The nation’s largest LGBT rights organization is calling on the next president to lead a bold effort across the federal government to strengthen protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a Washington-based advocacy group, is preparing to release a report after the election urging more than 70 specific policy changes that would ban LGBT discrimination in federal programs and show a government-wide commitment to diversity in gender identification and sexual orientation.
“Over the past 8 years, the Obama administration has worked to systematically dismantle this discriminatory infrastructure of federal inequality that has plagued the LGBTQ community since this country’s founding,” an 18-page executive summary obtained by The Post stated.
“However, in the wake of years of tremendous federal progress, the LGBTQ community finds itself at yet another crossroads. There is still so much left undone.”
HRC, which endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Jan. 19, outlined dozens of recommendations Clinton is likely to weigh if she becomes president. Clinton has made LGBT issues a pillar of her campaign and has said she would work to appoint Supreme Court justices who support the 2015 high court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
The future of LGBT policy will be much less clear if Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wins the White House on Tuesday. Trump has said publicly on numerous occasions since 2000 that he supports “traditional marriage.” In January, just before the Iowa caucuses, he criticized the Supreme Court’s decision and said he would “strongly consider” appointing judges to overrule it if he is elected president.
“I don’t like the way they ruled,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News. “I disagree with the Supreme Court from the standpoint that it should be a states’ rights issue and that’s the way it should have been ruled on … If I’m elected, I would be very strong in putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things.”
Among its proposals, HRC urges the next president to appoint the first openly LGBT cabinet secretary and to add more LGBT individuals to the ranks of judges, executive officials and ambassadors.
“It is essential that federal judiciary and executive offices reflect the diversity of the country,” the group stated.
The policy recommendations were close to comprehensive, and ranged from ending the prohibition on military enlistment and deployment for people with HIV, to ensuring transgender veterans have access to gender transition procedures, to strengthening safeguards for LGBT refugees, to creating a federal definition of bullying under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
HRC also urged the Federal Trade Commission under the next administration to prohibit the practice of “conversion therapy” as fraudulent and take action against individuals and organizations that offer it. Conversion therapy is the scientifically discredited practice of treating individuals with the goal of ending their attraction to people of the same sex, and is widely criticized by gay rights advocates.
In January, Clinton promised to end the practice of “conversion therapy” on minors if elected, support transgender people serving in the military and back legislation to include discrimination against LGBT people in the Civil Rights Act.