Hillary Clinton called out Donald Trump’s record on LGBTQ rights at a Saturday event hosted by the Human Rights Campaign.
“The attacks on the LGBTQ community here at home and around the world are striking and scary,” the former Secretary of State told attendees at an HRC dinner hosted in Washington, D.C. “I can only imagine what it’s like to be in the position that so many people still find themselves in in our country.”
“I do know what it feels like to be torn down and attacked, and I want you to know that I’m with you,” she continued.
Although Trump claimed that he would be a “friend” to the LGBTQ community as president, Clinton pointed to the rollback of queer and trans equality since Trump’s January inauguration. She specifically criticized a July policy banning transgender people from serving openly in the military, which was announced in a series of tweets. (Note: That policy was blocked by a federal court on Monday.)
“You know and [Trump] knows that transgender people have fought and died for this country,” Clinton said, claiming it was “insulting and wrong” for Trump to reverse an Obama-era policy announced a year earlier.
Clinton further took the Trump administration to task for its support of a baker who refused to serve gay couples. In the pending Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Department of Justice issued an amicus brief supporting the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
“It is just wrong that in 2017 you can lose your job, lose your home, or, if this administration gets its way, be denied a wedding cake simply because of who you are or who you love,” she said.
Clinton expressed her continued support for the Equality Act, which would add characteristics like sexual orientation and gender identity to Title VII protections under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The legislation currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of characteristics like sex, race, national origin, and religion.
The Department of Justice ruled earlier this month that trans federal workers aren’t covered by Title VII, reversing the Obama administration’s interpretation of the legislation.
The White House has also moved to nullify workplace protections for LGBTQ federal employees. During the very same week as the Title VII policy was announced, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a 35-page memo that could allow people of faith to fire queer and trans people if their employment conflicts with a government contractor’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
“We need to be agitating to pass the Equality Act,” Clinton said. She claimed that LGBTQ people “cannot rely on this administration or the Supreme Court to uphold” their rights.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 29, 2017
The 2016 presidential candidate, who won the popular vote but lost the electoral college, thanked members of the LGBTQ community for their support during her campaign. Seventy-eight percent of queer and transgender people who cast a ballot in last year’s election voted for Clinton over her Republican challenger. Exit polls showed just 14 percent of LGBTQ voters went for Trump, a historic low.
“I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received from so many of you in the LGBTQ community over the years,” she said. “I think it’s fair to say you’ve made me a better first lady, a better senator, a better Secretary of State, a better presidential nominee, a better person.”
HRC president Chad Griffin signaled that Clinton would continue to be an advocate of LGBTQ equality in a non-governmental capacity.
“Hillary Clinton has spent a lifetime fighting for the vulnerable, marginalized, and oppressedand she’s not about to back down now,” Griffin claimed in a press release. “As we confront powerful political forces built on hate and fear, Hillaryand the majority of American voters who backed herhave continued to champion the values that truly make America great.”
Clinton, who famously remarked that “gay rights are human rights,” was honored alongside Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Both were awarded Saturday for their LGBTQ allyship.
Photography:Paul Morigi/Getty Images