For the record: Clinton: ‘Everything I can’
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton held a town hall style meeting in Las Vegas August 18. Two of the approximately one dozen questions fielded by the candidate concerned LGBT issues. The following is a transcript of those questions from a youtube video of the event.
Audience member (at approximately 26:00 minutes): Hello, Hillary. My name is Dina Proto. I am a local LGBT business owner and founding president of the lesbian and gay chamber of commerce here in Nevada. …So my question to you is: How are you going to support our LGBT community in our country, improving economic equality, creating safe spaces for our youth –can you speak to that?
Clinton: I certainly can. Well, first, as president, I will do everything I can to make sure that marriage equality is enforced. It’s the law of the land, and it needs to be enforced across our country. And then we have to tackle the discrimination issues. When I was in the Senate, I was one of the senators sponsoring what was called ENDA –a bill to end discrimination against the LGBT community, and we have a lot of work to do there. There’s just so much continuing discrimination and bias, and I particularly worry about young people because there is a lot of misunderstanding and even mistreatment still today by families of young people who are LGBT. They’re hoping to be accepted and they’re not, and they find themselves on the streets. I know you’ve got people in Las Vegas who are homeless and on the streets who are young LGBT people who have had to leave home. So, we need more services, we need more support. And we all need to be speaking out in favor of, you know, treating these young people with respect and dignity and giving them a chance. And I hope that, as president, I will not only be able to speak to that but demonstrate how we do it and then support laws that will make it easier for a lot of our people, especially young people.
Audience member (at approximately 32:00): I’m the mother of a transgender child…Health care does not cover my child’s genetic issue. She was born in the wrong body, and it’s not her fault. Now, I want to know how I’m going to get an insurance company to cover her surgery, a drug company to allow a decent price for that medication, and a country who will not let [a company] fire her because she is a girl in a boy’s body.
Clinton: I could feel all the way over here the passion you have as a mom, and I thank you for being brave and willing to stand up and talk about your child. I think the whole country is learning a lot more than we did know or understand before. I think a lot of the issues you’re raising are going to have to be dealt with. And certainly as we negotiate with insurance companies and look for the kinds of health care that people need, all those issues have to be taken into account. I will certainly do my part, the best I can as president, to make sure that no child, no young person is refused the care that he or she needs.