At HRC Gala, Hillary Clinton Excoriates Trump's Abysmal LGBT Rights Record

HRC

Following impassioned speeches from people like Sen. Kamala Harris and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rallied the troops at the Human Rights Campaign's D.C. gala on Saturday night.

Introduced by Billie Jean King, Clinton covered a lot of ground in her 23-minute long speech. The Democratic nominee for president in 2016 expressed gratitude to the LGBT community for supporting her.

"You've made me a better First Lady, a better senator, a better secretary of State, a better presidential nominee, a better person," Clinton said.

Clinton quickly segued to the dispiriting actions of the Trump administration, which has systematically rolled back rights for LGBT people. The long-time advocate for health care blasted Trump's attacks on Medicare and Medicaid, saying the administration threatened to reignite the HIV crisis. 

"Don't boo, call the Congress and say you will not stand for that," Clinton said, taking a cue from President Obama.

Clinton blasted Trump's rolling back of protections for trans students, and his sudden ban on transgender people serving in the military, calling it "insulting and wrong."

Unlike Trump, Clinton directly address international attacks on LGBT people, including the kidnapping, torturing, and killing of gay men in Chechnya. She pivoted to the arrest of people for waving a Pride flag in Cairo, and criticized the State department for refusing to condemn the executions of LGBT people. She then reiterated a line she said as secretary of State: "Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights."

Clinton said she can't understand what it's like to be an LGBT person today, but knows what it's like to be "torn down and attacked." She vowed that, "I'm with you... I won't be silenced and I hope you won't be either."

She spoke of the evils of "conversion therapy" and "license to discriminate" bills authored in places like North Carolina and Mississippi, saying "we have to be agitating to pass the Equality Act" to ban workplace and housing discrimination. 

Senate candidate Roy Moore was also addressed, with Clinton saying the Alabama bigot — who believes homosexuality should be criminalized — needs to be condemned by Republican leaders. 

After name-checking LGBT rights leaders like Edie Windsor, Jim Obergefell, Laverne Cox, and Chad Griffin, Clinton said, "we have to keep going."

Finally, Clinton acknowledged the right-wing media's fixation on her; saying they act as if she was elected and are actively trying to impeach her. "Look, if they want to make a trade, I'd be more than willing. But until then, remember, let's keep going. Keep fighting. Never give up. Thank you, HRC."

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