Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker for a gala hosted by the South Carolina Equality Sunday, where she outlined her plans to fight for LGBT equality if elected to the presidency next year.
"I know from the conversations that I've had you [SC Equality] have stood with families across South Carolina," she said. "You have stood up for young people, who sometimes feel so hopeless and alone, and told them, 'It does get better.'"
Clinton explained how should would work on LGBT issues nationwide and referenced local incidents in South Carolina as well. Clinton citied Chase Culpepper, a transgender teen who was told to remove her makeup for a driver's license photo. Culpepper eventually won a lawsuit over the incident. The politician also discussed Crystal Moore, a local police chief who was fired by the mayor of Latta, S.C., because she was gay. The town rallied against Moore and she was reinstated.
"I thought the struggle over voting rights was over in the 1960s," Clintons said. "And here we are, once again fighting to make sure people get to register and vote and not be stopped with artificial barriers. Well, it is the same with the rights of the LGBT community."
The vote just a few days ago in Houston is a reminder that fear and misconceptions exist, and there are still too many people willing to exploit them for political gain. There are still too many places in our country, and there's too many places here in South Carolina, where LGBT Americans are targeted for harassment and even violence. And there are way too many young people who are uncertain, even scared of what their future might hold.
So here in this really lovely setting for this celebratory dinner, I want to ask you not to forget how much work still lies ahead.
Clinton went on to say that getting Congress to pass the Federal Equality Act will be on her agenda, as well as better health care of the LGBT community. She said she will also work to get Republican governors to extend Medicate and update service records of military members who were dishonorable discharged for being gay. Clinton said she wants to ensure trans people can serve in the military and promises to address violence against trans people in the U.S.
She also commented on the conservative religious rights' views on marriage equality and LGBT rights, saying she wants to invite GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, who has notoriously made anti-gay marriage remarks in the past, to a Pride event. No surprise, the audience let go a loud moan.
"Amid ridiculous and offensive comments, there are deadly serious issues at stake. Every single Republican candidate is against marriage equality," Clinton said. "Many of them are already on record as being against laws to end discrimination. Many are against same-sex couples adopting. And as has already been said, the next Supreme Court may have three, possibly four, openings during the next presidency.
"We cannot afford to take a risk," she continued. "I will do my part to make sure issues such as these are given the attention they deserve on the campaign trail, and more importantly I intend to be and will be your partner in the White House."