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Hillary Clinton: Really, Sanders? My LGBT endorsements aren’t “the establishment”

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“Really Senator Sanders? How can you say that groups like [Planned Parenthood] and @HRC are part of the ‘establishment’ you’re taking on?”

–Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on her Twitter account. Clinton was responding to a Sanders spokesperson, who criticized the Human Rights Campaign for unanimously voting to support her in the 2016 elections, calling it “establishment organizations voting for the establishment candidate.”

Sanders’ campaign argued that the endorsement flew in the face of his record on LGBT rights, which include voting against the Defense of Marriage Act and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” supporting civil unions in Vermont when they were legalized in 2000, as well as publicly supporting marriage equality several years before President Obama and Clinton did.

Clinton has tried to lead the way on tackling LGBT issues this election campaign, after a rocky history of support. Last year, she unveiled twenty-four pledges aimed at LGBT voters, including passing the Equality Act, increasing support for LGBT youth, parents and elders, increasing LGBT adoption rights, ending “ex-gay” conversion therapy, upgrading the service record of LGBT veterans dismissed under DADT (legislation her husband signed into law), allowing transgender military personnel to serve openly, and demanding that Medicaid be expanded to cover those living with HIV.

Sanders has his own range of LGBT-inclusive policies, including passing the Equality Act, expanding health insurance coverage and removing discrimination from the process, protecting LGBT rights around the world, reducing LGBT bullying, and vetoing any legislation that aims to protect “religious liberty” while allowing anti-LGBT discrimination.

The HRC insists that Clinton “is the champion we need to fight for us each day on the campaign trail…. She has a strong record, a strong agenda, and a strong ability to win against any Republican.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.