Equal services for tax dollars spent. Equal treatment for those we love. Marriage Equality symbolically represents full GLBT Equality. It knocks down the single largest barrier in our path to our rightful status as first class citizens.

I am not inferring that trans-inclusive GLBT protection in the workplace should take a back seat. Nor should hate crime legislation. These issues are enormously important to our community. The entire GLBT population desperately needs the protection of thoughtful and fully inclusive legislation. We have the possibility of acquiring everything we want - not an agenda or special rights, but Equal Rights under the law and protection from discrimination and hatred and bigotry.

We cannot afford to make light of the fact that we have gotten this far by working together.

GLBT Unity. Equality. Now.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | February 5, 2008 3:39 PM

Kat, I’m sorry to hear that you think samesex (we don’t say gay marriage, Kat, that’s the definition used by reactionaries, not us) is a product of greed or special rights. That puts you in bed with Frank, the Republicans, christians and the right wing Democrats who own and control that party. Make sure you’re protected if you hop in bed with that crowd. In fact, you’d be wise to invest in a moon suit.

You’re dead wrong when you claim that “The economic realities of transgender lives (and the lives of all *gay* people who are not partnered) simply do not matter. “ Once again you side with reactionaries like Clinton, Frank and their toadies. Most of us want the original version restored. That’s certainly true of the 366 plus groups and the tens of thousands of activists in United ENDA.

I really hope you rethink your politics Kat, you’re beginning to sound like some one who’s deliberately playing into the Congressional Democrats divide and rule game, which was really Frank’s intent all along. He gutted ENDA at the behest of business interests that didn’t want to give up their lucrative ability to pay us less and fire us at will. The Democrats eliminated the hate crimes bill and squashed attempts to repeal DOMA and DADT for the same reason. It sounds like you goal is like Barneys, to incite different elements of the GLBT equation to fight with each other and counterpoise the civil rights of one against another.

If that what you're up to you might as well do us a favor and just come out and say so. Then we can identify you as an supporter of Barney Frank, who like most Democratic leaders is a pigheaded opponent of same sex marriage and an incusionary ENDA.

To Jerindc:

GLBT Unity. Equality. Now.

Right on!!!!

To Jerindc (and Bill):

"Federal Marriage Equality MUST be a priority for the transgender community, as well as for the entire GLBT community. If you don't believe that it affects the trans community, allow me to remind you of Christie Littleton in Texas."

Gay same-sex marriage does nothing for transsexuals (or any trans people) as individuals - and it is as individuals, not as couplings, that we apply for jobs, credit, housing and driver's licenses.

Securing gay marriage (I use that phrase because that prjorative is used to destroy existing trans recognition rights) will do nothing to the policies of states that forcibly classify women such as Christie Lee Littleton as men.

Bill did a nice job of not addressing the realities of how the backlash to an agenda whose tunnel-visioned organizers never consulted transsexuals about prosecuting has taken existing rights away from transsexuals that the establishment of gay marriage will - and can - never, by itself, restore.

And, of course, it will do nothing to rectify transphobic gay-only rights laws. Or, did Massachusetts gay marriage in 2004 magically make that state's 1989 transphobic gay-only rights law trans-inclusive and I just missed it?

Massachusetts is a microcosm of the whole idea of how same-sex marriage does nothing to help trans people secure jobs. The gay rights organizations in MA cared nothing in helping Trans people to gain their rights, and spent all of their time making sure gay people can marry. Some even considered closing their doors last year because, "They got all the rights they were looking for." While, the trans community is still struggling to finally catch up.

Christie Lee Littleton was NOT in a same sex marriage. If anyone labels it as one, then they are "flipping a bird" at our identities just to support SSM. Christie is a straight woman and you owe her an apology to call her two marriages as being gay.

Not every gay person wants to get married, but every LGBT person would like to know that their jobs are secure. Will SSM do that? Why don't we focus on what will do the most good for the most people, or is greed the name of the game?

Kat,

What you don't seem to appreciate is that if an established Federal Marriage Equality Act was in effect, Christie Littleton's supposed (and highly incorrect) interpreted gender as a male would have been meaningless. She would still have maintained full protection as the surviving spouse. The legal implications are ENORMOUS for the transgender community. Marriage Equality renders "moot" 99% of the individual State objections to the issues concerned with gender identity, documentation, and Equal Rights - immigration law, property law, divorce law, EVERY law would be affected.

I understand you feel betrayed over the ENDA debacle. I really do. I feel betrayed by HRC and Joe Solomnese. And I have lost all respect for Barney Frank. But I don't feel betrayed by the 366 organizations and members that stood by us. Not from my gay brothers and lesbian sisters. Not from those who consider themselves bisexual, inter-sex, transgender, or transsexual, or HBS. Not from our extensive network of allies in the straight/hetero/mainstream society who believe in Equal Rights. Not by Tammy Baldwin, Dennis Kucinich, and so many others. What have you done that compares to their effort? And their dedication to the principle of Equality for All? Your characterization of Marriage Equality as "gay same-sex marriage" speaks volumes. You don't care about equality - you care about you.

I am sorry that your life is difficult. Truly sorry. If it makes you feel better, so is mine. I haven't been employed for over a year. I know of at least two circumstances where it was outright discrimination. I will persevere. And so will you.

Don't allow your hurt and anger to blind you to the very real possibility of Equal Rights in the near future. Frederick Douglass once stated "Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground;.....The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."

Plow the ground, along with your gay brothers and sisters. Freedom and Equality are ideas - they only exist if you believe in them. Believe in them and THEY MUST BE FOR ALL. Fight for them. Work for them. Earn them. Power isn’t going to volunteer Equality as a gift. Stop asking and start demanding - in Strength, as a united Community. Allow me to repeat myself.

GLBT Unity. Equality. Now.

This comment thread is getting farther and farther from the topic of Hillary Clinton, but I'd like to throw out my perspective on this topic too.

Jerindc, I can certainly agree that relationship recognition rights should be one of several priorities of our movement. But your comment gives the impression you advocate for it as a priority over other things. (They're not unimportant, just less important). And that's what doesn't feel right to me.

Let's be clear about one thing -- marriage equality will not be allowing everyone to marry those that they love. My partner and I will still not be able to get married after same-sex marriage is a legal reality. Not because I'm trans, but because I'm poly.

Secondly, for monogamous trans folk, having marriage without any gender requirements is a decent step up from the awkward limbo it's in now. But as frustrating as it is when it happens, trans marriages are invalidated relatively rarely. Same-sex marriage will help some trans people a lot, and help a lot of trans people a little, but it isn't nearly as big an impact on trans rights as employment and health care issues are.

Now, I am in no way saying we shouldn't fight for same-sex marriage. I fight for relationship rights all the time. Yesterday I went to the country building to notarize domestic partnerships all morning (it's the first day their available here in Oregon), including my parents'. And I really want to see my parents get legally married someday.

But it's bittersweet knowing that my partner and I cannot get a domestic partnership too. Sure, maybe I can have a legally recognized relationship with one of my partners, but I still won't have medical decision rights, hospital visitation rights, or be listed as a parent on the birth certificate with anyone else in my life. It reminds me of growing up without second parent adoption and I could only have one of my moms as a legal parent. The other could have adopted me, but only if the first disavowed and legal relationship with me.

With this as a background context, it's hard to get excited about Marriage "Equality." I'm not going to stop fighting for it, but it can't become my number one priority. I will not answer a call to unity which requires me to set aside any endeavors that will actually provide me with rights and work mainly for the rights of others. I'd love to see some LGBT unity, but that needs to include folks fighting for my rights in addition to my fighting for other folks' rights.

Tobi,

As I have stated previously,"I am not inferring that trans-inclusive GLBT protection in the workplace should take a back seat. Nor should hate crime legislation. These issues are enormously important to our community. The entire GLBT population desperately needs the protection of thoughtful and fully inclusive legislation. We have the possibility of acquiring everything we want - not an agenda or special rights, but Equal Rights under the law and protection from discrimination and hatred and bigotry."

We cannot afford to make light of the fact that we have gotten this far by working together."

If you don't believe your gay brothers and sisters have been there for the trans community, please see http://www.unitedenda.org/. There are 350 organizations listed there. There are more that are not listed, as well as countless private citizens who are not even associated with the GLBT community or GLBT organizations. They will gain absolutely nothing, other than the satisfaction of having supported a just cause.

Your own situation concerning polygamy is more complicated. It could create hardships in relation to insurance coverage and in many other aspects of law. It is not simply civil marriage between two consenting adults. It is not "equal" but something extra. I sympathize with your plight. On the other hand, you can be thankful that you have the love and support of two other consenting adults to deal with the issue. You have each other. In spite of difficulties, we have to count our blessings. I am not really familiar with arguments for or against polygamy - I am ignorant on the subject. Keep the faith, and support equality - all equality. Who knows what the future might bring?

Getting back to Hillary and Obama, please?

"What you don't seem to appreciate is that if an established Federal Marriage Equality Act was in effect, Christie Littleton's supposed (and highly incorrect) interpreted gender as a male would have been meaningless."

Wow.

A dissertation worth of cluelessness all in a single paragraph. Quite a feat.

BTW - my life is quite fine. I simply want to make sure that (1) it remains that way and (2) the lives of transsexuals are able to be that way.

'All gay marriage, all the time' will never ensure anything but invisibility for trans issues and marginalization (at best) for trans people.

Drink your Massachusetts-flavored purple kool-aid if you wish, but quit shoving it down the throats of trans *women* who might happen to want to marry males *as women* NOT *as males*, and quit expecting trans people (male or female, single or married) who care about being legally recognized as the gender that they are and live as to sacrifice our identities so that double-seven-figured gay couples in DC (or MA or NY, etc.) pay less income tax.

I am glad that you are well.

Marriage Equality would have facillitated that one transsexual woman, Christie Littleton, would have maintained her privacy, and that her status as a woman would never have been a question relevant before the law. It would have remained a private matter between her and the one she loved and married. As it should.

I don't drink kool-aid - purple, pink, or otherwise. And I don't shove anything down anyone’s throat. My opinions are my own, and I cannot force them to be accepted by others. I cannot force others to accept that women born with anatomical differences are women. I do not expect anyone to sacrifice their identity. And my concerns have nothing to do with wealthy gay couples or income tax.

I humbly espouse equality. My perception of your argument is that you (and other privileged transsexual women) should enjoy the benefits of equality, while those privileges remain denied to those less fortunate. You want surgical intervention to serve as the defining argument that you deserve equality. Equality doesn't work that way. It can't be parceled out to serve personal interests or beliefs - or even indisputable fact. Equality can only be realized when your neighbors receive full measure. Every one. And I believe I understand that you feel no concern for that issue. You want what is relevant solely to you, and equality is not an issue of your concern.

“None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.” Goethe

"Marriage Equality would have facillitated that one transsexual woman, Christie Littleton, would have maintained her privacy, and that her status as a woman would never have been a question relevant before the law."

It would not do one thing for her were she to try to use the women's restroom at West Group in Minnesota.

"You want surgical intervention to serve as the defining argument that you deserve equality."

I've never said any such thing. More than anything, that sounds like you've taken a crash-course in Aravosisism.

I'm sure this has already been mentioned earlier in the thread but, HILLARY CLINTON EATS BABIES!!! She represents a false opposition.... WAKE UP PEOPLE. Ron Paul is Hope for America.... Check out my site for more information.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | February 12, 2008 5:16 AM

In that I lived in Chicago for 25 Years and was involved in community activism I heard of this guy with the unpronounceable name Barrack who was working miracles in his neighborhoods. Having set up two block clubs with my life partner to combat drug and gang activities against incredible odds I have to respect Obama. I have been an early Clinton supporter and even contributed to his first campaign. Their record is undeniably pro Gay. But along the way they have also become "corporate" in terms of who supports them financially. I was among those who, at first, thought that Obama could not possibly navigate the snake pit of the DC beltway. Remembering my history I recalled that JFK was a legislative lightweight and it was Lyndon Johnson who enacted the policies JFK had advocated. The major advantage of Obama to the greater good is that he is not beholden to the K street special interests and other lobbying groups that have corrupted our democracy. He would be (if elected)the first president who came to office in memory who owed nothing to special interests foreign or domestic. His power base is The People. The only question is whether his mandate is achievable. Robert Ganshorn

She ain't going to walk the walk.