Bernie Who? Hillary’s Been There For LGBT


How soon people forget what staunch allies Bill and Hillary Clinton have been to the LGBT community and how hard they fought during their White House years (and today) for funding for HIV/AIDS. Clinton was steadfast in fighting for money for finding a cure for this horrible disease and just like today, he had to battle a hostile Republican Congress to get funding for these programs. Without Bill and Hillary Clinton’s leadership in the 1990’s, there are likely millions of people who would not be alive today.

Bill Clinton’s administration increased funding for AIDS programs by 358% for one department and 150% for another. They initiated a multitude a programs to provide drugs and housing and against discrimination. Bill Clinton might not have won his battle to open the military to openly gay service, as he set out to do, but his compromise policy known as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell  banned the military from asking soldiers whether they were gay and he also ended the ban on LGBT security clearances and he appointed the first openly gay federal judges. He did all this despite a hostile Republican Congress.

The Bernie brigade recycles partial quotes of Hillary defending “traditional marriage” without mentioning it’s from a speech she gave AGAINST banning gay marriage (the 2004 anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment). It is sad, but ironic that the video people keep posting as “proof” that Hillary is anti-gay marriage is actually her fighting to keep gay marriage legal! The people manufacturing these smears are beyond disgusting in their ill treatment of our long time friend.

Where was Bernie Sanders when Republicans tried to pass this federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage? In 2006 Sanders went on record opposing gay marriage in Vermont. Why does Sanders get a pass?

Hillary Clinton has been a leader on LGBT issues in both the Senate and in the State Department. Some folks seem to focus on marriage equality as if that was the only item on the LGBT agenda. What about Hate Crimes? Hillary was there fighting to get LGBT included. What about ENDA – the Employee Non Discrimination Act? She was there fighting for this long overdue bill to prohibit LGBT discrimination in all federal employment and contracting. Hillary Clinton twice sponsored adding LGBT to the Civil Rights Act alongside race and religion as protected categories.

Bernie Sanders sponsored no legislation for gay civil rights. He once signed a gay pride proclamation in 1983 and his fans seem to think that that was to height of the gay rights movement. Mind you, he didn’t actually go to the parade – or any other gay pride event. Bernie also signed a proclamation declaring marriage as only between a man and a woman.

“Gay Rights Are Human Rights.” Hillary Clinton

Clinton’s record on our issues earned her the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay rights organization in the country. Of course Sanders denounced the endorsement even as he hoped to get their nod. He even bungled their name, calling this venerable organization the “Human Rights Fund”. It seems if you were so hot and heavy for gay rights you’d know the group’s actual name. But Bernie is only a distant supporter of gay rights. Not like Clinton, who works regularly with these groups on issues important to our community.

Here’s what HRC had to say about Hillary Clinton’s national and international LGBT record:

“Clinton has a long record as a champion for LGBT rights both in the U.S. and, notably, around the globe. As Secretary of State, Clinton became the first in her position to robustly advocate for LGBT equality throughout the world, making a historic and forceful speech to the United Nations declaring that “gay rights are human rights.” In the Senate, she helped lead on bills to protect LGBT workers from employment discrimination, and had a strong record on key votes and legislation that mattered to LGBT Americans.”

Before President Clinton, no US President gave a damn about gay rights or the mounting death toll in the LGBT community from AIDS. This changed dramatically in 1992 upon the election of Bill Clinton.

Clinton set the tone for his presidency by inviting the N.A.M.E.S. Project to include sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in his 1993 inaugural parade. In his two terms in office, Bill Clinton never wavered in wrangling money in his budgets for programs caring for the sick or to preserve vital research funding for effective treatments and to find a cure.

How soon we seem to forget who our friends are!

When the AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed in the National Mall in 1992 it contained 40,000 panels and covered 24 football fields. Here’s a photo from NPR of the President and First Lady viewing one of the panels.


According to a recent story on NPR, from 1987 until today, the Quilt has grown to 48,000 panels – signifying the deaths of 94,000 people. Thru the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Quilt grew at a rate of 11,000 panels per year. Today it has dwindled to 1-2 a day.

Maybe this is the reason for the amnesia?

In 1996, for the very last time, the AIDS Memorial Quilt in all its entirety was laid out across the Washington Mall. It has since grown too large to be displayed all in one place.

My friend Keith Molter shares his story of being at the Quilt in Washington DC in 1996 when by chance he witnessed Bill and Hillary Clinton visit the Quilt seeking out a specific quilt made in honor of a longtime friend of hers. Keith recalls:

It was stone silent on the vast Washington Mall. No fanfare. No hoopla. They simply went and we had stumbled upon it.

Silence. Stillness. They got out of their motorcade hand in hand and walked through the Quilt.

It was THE first time it was ever acknowledged by anyone of any higher level in government. They stood. They prayed. They looked at a few other panels. They wiped tears. We were 100 feet away. As they turned to leave, the still silence was broken by a squelching sound, like an animal in deep pain. It was me screaming “Thank you!” through my sobs, my voice cracking. They both turned. He put his hand up in a still wave and nodded his head -his mouth doing that mouth/chin thing he does. They turned and left.

I was there. They were there – maybe too late for some that we lost. But they were there as soon as they could – once the country elected two people who actually cared.

Here’s Hillary Clinton reminiscing about visiting the AIDS Memorial Quilt in a speech at the 2012 International AIDS Conference.

Another friend who was “there”, Robert Sandy,  recalls those exciting 1990’s when our President first invited the LGBT community to the national table.

“I am old enough to remember that Bill Clinton’s VERY first act as President was to try to overturn the ban on gays in the military. HIS FIRST ACT. Of course America nearly imploded then and calls and letters were hitting the White House at a rate of 15 to 1 against.”

“I am also old enough to remember that most of the gay community sat that fight out and then had the audacity to bitch about the outcome. Clinton used up much of his political capital in that fight. But, you know, why remember how shit really went down?”

Well Robert Sandy, I remember it all too! Especially the thrill of having a President and First Lady who for the first time declared themselves publicly to be in our corner.

I guess it’s easy to forget those days when the stakes aren’t nearly as high. I’m voting for Hillary because I remember that she was a friend who was “there” for us, and – most of all – because I remember what she did for my community and for my country as the First Lady, as Senator and as Secretary of State. She can step into the Oval Office as smoothly as into one of her trademark pantsuits.


Thank you Keith and Robert and Bill and Hillary Clinton and the countless others who worked not only for our rights but who also fought for the very lives of our LGBT brothers and sisters!


Bernie Sanders supporters tout his 1983 Gay Pride proclamation as proof of his LGBT bonafides over Hillary’s actual record of fighting for the LGBT agenda. Well, guess what Bernie Bots and Bros, Sanders also signed a Mayoral proclaimation declaring marriage “a union between a man and a woman”. Cue the cognitive dissonance!

 People really need to vet Sanders before he ends up rolling back the progressive movement 25 years.

38 thoughts on “Bernie Who? Hillary’s Been There For LGBT

  1. Thank you for writing this, it’s been so frustrating watching these yunguns who don’t know their history just repeat the republican talking points or, repeat what they read in the comments section on Facebook.

    • You realize the video you posted is of Hillary fighting the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment. Don’t you wonder why the video cuts off? She is LITERALLY fighting to keep gay marriage legal in the clip you post attacking her.

    • Right after your selectively edited video cuts off, Hillary says this:

      “I think that if we were really concerned about marriage and that we believed it had a role in the Federal Constitution, we have been missing in action. We should have been in this Chamber trying to amend our Constitution to take away at the very first blush the idea of no-fault divorce, try to get in there and tell the States what they should and should not do with respect to marriage and divorce, maybe try to write an amendment to the Constitution about custody matters. Maybe we should have it be a presumption in our Federal marriage law that joint custody is the rule. Maybe we ought to just substitute ourselves for States, for judges, for individuals who are making these decisions every single day throughout our Nation.”

      • Well said. Selective video choices. Also, Hillary evolved, just like every politician and most Americans on this issue. Bernie evolved as well and was for civil unions before marriage. As was Obama. Bernie supporters need to get off the cross because we need the wood.

      • Now i have to comment because all this cray cray talk < In 2004 you're right she was Fighting the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment_In that clip.. but
        " LITERALLY fighting to keep gay marriage legal " is just wrong < Doma was still in place Gay Marriage was band by Bill Clinton and Hillary Supported that legislation__Doma __Even in that video she's still defending the Man and Woman .“traditional marriage” … < Maybe you should re-watch that video at 37sec to the end __ Now im more then sure she was for civil unions < But to say she was PRO gay marriage is ridiculous In the 1970’s < yes that's no a typo Bernie running for gov of Vermont said "Let's abolish all laws dealing with abortion,drugs,sexual behavior (adultery,homosexuality exa " I dont know of anyone else saying things like that back in the 70's

        You can say well Bernie voted against DOMA because it was a state issue not because he was pro gay marriage
        What ever the reasoning he didn't support a law that ban gay marriage
        Maybe it was politics for his reasoning what ever the case i dont think anyone can say Bernie was ever "Anti gay marriage" or even defended “traditional marriage” <<

        Thanx BANON

      • An amendment banning guy marriage nationally would render all gay marriages null and void for all government purposes. She was LITERALLY fighting against an attempt to make gay marriage illegal. DOMA was a regrettable political decisions by a president who had just lost both houses of congress over lifting the ban on gays in military, the Brady Bill and Healthcare reform. He got all these things done in two years, but the progressives he was working for stayed home because they didn’t get all they wanted. He was wrong to sign it. But he was the first to invite us into the tent.

      • Thanks for leaving it twice. I’ve seen the video. she is not asked whether she believes in equal rights between civil unions and marriage, which it was her policy that they should be equal. Chris Matthews asks her if the State of New York should recognize gay marriage. She said no. In 2004 she fought against the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment. In 2012, after leaving the State Department, she announced her support for same sex marriage. In between she fought for ENDA and anti-bullying and HIV/AIDS funding.

        So, if we are done time traveling, Hillary Clinton has been a champion of the LGBT community. Bernie was only a passive observer to our advances in LGBT civil rights and he opposed gay marriage in Vermont until after 2009.

      • You’re absolutely right, John Smith – I saw the video go viral and have been trying to point out to people how very wrong they are to share it in an attempt to smear candidate Clinton.

    • The problem is she has denied the label of marriage (and the federal recognition of marriage) for gay couples until recently. She has supported legal unions of same sex couples but she used to say she believes marriage is between a man and a woman. Period.

      Also, “in 1994 she stood by her husband as he signed the Defense of Marriage Act, a piece of legislation that codified gay America’s second-class status.” This is why a lot of the gay community is upset by Hillary’s stance. When the going was tough for them, she was against them. She held out a ‘civil union’ as a weak alternative. Now that it’s politically advantageous to be for gay marriage, she is with them.

      Same problem with the vote for Iraq. A lot of people were wrong about the Iraq war, and she now regrets that decision and how it was carried out. What makes a great leader is the foresight to see bad decisions like this coming. She did not smell the bullshit early on and could not see how it would further destabilize the conflicts in the Middle East.

      What I’m trying to say is that Hillary wasn’t some gay-hating bigot in the 90s. Hillary wasn’t some crazy war mongerer in the 2000s. But she sure as hell wasn’t for gay marriage, and she sure as hell did not have the foresight to see what a bad deal going to war in Iraq was.

      • Every national candidate until Barack Obama in 2012 has opposed using the term “marriage” for same sex unions. It’s a fact of life that in order to make progress, the LGBT community understood that our gains would be incremental. DADT helped gays serve their country without being asked that humiliating question “Are you a homosexual”. It wasn’t perfect, but it was an advance in LGBT rights. DOMA was more political, and you are wrong about Hillary being behind her husband when he signed it. It was a terrible decision that he says he regretted making even as he made it. His administration had lost both houses of Congress over gays in the military and health reform.

        In every vote that mattered Hillary has been proudly by our side. These selectively edited videos of her talking about traditional marriage are Bernie Sanders Planned Parenthood videos. It’s a vicious and wrong smear her by editing out the context of these speeches in order to change the meaning of her speech.

      • Also, Hillary never voted to go to war with Iraq. She voted for a resolution authorizing force if the UN determined that Sadam was not cooperating with weapons inspectors. The inspections were working when Bush abused his authority and began bombing. Bush is the one responsible. Not Hillary or any of the other majority of the Senate who joined her.

    • It’s funny if you think about it. She said in 2007 when she ran for president that section 3 of DoMA must be struck down and that Gay people must be beneficiaries of the 1100 benefits that straight people’s marriage affords them. 2 full years before Bernie Sanders.

  2. Why is it so hard to just admit that Hillary, like Obama, has “evolved” on gay rights? She, like most Americans at some point, was against SSM. She came around and changed that opinion. That sort of thing was one of the main goals of the movement for marriage equality: changing hearts and minds. Hillary Clinton was a success story of the campaign.

    Trying to revise history on DOMA and DADT serves nothing. I am a big fan of Bill Clinton even though I think both of those, particularly DOMA, were a blemish on his record. Since I’m a liberal, I have the capacity to 1) forgive past mistakes, 2) understand people change and 3) see the big picture.

    Hillary is great on LGBT issues today. Was she always great on LGBT issues? No, I don’t think she was. Does it really matter today? No, I don’t think it does.

    • You and many others confuse “gay marriage” with “gay rights”. The agenda of most LGBT organizations between 1990-2010 was to pass ENDA and to stave off attacks from The hostile republican majority trying to roll back LGBT civil rights. Hillary has always been rock solid on gay rights even if she was timid on gay marriage.

    • Many things go into an endorsement when you have good candidates who support your agenda. The vote for Hillary was Unanimous among the delegates from each state. They worked with Hillary closely on issues before, whereas Sanders didn’t know the organization’s name.

  3. You forgot to mention “don’t ask don’t tell”….that was great for the LGBT. And here is a video that does show her saying she’s against it in 2008 “Are you for gay marriage?” Her answer was no.

    • “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was an IMPROVEMENT in LGBT civil rights, or are you like Bernie who was against gay people being able to join the military. The video you posted is not Hillary being asked whether she approves of gay marriage, but whether the State of New York should be forced to recognize out of state same sex marriages. Clinton fought against the federal gay marriage ban in 2004 based on the concept that States decide marriage laws. So, your attack fails and you have ony demonstrated that you know nothing about lgbt history and should not be commenting on things you are so obviously ignorant about.

  4. Well all i can say is hillary Clinton got 20 % of her money to run for president from saudi Arabi so that should tell you how she feels about the lgbt community and she wants more of these animals to come and hurt and kill fellow Americans and my family

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