Hillary Clinton Speaks To Human Rights Campaign On LGBT Rights

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton addressed members of the Human Rights Campaign this morning, speaking passionately about LGBT rights.

From ABC News:

“Ben Carson says that marriage equality is what caused the fall of the Roman empire,” the Democratic presidential candidate said to laughter during a breakfast at the LGBT rights organization’s annual gathering in Washington, D.C.

Clinton then mentioned Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, which drew hisses and boos from the crowd gathered inside the grand ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel, and went on to challenge him to join her at a gay pride parade.

“Ted Cruz slammed a political opponent for marching in a pride parade. He clearly has no idea what he’s missing. Pride parades are so much fun. I was marching in them back when I was first lady. You should join sometime Senator, come on,” she said.

Both Carson and Cruz have said they believe marriage is between a man and a woman. ABC News has reached out to their campaigns for comment to Clinton’s remarks.

“Hillary would have everyone believe she’s been in favor of marriage equality since the fall of the Roman Empire,” Carson campaign spokesman Doug Watts said. “When she’s not lying, she’s spinning!”

“We need to say with one voice that transgender people are valued, loved, and one of us,” she said. “Transgendered people are still banned from serving … that is an outdated rule. I support the policy review that Defense Secretary [Ash] Carter recently announced in the Pentagon. I hope the United States joins many other countries and lets transgendered people join openly.”

She later called out the Republican presidential candidates for ignoring the issue all together.

“See if you are ever in a forum with any of them, if you can get them to say the word transgendered,” she said.

Speaking of The Equality Act, which has been introduced in Congress, which would outlaw discrimination against LGBTs in virtually every corner of society, Hillary said this:

“It’s a noble piece of legislation that deserves to become the law of the land. As president, I will fight for it and I hope many of you will be with me when I sign it into law.”

Human Rights Campaign to donate $1 million to marriage equality fight

The Human Rights Campaign is sending $250,000 apiece to Maine, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota to help with same-sex marriage ballot measures in each of those states, Politico reports:

Officials said there will be more spending coming, and that it makes the total spent by HRC in 2011 and 2012 on marriage-related efforts to $4.8 million.

“These ballot measures are the critical issues in November for our community, besides re-electing the president” and a small handful of specific races, said HRC’s Michael Cole-Schwartz. “And part of why they’re a big deal is because our opponents have rightfully had the talking points that all of these states have banned marriage for same-sex couples (in the past).”

Maine is the only state with a ballot measure that would legalize same-sex marriage.

Washington and Maryland are fighting repeals of laws passed in 2011.

Minnesota is battling a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

Human Rights Campaign: ‘Buying for Workplace Equality Guide 2012’

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), yesterday released the popular guide to hundreds of American brands rated on businesses’ treatment of LGBT employees. “Buying for Workplace Equality 2012” divides businesses and their consumer products into red, yellow and green categories based on their score on HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index.

The index is a nationally recognized benchmark of LGBT inclusion. The guide is available for download and viewing online at www.hrc.org/BuyersGuide.

“The holiday buying season is upon us and this year we again have the chance to send a message to businesses that we are watching,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Fair-minded consumers who care about how a company treats their LGBT employees have a powerful tool in the Buying for Workplace Equality Guide.”

“This is our community’s chance to vote with our dollars and send America’s businesses a clear message that equal treatment of LGBT employees is good for the bottom line. Especially in today’s economy, equality is good business.” said Solmonese.

Read more at HRC.