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Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in 2016 Elections, Politics, Satire, Women | 8 comments

What New Clinton Emails Reveal about Gay Rights Issues at State


Some are focusing on the more juicy revelations the latest trove of Clinton emails has to offer. For example, how, according to a quipping Gail Collins, Hillary Clinton:

• Misspelled “Benghazi.”
• Urged John Podesta to wear socks to bed.
• Debated whether her playlist should include something from the Marvelettes.
• Tutored an aide on how to use a fax.

Jackie Kucinich at the Daily Beast, however, digs into some of the less earthshaking aspects of Clinton’s emails, revealing her position on issues important to some of us.

Kucinich points out how, as secretary of state, Hillary fought to make LGBT people part of her department’s mission and how, according to the newly released emails, “she was dedicated to expanding gay rights both domestically and abroad from the beginning of her term.”

Starting in 2009 and “culminating in her 2011 United Nations speech declaring, ‘Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,’” the emails “offer a look at how Clinton and her staff began to make LGBT individuals part of their mission,” according to Kucinich.

Kucinich cites emails showing how Clinton “evolved” on gay marriage, albeit one year slower than President Obama did; extended benefits to the same-sex partners of diplomats; was concerned about brutal treatment of and laws passed against gays in the Middle East and Africa.

Kucinich admits that outside the State Department “Clinton was not always seen as a leader in the fight for gay rights” and mentions the 2014 NPR interview where Hillary’s answers on her “evolution” on gay marriage “puzzled many advocates.”:

“So, for me, marriage had always been a matter left to the states,” Clinton said. “And in many of the conversations that I and my colleagues and supporters had, I fully endorse the efforts by activists who work state by state, and in fact that is what is working.”
“I know her heart, but it is terrible framing,” Hilary Rosen, an advocate for LGBT rights and Clinton ally told The Huffington Post at the time. “Since this is going to the Supreme Court potentially on that question, I was surprised at her ‘old school’ framing of that. Since she has ‘evolved,’ why not just get rid of that old red herring, too?”

Kucinich concludes:

Still, to those who worked and advocated at the State Department for LGBT rights, the moves in 2009 set the tone for a very pro-LGBT State Department.
“I know she advanced things for LGBT State Department employees, but her impact was much greater in terms of setting a global policy agenda,” Socarides told The Daily Beast. “We have never had a champion before in this arena.”

Lead photo: kisa kuyruk /

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  • tidbits

    A nicely balanced view of HRC. You point out that she is center left on LGBT issues. Not as far left as some would like, but committed to LGBT rights generally, and certainly a far cry from “Republican lite” as some would try to define her.

    As a lawyer she should have been aware of Loving v. Virginia and the ability of the Supreme Court to use constitutional analysis to end discrimination in marriage on a national basis. I wish she were earlier to the game on the issue of marriage equality, but her other steps on LGBT issues as Secretary of State, both internally within the agency and internationally, are admirable.

    • DdW

      As you, I also feel her positions on all LGBT issues could have been/should have been earlier, stronger, etc. However, this is not a perfect world and there is no such thing as a perfect candidate who feels exactly the same as one does on all his or her pet issues..

      Sometimes one has to balance things and not obsess.

  • Waldez

    Hilliary Clinton would and will say anything to improve her position. Ms. Clinton is a pathological liar as evidenced by her memories of bravery under fire in Bosnia. Good riddance Brian Williams, but Hilliary’s story was better, and I loved how she added emphasis through her body movements. John Travolta couldn’t have been more convincing. Glad you see her as a heroine Tidbits, get out the Credit Cards and send her some help.

    • tidbits

      Hillary’s no hero to me, but you’re welcome to your opinion. My position has been clearly stated here many times. My principal concern is the Supreme Court, with probably four positions to fill in the next 4 – 8 years. I want those positions filled by a Democrat, and, for those positions to be filled by a Democrat, the Democrats must nominate an electable Democrat for the presidency.

      Sanders is not electable. A majority of American voters will NOT vote for a socialist, and Sanders is a self-admitted socialist. That leaves O’Malley (with the following of zero, perhaps less), Chafee (who doesn’t even register in the American conscience), Webb (Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy) or Clinton. Show me an alternative to HRC who is electable, and I will back that person all-in. But, there is currently no such person. Right now it is Clinton or a nominee who will provide a likelihood of a Republican president with the right wing Supreme Court nominations to follow.

      You’re welcome to your Quixotic and idealistic musings. I am a realist, knowing the impact of Republican appointments to the Supreme Court if Democrats can’t nominate an electable candidate. My view is that of a pragmatist…shove your pipe dreams…there are real consequences at stake here that babes-in-the-woods are blind to because of their idealism. This is about winning, not chasing an idealistic dream and ceding the future to a committed right wing judiciary.

      Show me an electable alternative to Clinton and we can talk. Until then, grow up and understand that there is more to reality than some idealized fantasy of the world as you want it.

      • The_Ohioan

        The best way to get a reasonable SC appointee is to fill the Senate with Democrats who must confirm them. And get laws passed that requires SC justices to obey the rules all other federal judges must follow re consorting with political operatives and recusal when owning stock (the latest problem).

        Filling the House with progressive Democrats wouldn’t hurt, either.

        • dduck12

          Isn’t abut time to come up with a less political party dominated appointment process? No, I don’t have an answer, just asking, since we could wind up electing a terrible president solely because of potential SC appointments (of course congress has to apporove, so that helps). just saying.

      • dduck12

        Wow, pretty harsh welcome to the club. 🙂

  • archangel

    Hi there Kurt Jennet/ Waldez,
    Please read the Commenters Rules at the top of the masthead before you comment again. We like to run thoughtful comments rather than snark and sarcasm, for our readers like to read more than just opining. Facts and factual links are good. Civility is the rule. Abide and all is well.



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