Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

Chelsea Clinton: LGBT rights are ‘the unfinished business of the 21st century’

Sunday, February 16, 2014
Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton said Sunday that the gay-rights cause made “incredible progress” on political and legal fronts in 2013, but progress should not be mistaken for success.

Clinton called lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues “the unfinished business of the 21st century” in an address at a national conference in Las Vegas where actress Ellen Page came out as gay days earlier in an emotional speech that’s stirred a social media outpouring.

Clinton urged a crowd of 600 professionals who work with children to become more sensitive to the needs of LGBT youth, saying the deck is stacked against them because of bullying, rejection and other harassment.

“I’ve often been asked why issues of equality are so important to me. Frankly, I don’t know why they ask that question,” Clinton said. “This is about the premise and promise of our country. (It’s) always marching forward to a more perfect union. I was raised in a family where inertia is not an option.”

The Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s inaugural conference, which was designed to promote the safety and welfare of LGBT youth, honored Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie, former ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass and writer Robin McHaelen for their support of gay rights.

The Johnsons’ son, E.J., who accepted the award on their behalf, praised his parents for giving him unconditional love after he revealed that he was gay.

During the three-day conference that ended Sunday, Betty DeGeneres, mother of Ellen DeGeneres, stressed the importance of parents in giving support to LGBT children, and Candace Gingrich, the openly gay half-sister of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, served as a moderator for a panel discussion about LGBT youth issues.

On Friday, Page, 26, whose role as a pregnant teenager in the 2007 film “Juno” won the hearts of moviegoers and earned her an Oscar nomination, came out as gay at the conference, saying, “I feel a personal obligation and social responsibility” and that she was “tired of lying by omission.”

Clinton praised both Page and Jason Collins, the NBA player who announced he was gay after last season.

“Now others have followed his (Collins’) courageous example, and I hope later on this year, we’ll be cheering for the first openly gay player in the NFL,” Clinton said, referring to Missouri All-American Michael Sam, who came out this month.

She noted how 17 states and Washington, D.C., recognize same-sex marriage and how the U.S. Justice Department recently instructed all of its employees to give lawful same-sex marriages sweeping equal protection under the law in every program it administers.

“With all the incredible progress we had in 2013, it’s easy to think progress marks success,” she said. “We certainly shouldn’t take anything away from the historic victories in 2013 … But we should not mistake progress for success. We n eed to continue to push for progress in communities, states and the country.”

The conference, which was held in partnership with the National Education Association and American Counseling Association, drew teachers, counselors, coaches, social workers, health professionals and others who work with children.

© 2014, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , ,

Filed under: Newsmakers, [ Trending ]

119 more reader comments:

  1. How ironic seeing as her dad signed in 2 extremely homophobic laws.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:03am
  2. time wasn't right, Austin

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:05am
  3. People are allowed to grow and change their opinions, Austin. He has publicly and repeatedly stated his deep regret for DADT and stated that he genuinely believed he was helping at the time - and in a way, he was. It was the repeal of DADT that allowed gays into the military. Without DADT, the door was firmly closed to gays. With DADT, the repeal of it left the door wide open. Even with the bad comes the good. Many of the people who support gay rights now used to be opposed to them. It's called the evolution of beliefs.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:07am
  4. That is so sad that people here are defending his actions because he "evolved" on the issue. Wow,so saying "sorry" can apparently absolve you of your past actions.....

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:10am
  5. If you then work to actively change them? Absolutely. Racism was overcome with an evolution of thought as well as law, as was the subjugation of women and any other rights that have been won throughout time. If you lock out those that once disagreed with you, that is ensuring that nothing ever changes.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:33am
  6. If he really cared, his ass should be walking the streets with gay marriage petitions in his hand, and undoing some of the damage he cause. I could forgive him, but eloquent "I am sorry" talk will not do it.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:36am
  7. Nah, if he did that (he's done a lot of very public work in support of overturning DADT and DOMA) you would still say he didn't do enough. You're not interested in forgiving or recognizing the evolving thoughts of others. There are, to me, two different types of politicians. The first says, "Everything I believe now is what I've believe my entire life and has never changed. I am not wishy washy." I'll never vote for this type. The other says, "Everything I believe has evolved over my lifetime based on observation, discussions, and deep personal thought. What I believe now might be similar in some ways to what I've always believed, but much of it has changed." These are the people that get my votes nine times out of ten.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:43am
  8. You are so correct. Hey remember that guy who shot those kids for playing loud music? I heard he said sorry... All must be forgiven in your mind...

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:45am
  9. Austin, are you responsible for your father's actions? Neither is Chelsea.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:03am
  10. My comment was not really meant towards Chelsea, but mean for her father. Sorry for any confusion, and your temper. My bad.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:04am
  11. As a retired member of the Army, I was not completely pleased with DADT. But I found the good in it, and I did. DADT allowed for protection of my hetero friends that knew I was gay. I had a chance to thank President Clinton (years later) for DADT. I told him "Sir, you don't have to ask, and I am not going to tell, but thank you for helping me to at least protect my friends." He said he understood and thanked me for my view on it. I'm not trying to argue with you on any point you feel; I'm just saying there was some good in it. Could it have been better? Sure. Was it bad? No. It was simply a step in the march to freedom. Have a great day. :-)

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:49pm
  12. ♡Chelsea

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:03am
  13. *gag* Hillary is sending her daughter to whip up votes. Nothing more or less.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:04am
  14. Amen. Hillary has no conviction, she only cares about votes .... She used to be against gay marriage...

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:16am
  15. The unfinished business? Shit, dismantling institutionalized racism still is unfinished business. Queer rights are only just swinging into mainstream focus.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:05am
  16. Ahh wish to join

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:09am
  17. We can do both...

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:22am
  18. Emily, you need to go back to history class. The movement has been huge since the 60's

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:35am
  19. We can, and have to, do both. Chelsea is way off but let's not think that we have to place structural racism before LGBTQ rights and vice versa. Read Audre Lorde's ' Hierarchy of Oppression'... http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~jc3962/COR/Hierarchy.pdf

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:36am
  20. Amanda, have you seen how much institutionalized racism still exists, even 50 years later?

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:58am
  21. ^wow wacko Wendy is pissed off at everyone today.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:16am
  22. It's all unfinished business. And Wendy's right.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:17pm
  23. Emily needs to take her meds. Why are people so ANGRY? Queer rights, really? IMBECILE.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:25pm
  24. That's why I said MAINSTREAM focus. We all know that pro-LGBTQIA* rights were not the leading headlines up until the recent shift in public attitude, and even then, casual queerphobia lives on quite healthily. We like to call being on the LGBTQIA* spectrum being the "new black." But there isn't a new black. And poc in our community have EVEN HIGHER rates of violence perpetrated against them. We as a community have some serious racism issues to address. Also, Ramon? Do you see the Q in LGBTQ Nation? What the hell do you think that stands for?

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:29pm
  25. Austin is entitled to his observation.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:08am
  26. He absolutely is, but he is also allowed to be repudiated.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:41am
  27. And wes is more than welcome to comment on everyone of my posts and talk about his love for the hypocritical Clinton's...

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:47am
  28. Chelsea for President in 2020!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:10am
  29. Jesse Ventura for president in 2016/20

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:14am
  30. a lovely look

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:12am
  31. Let’s get the never ending job of political justice for all starting with those most abused groups, duh…GAYS? Why shucks yep!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:13am
  32. Sorry to distract but how cute is she???

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:13am
  33. Austin, as someone who was in High School when Harvey Milk was assassinated. I am grateful for every small step we have made as a community. What do you think his opponents would have done??
    Never in my lifetime did I think I would be allowed to marry the man I love, even if it isn’t recognized by my state- Nebraska. The city & state commented on by Chelsea Clinton.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:16am
  34. So if Harvey milks shooter said "sorry" you would forgive him? Bills actions speak louder than his words, and his actions speak volumes on his opinion on gay rights. Quit being so forgiving to homophobes.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:17am
  35. Bill's actions? Looks like Chelsea to me. Do you not know the difference between to two?

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:00am
  36. Please read my previous comment to you before stalking my posts. Thx wendy

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:05am
  37. wonderful human being

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:17am
  38. Ummm, Bill & Hillary are NOT homophobes.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:19am
  39. Look at his record, forget what they "say."

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:21am
  40. Harvey Milks shooter pretty much got off on the “Twinkie Defense”, which I’m starting to believe is exactly what you are. Were you even born in 1992?? Were you eligible to vote in 1992??

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:21am
  41. Buuuuuuuut you didn't answer my question. Did he say "sorry?" You seem angry mark.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:24am
  42. I just don’t understand gay republicans….

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:23am
  43. Lmfao and now the name calling comes out. I never have and never will be a republican, then again I am not an annoying bleeding heart MSNBC liberal either.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:26am
  44. I don't understand gays who defend homophobes... Gay uncletoms ...

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:27am
  45. So wait, being called Republican is name calling?

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:37am
  46. He meant in a factious way, clearly.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:41am
  47. You're adding subtext that I, personally, don't see. Now, "gay Uncle Tom" on the other hand is a pretty vicious and dirty little slur. No subtext needed on that one.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:44am
  48. Chelsea Clinton’s speech ROCKED!
    As does her family.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:25am
  49. Ummm, not angry, Austin. I believe he HAS apologized & said he thought he was doing what was right at the time.
    I’m hoping/praying for 8 years of Hillary after President Obama

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:27am
  50. You are voting for her simply for being a mediocre democrat. Vote for Jesse Ventura or Liz warren . ... Someone with conviction for once.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:28am
  51. Yes, we desperately need a president who can spend his time researching conspiracy theories.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:36am
  52. Look at his record on gay rights, the environment, abortion rights, and what not before making such dumb comments. Let's vote for Hillary, who flips and flops like mitt Romney during a debate.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:40am
  53. Thank you Chelsea for your truth and inclusion .

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:27am
  54. Bill was a great president but it is still hard to forgive him for all the years gay people have spent getting rid of DOMA

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:29am
  55. Liz Warren is wonderful, but Jesse Ventura???

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:29am
  56. Right, is perhaps the most pro gay (former) politician. But you choose Hillary over him. How logical....

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:34am
  57. Hillary doesn't host a television show that researches conspiracy theories, and isn't a former wrestler and kook politician.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:40am
  58. Once again, look at his record before making idiotic comments.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:44am
  59. That's what we're looking at Austin. Take your Ron Paul rose-colored pseudo-liberatarian glasses off and LOOK at the record for yourself.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:02am
  60. I didn't vote for Ron Paul, try again:) and take your blue pro welfare, pro affirmative action, pro NSA, pro more regulation glasses off... They seem to be blinding you sweetheart :) look at Ventura's record. That is if you can read and comprehend

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:10am
  61. I’d <3 a Clinton/Warren ticket

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:30am
  62. But, Eric, we ARE winning. And in places completely unexpected.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:31am
  63. Austin…have you never taken a stance on something only to change your heart and opinion down the road? Most humans have. It’s called a learning curve. A realization and recognition of faulty thought processes. I for one appreciate that Clinton acknowledges his error and has moved forward. Can you say the same for yourself? Or will you just always carry hate in your heart?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:32am
  64. I do forgive, but not over a simple apology. Or will you always forgive those who give half ass apologies?

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:37am
  65. Well said, Tari.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:45am
  66. …The twenty first century just started >.>

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:33am
  67. Mediocre Democrat?? She was one tough Secretary of State!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:33am
  68. Yeah Benghazi was excellent

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:48am
  69. 13 Benghazis under Bush, yet I don't hear you complaining about those. Instead I hear you supporting the murderers and blaming the guards.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:04am
  70. Ugh who said I liked bush? So because I don't care for Hillary I must like bush Jr? Jesus what an idiot.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:12am
  71. I support murderers? That is odd...

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:18am
  72. I stood in the rain/snow at a polling station ALONE when Nebraskan’s voted to write discrimination in our state constitution, we couldn’t get enough volunteers

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:36am
  73. Where was your saviour bill Clinton?

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:48am
  74. He stood for a woman’s right to choose. As does Hillary. WHAT has she flip flopped on ???

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:42am
  75. Healthcare, gay rights to name two

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:49am
  76. What’s up with all the ATTACKS. Aren’t we all fighting for the same causes regardless of what issues we as individuals deem most important. Clearly Chelsea Clinton is NOT her father or her mother. She is her own person and as an adult I think I can give her the credit that she deserves to stand by her own convictions.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:43am
  77. Wait, wait, wait… “the unfinished business of the 21st century” so she’s not expecting us to get it done in the next 86 odd years??

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:43am
  78. Austin…if you can do better why aren’t you up for election? You’re anxious to criticize but not willing to step up for your convictions.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:44am
  79. I do my volunteer work for pro gay politicians. What do you do besides hang on every word I say and write angry replies?

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:01am
  80. So are her parents’ war crime trials :D

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:47am
  81. Omg beeeenghazi. Jfc if I hear one more person blame Hillary for benghazi imma puke. Get your facts straight about that. How many time do we have to hear the same rhetoric that is nothing but a bunch of fox news lies.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:53am
  82. Tell me the facts Lol. Just because someone doesn't like her doesn't mean they watch fox news lol

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:57am
  83. Don’t be like HRC & ignore the work for transgender people’s rights. Give your money to G.L.A.A.D. which is working for all of us.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:59am
  84. I agree they kinda ignore trans rights, but I believe glaad is a media only organization, I think the hrc does need to step up tho...

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:07am
  85. Oh and I didn’t say he watched fox news, what I inferred was that those lies were perpetuated and rehashed endlessly by fox news since it is a lying, GOP loving platform. Now can we drop benghazi?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:15am
  86. I brought it up once, you kept bringing it up. I don't watch fox news hon :) stop watching msnbc it is making mush of your brain. :)

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:19am
  87. I hope you’re not talking to me in that saccharine passive aggressive bs tone Austin. I wasn’t even talking to you anymore.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:22am
  88. And you sound exactly like someone who DOES watch fox news, so pardon me for confusing you with someone who hasn’t got two brain cells to rub together. You don’t like democratic socialism, you spread lies and misinformation and attack the character of your detractors. Sounds EXACTLY like the average fox news watcher to me.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:27am
  89. Pass ERA, too.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:34am
  90. Wasnt Hillary already President ? nope my mistake she just thought she was

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:42am
  91. You go Luna and Wendy! :) keep up the good work.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:49am
  92. and best wishes!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:50am
  93. Good thing we have 86 friggin’ years to go. She should have said 20th century.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:52am
  94. Rooting out complex social problems like this takes DECADES to completely fix. We most likely won’t see true equality in our life time but that doesn’t mean we should give up. We need to fight now on what’s right so that future generations don’t have to.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:56am
  95. Cute looking for MMF

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:03am
  96. Yes!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:24am
  97. Great………….Thank you Chlsea !

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:07pm
  98. Love her!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:11pm
  99. I still think she’ll be president one day. Her mother may have made too many mistakes to actually get elected, but I think Chelsea will be the fresh face this country needs and deserves.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:14pm
  100. Come to Canada. We bake cookies.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:20pm
  101. We really don’t never another Clinton telling us what we need to do!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:23pm
  102. Another liberal who has never worked in the private sector campaigning for president…. Chelsea shut your cake hole, get a real job

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:28pm
  103. She is going to be a powerhouse!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:32pm
  104. Emily they ( poc ) perpetuate the violence on each other and whites and gays, they need to fix their own problems, and quit blaming it on white people.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:34pm
  105. She may well be president sometime.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:48pm
  106. She knows more than she is letting on.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:55pm
  107. she really wants to see her mom as next president.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:01pm
  108. Love her. Cant wait for her to be old enough to enter the political arena. She’ll be great.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:28pm
  109. democracy is a vigilant fight for your rights,unfortunately,if people could just live in peace and work at making the world a better place,things would be much simpler,but its not.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:31pm
  110. She is an extraordinarily well educated person who has chosen to be an advocate rather than joining the private sector and making a lot of money. She is to be commended for standing up for those who have been discriminated against in our society.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:31pm
  111. WELCOME TO AMERICA: how is America any different than Uganda? Do you understand what will happen to the Gay Man in America after OBAMA completes his eight years in the White House…and…and…and…the Right Wing Christian Republican Party begins to amend the Constitution of the United States of America?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:33pm
  112. Of the 20th century, honey.
    20th century.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:43pm
  113. Can someone tell her that her dad had a lot to do with that….

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 3:02pm
  114. They are “the unfinished business of the 20th century.” There is a long way to go, but there are indications of positive change almost daily.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 3:18pm
  115. They’re setting her up to be the future torchbearer of the Clinton dynasty. I wish we could get something new besides her family and Bushes. Why don’t we just declare ourselves to be an aristocracy?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 3:22pm
  116. Sustainable development is a much bigger deal… But for the democratic and civic sphere, I do agree.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 3:34pm
  117. I think she knows what century this is; and how far women, LGBT, and all cultural minorities still have to go. If she leads us into the future, we’ll do just fine.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 4:45pm
  118. Austin Almanza…thanks for the great laugh this morning when I woke up and saw your remark about me hanging on your every word. Pretty big ego you have there!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 5:00pm
  119. Russia, Nigeria and Uganda. they dont believe in Human Rigts. A LOT more work need to be done

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 5:35pm