The Democratic candidates: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders
Although the US has made remarkable progress with LGBT rights in a relatively short time, there is still much work to be done– especially with the presidential election this November 8. Fortunately, the Democratic candidates generally seem to be in favor of advancing LGBT rights.
With the withdrawal of the other candidates of the Democratic Party, the remaining two still in the running are: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Match-up of Democratic candidates
Hillary’s LGBT platform is probably the most robust between the two candidates, which earned her an endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT group in the country, as well as the support of LPAC.
The wife of former president Bill Clinton, Hillary came out in support of same-sex marriage almost three years ago despite more than a decade of opposing it.
After leaving her position as Secretary of State under the Obama administration, she announced her support for marriage equality in a video with the HRC on March 18, 2013. Likewise, during a town hall, Hillary said she intends to push for full LGBT equality.
Democratic candidates’ track records
However, Hillary’s voting record isn’t quite as LGBT-friendly as Bernie’s own record. Hillary scored an 89 percent rating from HRC in its report card on how politicians have voted on federal legislation affecting LGBT people.
On the other hand, Bernie– a self-described socialist– has been more vocal about LGBT rights in general, and scored a 100 percent rating from the HRC (though he didn’t fully support marriage equality until 2009).
When Bernie ran for office in Vermont in 1972 and 1976, he was an outspoken ally of the LGBT community. One of his platform planks was his proposal to abolish all discriminatory laws pertaining to sexuality.
Considering your Democratic candidates
Ironically, there were three Democratic candidates– Hillary, Bernie, and Martin O’Malley– prior to the recent Iowa caucus this January. The aftermath left only the only two strongest candidates: Hillary and Bernie.
Though Hillary won this round, it was only by a thin margin as she received 49.84 percent while Bernie received 49.59 percent.
But despite Bernie’s strong showing last week, there are some who still question the probability of Bernie winning against the Republicans come November if he ever wins the Democratic nominations.
The next round will be this week, with the two Democratic candidates facing off at the New Hampshire primary.