Well now this may shed some light on Hillary’s true attitude towards LGBTQs and our rights: A Wikileaks document-dump reveals that she has some thoughts on queer people that her campaign isn’t quite ready to share with the world. But share we must.
Here’s the background: Wikileaks obtained — somehow — a trove of emails from top Clinton advisors. The source of the hack appears to be a Russian individual (or collective) called Guccifer 2.0, though many intelligence officials believe that the Russian government is involved, possibly motivated to steer American public opinion toward electing Donald Trump.
The emails generally do not reveal anything too exciting; they’re the usual blah-blah-blah of political logistics and boring messages. But at one point, they show that a New York Times reporter named Mark Leibovich was working with Clinton’s campaign on an interview with very tight restrictions around access. The campaign insisted that the entire conversation be off-the-record — that is, informational only, with the option for the campaign to approve quotes later on.
Among the quotes that Leibovich asked them to approve: A silly quip about Sarah Palin eating moose, and a more serious observation from Hillary Clinton: “gay rights has moved much faster than women’s rights or civil rights, which is an interesting phenomenon somebody in the future will unpack,” she said.
This is an interesting point, though the wording is not totally awesome. Gay rights are often women’s rights; and they are usually civil rights. They’re not wholly separate struggles. And we seldom use the term “gay rights” outside of an ironic context: The rights that gay people seek are the same as the rights everyone else has. The right to not be enslaved isn’t called “Black rights.”
But her larger point, that LGBTQ liberation has moved at a surprisingly rapid pace, is quite correct. It’s a shame that her campaign shot down that quote for use by the reporter, because it certainly could have spurred an interesting conversation. Why have queer people gained acceptance so fast? Maybe it’s because we’re in every family, in every town, we’re familiar and close and approachable. Of course, you could say the same thing about women, so it doesn’t fully explain the rapid advances — we went from queer relationships being unthinkable to marriage being legal in just 40 years. It would be fascinating to hear Hillary’s thoughts on the subject.
But fortunately, when it comes to her general attitudes on LGBT rights, we don’t have to do a lot of guesswork. Yes, she was slow to come around on marriage, but she got there. Her campaign has a detailed plan to fight bullying and the abusive practices around changing sexual orientation. She has a plan to fix the records of people discharged under DADT. She intends to apply international pressure on behalf of queer people. She has a remarkable HIV policy.
She may be crafty and calculating with her words — like all political leaders — but even if we never found out what she says about us in private, there’s no questioning her commitment to the community.