Hillary Clinton has gone back to the city where Democrats made the historic decision to nominate her as their standard bearer in the race for the White House, and delivered a powerful pitch for the LGBTQ vote.
Philadelphia Gay News invited both candidates for president to discuss these issues with its readers, but only the former secretary of state responded.
“If I’m fortunate enough to be elected president,” she wrote in an op-ed, “I’ll protect the progress we’ve fought so hard to achieve — and I’ll keep fighting until every American can live free from discrimination and prejudice.”
In addition to pledging to work to pass the Equality Act guaranteeing protection from discrimination, Clinton said she wants to create a generation free of AIDS, and she lent critical attention to the plight of trans women of color. She also addressed the fight for an end to gun violence.
“LGBT people are now more likely than any other group to be the target of a hate crime. America saw the effects of hate in Orlando, with the attack on the Pulse nightclub — the deadliest mass shooting by a single person in our history. The danger is compounded for LGBT people of color, who face intersectional pressures and dangers, particularly transgender people of color. Last year, more than 20 transgender women were killed in America. Recently, three were murdered right here in Philadelphia.
We need to stop the violence and save LGBT lives.”
Clinton’s commentary also covers Philly’s historic role in the movement and appeals to readers to support her as their defender of civil rights. For the first time in print, she acknowledged her historic decision at the State Department to allow transgender citizens to change the gender marker on their passports with ease, something she has rarely done on the campaign trail.
Here is Clinton’s op-ed, in its entirety:
More than half a century ago, at Independence Hall, participants at the first Annual Reminder march picketed, chanted and sang. They did this to show their fellow Philadelphians that the LGBT community lacked fundamental civil rights.
In the decades since those protests, our country has come a long way. Marriage equality is the law of the land. This year, the last state law prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting was finally struck down. And President Obama signed an executive order protecting federal workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We should celebrate that progress.
But the simple truth is that even now, in 2016, there are still too many states in America where LGBT people can be fired or evicted from their home because of who they are or who they love. Pennsylvania is one of them. Here, you can get married on Sunday and fired on Monday, just for being gay or transgender.
That goes against everything we stand for as a country.