Santa has returned to the North Pole, the Hanukkah gelt has all been eaten, and Auld Lang Syne has been sung. As our eggnog-fueled hangovers lift, Democrats across the country prepare to make an important decision in the coming weeks that will directly affect whether or not the White House remains firmly blue for the next four years.
For LGBT voters, this decision couldn't be any more important. Selecting the right nominee who will not only defend the progress of the last eight years but can win the general election and carry our movement forward is critical for our community. Here are five reasons why I believe that Hillary Clinton is the right person to be our nominee and next president.
Supreme Court & Marriage Equality
While campaigning for his wife in New Hampshire this week, former President Bill Clinton reminded voters that the next president could nominate as many as three Supreme Court justices. This reality should scare the pants off of all the legally wed gay and lesbian couples across our land. Let's face it, we've only had true marriage equality for six months and that was by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision. There is no reason for us to assume that this issue cannot swing back to the court in the coming years. If a Republican wins the presidency in November, we could be looking at a reversed ruling that would take decades to undo. Hillary Clinton firmly supports marriage equality. Please spare me the whole Defense of Marriage argument from the 1990s. There's hardly a person that has not evolved on this issue. Heck, my own mother wasn't even for gay marriage until recently. Times change and people grow. Besides, marriage equality is not the only issue affecting our community that the Supreme Court could address. We need Hillary Clinton as our nominee because as president she will appoint justices that will protect and expand LGBT rights.
It's hard to believe, but gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender people can lose their jobs just for being who they are in many states. Not only that, they can be denied an apartment or public housing simply for being born LGBT. Hillary Clinton supports the Equality Act, a bill before Congress that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The GOP candidates for president do not support this bill. In fact, many Republicans oppose all efforts to protect LGBT Americans. We need Hillary as our nominee because as president she will stand up for our right to work and live free from discrimination.
It was just a few short years ago that LGBT people could not serve openly in the military. While some GOP candidates for president are advocating a return to Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Hillary Clinton wants to upgrade the service records of LGBT veterans who were dismissed for their sexual orientation and to make sure transgender people can serve openly in the military. We need Hillary Clinton as our nominee because as president she will ensure members of our community don't have to go back into the shadows while serving to protect our homeland.
Gender, Gender, Gender
The fact that Hillary Clinton couldn't have even voted, nevertheless ran to become president one hundred years ago is a testament to that fact that equality in our country continues to expand. We all know by now that two people of different genders can legally make different salaries while doing the exact same job. However, we may not all know that people who are transgender in the United States often struggle just to even find employment or that transgender people are very often the victims of brutal hate crimes. Hillary Clinton supports ending discrimination against transgender people and supports working with law enforcement to ensure that the transgender community is better protected and better able to fully participate in society without fear. We need Hillary Clinton as our nominee because as president she will make sure that transgender Americans can live the same safe and fulfilling lives as everyone else.
Finally, it all comes down to who can actually win in November. While Democrats have three dynamic candidates to choose from, only one will be selected to take on the Republican nominee in a head to head matchup this fall. Hillary Clinton has withstood a juggernaut of public scrutiny, both personal and political, and still stands strong. In fact, I'm hard -pressed to name another soul who could have not only survived, but thrived the way Hillary Clinton has done. First-lady, Senator, Secretary of State; she is woman hear her roar! We need Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee because she will win in November and will go on to make her-story as the first female President of the United States who fights for the rights of the LGBT community.