Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Puts Together a Full-Court Press to Land the LGBT Vote

A rainbow flag in every pot; a law for every slight.

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"Let them eat cake! Wait, what?"
Credit: ep_jhu / photo on flickr

Let it not be said that Hillary Clinton is reluctant to see which way the political winds are blowing (not that anybody would say that). Much like Barack Obama, Clinton is a late-comer to same-sex marriage recognition. But now that she's on board, it's full speed ahead. Just before this weekend's Democratic debate, which nobody is going to watch anyway, Clinton has released her campaign platform on LGBT issues.

If anything identifies Clinton as running to be Obama's third term, it's this. A read through the very long agenda shows that she wants to continue with everything the administration is currently pushing for (continuing Obama's actions is actually one of the bullet points) and then some. She wants passage of the Equality Act, an extremely expansive law that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to all federal anti-discrimination policies and drastically increase what kinds of businesses count as a public accommodation under federal jurisdiction. But she also supports the administration's position that "sex discrimination" as described under federal law already covers sexual orientation and gender identity, a novel interpretation that was most certainly not the intent of the anti-discrimination laws when they were written. It's also completely redundant when also pushing for the Equality Act.

Of concern to gay-friendly libertarians: For every grievance, public or private, there is a proposed federal law or government intervention. The campaign notes the problems with states that still have laws that institute discriminatory behavior toward gay couples trying to adopt. Those will get hammered out on the judicial level, no doubt, given the Obergefell decision. But after mentioning state-level discrimination, Clinton's brief muddies the waters by pivoting to private adoption agencies who don't want to work with gay couples. She wants to pass a law to forbid federally funded child welfare agencies from discriminating on the basis of "sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status."

While I've commonly supported the federal government instituting non-discrimination policies for businesses that contract with the government, there's a difference here in that the government is meddling in a system that needs more decentralization, not less. The assumption here is that if an adoption agency does not want to place a child with a gay couple, then that couple (and that child) is just flat out of luck. But that's not how adoption works. Putting restrictive rules that attempt to control the behavior of private adoption agencies could cause them to leave the market. Some are perfectly fine with that and may even celebrate those who they see as bigoted closing their doors. But the end result is fewer people involved in helping parentless children find happy homes. That's a terrible outcome. As long as same-sex couples are able to find agencies that will serve them and place children with them, we should be very, very wary of the federal government trying to push through more rules. (I've warned about these efforts previously.)

Clinton also calls for an end to gay reparative therapy for minors. This is the widely discredited psychological treatment that attempts (and fails) to "cure" homosexuality. While I'm no fan of reparative therapy, this amounts to regulating the speech of therapists under the guise of preventing harm. Psychological therapy has a history of experimental treatments that have turned out to be useless, even harmful, but did not need federal intervention to end. Neither Congress nor the president should be deciding what types of psychotherapy are legitimate.

Clinton's platform, in all, calls for the passage of six specific pieces of legislation on LGBT issues. Beyond that she calls for expanding government services and data in a whole host of other areas, like collecting national data about the actual number of LGBT people in America and increasing funding for programs that fight for LGBT human rights in other countries.

It's not that all of Clinton's LGBT proposals are bad, but rather it's the same problem that there is no interest in the left in differentiating between discrimination caused by the government (bureaucratic bafflement over how to deal with transgender identities) versus what happens in the private sector (wedding cakes). There is absolutely no confidence in the ability for the citizenry to work out issues on their own without government telling them how to behave.

It's all very reminiscent of Elizabeth Nolan Brown's experience at a recent summit on LGBT issues put together by The Atlantic. For every grievance, the government is here to solve it for you. What's missing from this list (and apparently from that Atlantic summit)? What happens when the government actually does use its power to solve grievances over the behavior of private parties. Over the summer, the federal government forcibly shut down Rentboy.com, an extremely popular gay escort site, manipulating a federal law in order to charge its employees with facilitating prostitution. There was no indication that anybody was harmed or trafficked by all this consensual behavior, just that prostitution is illegal and therefore Rentboy had to be shut down. They've had to sell off all their belongings to fund their own defense, because the government has seized their assets. There is nothing in Clinton's platform that suggests that she sees this as a concern. I can't imagine that she does. Many think prostitution is bad. Therefore the government should intervene to stop it.

There was some outrage over the Rentboy raids, but I doubt many (outside libertarian circles) made the connection. When you use the government to solve people's grievances or when you use the government to try to force your perfect world into being, this is what comes of it.

As such, Clinton offering to pass a law or expand executive power for every single LGBT concern should actually make gay people wary. Laws are bonfires. Once they're passed and set blazing, we have very little control over what happens next. If they have not been crafted carefully, they'll spread anywhere the government can force it and people will get burned, their lives turned to ashes.

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  1. Let it not be said that Hillary Clinton is reluctant to see which way the political winds are blowing

    If you’re near Hillary Clinton and you feel winds blowing, you should probably open a window.

  2. The state is just a bonfire we all stoke together, Scott.

    1. Are you suggesting we burn some faggots?

      1. I prefer pot to cigarettes

        1. Faggots are also kindling sticks. Often in bundles on old ladies’ backs on Led Zeppelin album covers.

  3. “Full Court Press”

    …. why does the basketball reference seem so wildly out of place? I’m not sure “Blitz” works any better either.

    And does a democrat really “land” the LBGT vote? Were they adrift at sea, debating their potential support for Trump vs. Vermin Supreme?

    How about “shameless pander”? “Desperate plea”? “hysterical appeal?”

    1. This is an attempt to get Millennials out to the polls. They are not displaying the same enthusiasm for Vagina as they did for Dear Leader. To a lot of Millennials, there is nothing more important than LBGT issues. They need them to actually go out and vote and not just slam the GOP candidates on social media.

    2. Why even bother, really? Like the LGBT vote is unexpectedly going to veer to the right for the first time never in 2016? Like they could bear to stay home rather than participate in another historical vote?

      1. The LGBT crowd would totally go R if they saw a chance to elect the first openly gay president, but that would require Lindsey Graham to start doing better at the polls.

        1. I suspect he does plenty well.

            1. be gaze, do you mean stance?

              1. by gaze

                  1. Bi gays

    3. Also, maybe she’s not taking the primary for granted. Which is probably smart. Bush Sr. assumed he was going to win a second term and that turned out to be a huge mistake.

      1. Hell, Bush Jr. II seemed to think he had it sewn up up until a few months ago.

    4. “And does a democrat really “land” the LBGT vote? Were they adrift at sea, debating their potential support for Trump vs. Vermin Supreme?”

      Of course not!! I mean, out of Trump and Supreme, only ONE has vowed to use his wizard powers to turn homophobic politians gay. With glittermancy on his side, the vote was CLEARLY going to Supreme, no debate needed.

  4. It’s not that all of Clinton’s LGBT proposals are bad, but rather it’s the same problem that there is no interest in the left in differentiating between discrimination caused by the government (bureaucratic bafflement over how to deal with transgender identities) versus what happens in the private sector (wedding cakes). There is absolutely no confidence in the ability for the citizenry to work out issues on their own without government telling them how to behave.

    If you only have a hammer…

    1. There is absolutely no confidence in the ability for the citizenry to work out issues on their own

      That, and the overwhelming fear that citizens will come up with a solution which differs from that of the elite.

      1. That, and the overwhelming fear that citizens will come up with a solution which differs from that of the elite.

        Worse, they will come up with a solution which does not need the elite at the helm, and in fact works so well without the elite that people begin to see the elite for the worthless parasites they are.

  5. collecting national data about the actual number of LGBT people in America

    I bet Trump would be all over this proposal.

    1. Doubt it. I suspect Trump doesn’t much care about LGBT issues enough to collect national data about every LGBTQI person in this country.

      1. I guarantee if you asked him whether we should be tracking LGBTs in this country he would say yes.

        1. I don’t know why when Hillary appears to be eager to do the heavy lifting on that.

        2. Why would he want that? This reminds me of the people that are convinced the GOP is looking to put all them blacks in chains. Nobody gives a fuck about gays and haven’t for my entire lifetime. Apparently I need to keep being reminded of all the jailing and beating of gays in the 70s that appears to have only existed in make believe land. Trump things Muslims are dangerous because they keep killing people. I don’t agree with his solutions but there’s no equivalence. People don’t give a fuck about gays, they just want them to quit suing them if they fail to be celebratory enough, or bake cakes for them.

          1. A-fucking-men.

        3. I don’t think he would.

    2. I don’t think Trump believes the majority of the things he is saying. I doubt he gives a single fuck about gays. Not many people do anymore outside the religious right.

      The Trump hysteria is over the top. He is a blowhard, but I am really skeptical that he is sincere the vast majority of the time. What started as a joke on his end has just taken on a life of its own.

      1. Do you think he goes home every night and says to Melania “What the fuck do I have to do to get off this ride”.

  6. You know this Clinton lady is kind of shameless. Also how many times are we going to attack her, lets talk about Trump.

    1. The Disturbing Story Of Widespread Sexual Assault Allegations At A Major Progressive PR Firm

      Strangely, this would be the first place I’d expect this to happen. Not that any of the allegations are true, but when you’re in a sector that attracts the most likely people to make a noisy accusation… well…

      1. They’ve got text exchanges as proof on this one. The guy literally kept asking a chick interviewing for a job to send him a Maxim style photo. He also walked up in the middle of phone calls and grabbed an underling’s boob. They also had to hire someone to monitor him in his previous place of work due to complaints. The guy is a legit sexual harasser of the kind not really seen any more. If he’d been anything but a well connected prog, he’d have been run out on the rail years ago.

        1. “”They’ve got text exchanges as proof on this one””

          ….

          ….

          why does that sound so funny?

          Weren’t the ‘text exchanges’ and ‘facebook posts’ of an Emma ..couch-dragger-person… completely ignored when insisting she’d been victimized? “Internet stuff” is proof when people want it to be…. and then when they don’t want it to be, well its just harmless internet-stuff and means nothing.

        2. The guy literally kept asking a chick interviewing for a job to send him a Maxim style photo

          Fucking auto correct. He asked her to send him a “Marxism style photo”. It’s a progressive PR firm for chrissakes!

        3. Sounds like he should have joined law enforcement.

      2. Has anyone done a comprehensive investigation into the rampant sexual harassment industry that is Hollywood?

  7. Any chance John might give this one a miss? We get it, libertarians love us some public accommodations.

  8. a novel interpretation that was most certainly not the intent of the anti-discrimination laws when they were written

    Some might have said the said thing about Gay Marriage and The 14th Amendment.

  9. What about the BLTG vote? Who doesn’t want that?

    1. Bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and glucose? I figured the bread is implied.

      1. I like an egg on mine. With Mayo.

        1. You mean your face? Because that’s where your egg is. For ruining BLTs.

          (actually that does sound good. I’ll have to try it next time.)

          1. (wait, runny or scrambled or what?)

            1. Somewhere between over medium and over hard usually. I normally eat my eggs over easy but that gets pretty messy on a sandwich. The toast doesn’t absorb all that much. Can’t really mess it up:)

              1. Usually what I do is break the yolk after the whites start to set, spread the yolk all over the whites with the spatula then flip and finish cooking it.

                1. You stole my recipe!

      2. Some might say the bread is othered.

    2. Some pol out there is missing the real opportunity to coalesce the BLT’s and the PBJ’s into a permanent winning coalition. What American could possibly oppose it?

      1. The BLPBJT is only palatable with banana slices and deep fried.

        1. Stuffed into a chocolate eclair instead of bread.

          1. Sounds like something one could procure at Taco Town.

  10. This is a winning issue for them. They’ll just point out that you can be fired for being gay and anyone who doesn’t think that’s an offense deserving of jail will be a homophobic, right wing, evangelical who contributes to the beatings of tens of thousands of gays every year.

    It stirs up the moral outrage of their base. They’ll watch Selma, fall in love with being moral saviors and head to the polls just like MLK.

  11. Sure, Democrats, run on gun-control and letting dudes use high-school girls’ locker rooms. That will go over great everywhere

  12. Yeah. Like the useful idiots were going to vote for anyone else.

  13. “the end result is fewer people involved in helping parentless children find happy homes.”

    How does *my* marriage affect *you*? The idea that gay rights threatens families is absurd! /derp

    “Of concern to gay-friendly libertarians”

    Libertarians officially are no longer gay-friendly. Sorry. You can join the gay-rights movement and wage war on the private sector, or you can be libertarian and defend the private sector against government overreach, but you will no longer be permitted to do both simultaneously. The gay liberation crowd will see to that.

    From the political point of view, you have been put into the same corner as us reactionary troglodytes. Welcome, comrades, welcome to the wrong side of history!

    1. [A crowd of SoCons begins chanting]

      “One of us! One of us!”

      Reason: “No! No! Get away from me, you freaks!”

    2. The other side seems awfully litigious for being the right side.

      1. So which is the non-litigious right side?

        1. I’d imagine the side with government discharging its obligations over marriage entirely and leaving it to grownups to decide among and for themselves with whom they’re willing to associate and do business. I know, fuck me, right?

          1. I’m not sure I get it, are you saying there’s a side which *isn’t* litigious?

            1. The side which doesn’t wield marriage licensure or discrimination laws like a weapon to bludgeon its adversaries. I know, we don’t count, but fuck them both.

              1. How does one bludgeon with marriage licensure?

                Tell companies that if someone doesn’t have a marriage license, you can’t give him benefits?

                No, under the old SoCon regime companies were free to decide for themselves whether to extend benefits to same-sex couples or cohabiting opposite-sex couples.

                It’s the *new* regime which will dictate to businesses – telling them they *must* provide such benefits to the same extent as it provides them to opposite-sex married couples.

          2. Miss Jones, the English teacher, tells me that the proper phrasing is “I know, fuck me *properly.*”

    3. Anyway, welcome, fellow SoCons.

      If you want anything to drink, there’s grape juice in the fridge.

      Be sure to tune in to Dobson’s radio show, he’s great!

      Mass schedules for Advent are in the bulletin.

      For you lapsed Catholics who are returning to the fold, welcome back, and Father Bob will be happy to schedule a few hours to hear your confession for all the sins you committed while you were away from the Church’s warm embrace.

      .

      1. Oh, and on Tuesday, we’ll be picketing the Miley Cyrus concert to protest her bad influence on the youth. Ladies, be sure to wear your most modest clothes as a rebuke to that slutty singer.

      2. For you lapsed Catholics who are returning to the fold

        What about spindled and mutilated?

  14. Damn it! From the headline, I thought she was having a sex change operation.

    1. [offensive follow-up joke deleted]

  15. You know what this country desperately needs? A federal law that makes it a crime to refuse to hire a guy in a dress. That is truly the largest, most pressing issue of today.

    We have truly reached a level of insanity and decadence that rivals the late Roman Empire. Though I’m not sure they were as obsessed with trivia as we seem to be.

    1. If the Romans had had Facebook, they sure would have been.

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