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WATCH: Bill Clinton Trumpets Both HRC and Hillary's Accomplishments at Annual Gala

WATCH: Bill Clinton Trumpets Both HRC and Hillary's Accomplishments at Annual Gala


Bill Clinton spoke at the 18th annual National HRC Gala urging LGBT activists and community members to continue the fight for LGBT rights domestically and abroad.

Former president Bill Clinton gently talked up the accomplishments of his his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, at the Human Rights Campaign's National Gala in Washington, D.C., Saturday night.

"I love the HRC. The initials are great," Clinton said with a smile, which was rewarded with laughter and applause. "But the other person with those initials once famously said, as secretary of state, the gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights."

Bill Clinton spoke to a packed room of HRC supporters and members Saturday night, as the country gears up for midterm election next week and Hillary Clinton continues to appear a possible candidate for the 2016 presidential election. The former president largely focused on the progress of the LGBT movement, the Human Rights Campaign's involvement in that progress, and the need to keep pushing to finish the fight for LGBT rights both domestically and abroad.

"I was thinking of all the things that you're taking for granted tonight that shook the earth the first time they happened," Clinton said. "When I nominated Roberta Acthenberg from San Francisco to be assistant secretary of [Housing and Urban Development], and she brought her partner to her confirmation hearing in the Senate and she had a good hearing. Roberta was smart and there were some people who were sort of snipping around the edges looking for some way to derail her because she was the first open lesbian to ever get a job like that in HUD. After the hearing, she knew she was on television and she kissed her partner and you would've thought somebody had set off fireworks in the Capitol building. Now, if she had a hearing and she didn't kiss her partner you would think she was cold-blooded. And I say that because you've pushed open so many doors and you deserve the credit. You and people like you all over this country for the progress that has been made."

Also at the gala, Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, received the HRC National Equality Award. The award recognizes those whose outstanding efforts utilized their time, energy, and spirt to help the LGBT community. John recently announced a $7 million partnership with the U.S. government to create an AIDS-free society. The efforts will focus more on the expansion of HIV services to gay and transgender people throughout Africa.

Check out the rest of Bill Clinton's keynote address below.

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