Equality PAC, a political action committee formed by leaders of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
“For more than 20 years, Secretary Clinton has worked to break down barriers for LGBT Americans and our families,” said Rep. Mark Takano, a California Democrat, today in a press release announcing the Equality PAC board’s endorsement of Clinton, the former secretary of State, U.S. senator, and first lady.
“In the Senate, she fought for employment nondiscrimination and increased funding to combat HIV/AIDS,” he continued. “She helped lead the successful efforts to block a federal amendment banning marriage equality. As secretary of State, she led the most LGBT-friendly State Department in American history. She ensured that State Department employees in same-sex relationships received the same rights as their colleagues, and made it easier for transgender Americans to acquire passports reflecting their true gender. As president, she will fight to pass the Equality Act and protect the gains we’ve made in recent years. Under President Obama, LGBT Americans have learned how important it is to have a president who will stand with us against those who would deny us equality. We will have the same sort of advocate in President Hillary Clinton, and so we are proud to endorse her in this campaign.”
Added Equality PAC managing director Roddy Flynn: “Secretary Clinton has made LGBT equality a top priority in her campaign and can be trusted to make equality a top priority when she is president. She has committed to fighting hard for comprehensive federal nondiscrimination protection, and we look forward to the day she signs the bipartisan Equality Act into law.”
This is one of several endorsements Clinton has received from high-profile LGBT groups, activists, and elected officials, including the Human Rights Campaign, marriage equality plaintiff Jim Obergefell, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, and Republican turned independent Jimmy LaSalvia.
Clinton issued a statement saying she’s honored by the Equality PAC endorsement, the Washington Blade reports. She is “proud to stand with the Equality PAC in this fight to make our country and our world more just, fair and equal,” she said, then promised that as president, she will work to pass the Equality Act, end the use of so-called conversion therapy on minors, address violence against transgender people, and advance the rights of LGBT people globally.
In accepting the endorsement, Clinton also noted that she has pledged to achieve an “AIDS-free generation” ever since she was secretary of State, the Blade reports. The candidate has faced much criticism for her remarks last week praising former first lady Nancy Reagan as someone who assisted in the fight against AIDS — something that was not part of Reagan's record, leading Clinton to apologize twice.
“We need to recognize and honor the strength, courage, and determination of the advocates, activists, and countless heroic individuals who told us all that ‘Silence = Death’ and brought the AIDS crisis to the forefront of the national consciousness in the 1980s,” Clinton said, according to the Blade. “They fought on the front lines of the crisis, from hospital wards and bedsides, some with their last breath — and without them, we would not be where we are today in preventing and treating HIV and AIDS. They saved lives. And we can save more. We need to expand access to HIV prevention and treatment, work with states to remove outdated and stigmatizing HIV criminalization laws, and fight at every moment to achieve that which is at last within our reach: an AIDS-free generation.”
Equality PAC, launched last month to support LGBT candidates and allies at the federal level, has also made endorsements of three Democrats in congressional races, the Blade notes — two incumbents seeking reelection, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York State and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and one nonincumbent, Angie Craig, who is seeking to represent Minnesota’s Second Congressional District.
The Equality PAC board of directors is cochaired by Takano and Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, who are also cochairs of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. Other board members are Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, also an LGBT Equality Caucus cochair, Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan, a vice-chair of the caucus, and Reps. Suzan DelBene and Derek Kilmer of Washington State, Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut, Ruben Gallego of Arizona, Joseph Kennedy III of Massachusetts, Grace Meng of New York, and Gwen Moore of Wisconsin. All are Democrats.