Rebecca Juro

Hillary Dodges The Trans-Inclusive ENDA Question Again

Filed By Rebecca Juro | February 02, 2008 1:33 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics, Politics, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: ENDA, Hillary Rodham Clinton, LGBT, media, politics, queer

Check this video out.

Kudos to Jason Bellini for at least asking the question. A pity he didn't bother to follow-up and press for an actual answer when Clinton completely ignored the actual question and went off about hate crimes. She didn't even have the courage to give a firm answer on that either, even though a trans-inclusive hates crimes has already passed both Houses of Congress. If anyone had a doubt about her lack of commitment to fighting for LGBT equality as President, here's the video evidence of her political cowardice in action.

Personally, I think it's just unbelievably sad that even in an election year none of the mainstream LGBT television or radio shows can seem to be bothered with actual journalism, pressing for the facts when candidates and others seek to avoid the tough questions. No wonder the blogs are so popular. As time goes on, it's more and more evident that we won't be getting the answers we need to make fully informed choices from these LGBT-oriented mainstream media, nor will we be getting them from Hillary Clinton in any case.

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Thanks for the video link. However, if Hillary is accused of anything it should be either a) not knowing her subject matter well, or b) confusing issues based on an amgibuous lead-in from the interviewer.

In fact, she did not ignore the question. This was her response: "Well, I think we need to protect all Americans." The T community would be included under this "umbrella of citizenship".

While her response (either on ENDA or Hate Crime) would have been stronger by specifying "transgendered", I don't view her answer--which was all-inclusive-- as evasive or unsupportive. Personally, I haven't decided who receives my vote yet; but it will be either Obama or Clinton. Both have merit; neither is perfect.

I disagree, Keri. It was quite clear what Bellini was asking, and also quite clear that Clinton didn't go anywhere near a substantive answer to his question.

When you add in the fact that her campaign staff includes Barney Frank, and about 3/4 of the Human Rights Campaign Executive Board, all of whom are actively working against a transgender-inclusive ENDA, it's not hard to understand why she refused to answer the actual question posed.

It's really easy for Clinton to say she supports trans-inclusion in hate crimes. That bill has already successfully passed both Houses of Congress. It takes real courage, fortitude, and leadership to honestly voice her position on whether or not she will support the inclusion of protections for gender-variant Americans in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

In this video, we see how completely lacking Clinton is when called upon to really demonstrate those qualities in regards to LGBT rights. To my way of thinking, it's an excellent guide to the kind of President she'll be when called upon to stand up for real American justice.

MauraHennessey | February 2, 2008 4:09 PM

She has become, alas, more and more vague on a good many things. She will be put on the spot this week, and under the spotlight as my state, the state that she represents, now has same-sex marriage, provided that you get married across the border.

Her "nuanced" responses on multiple issues will require hard answers finally. In this instance, the marriage issues just might be able to help ENDA and trans-rights rather than distract from them. She will not be able to evade on LGBT issues any longer.

I am getting married in May in Canada by the way and a group of us celebrated last eve, since my fiancee' and I will still be married when we travel the less than one mile across the river back into New York for the reception.

Ye Olde Fart | February 2, 2008 4:45 PM

By no means am I a Clinton supporter, but let's be honest. She did say that rights under the law should protect ALL people.
I think that includes trans-people.
Unless, you think that they are not people. Then, that would be another matter entirely.

Hillary Clinton, unlike Barack Obama, had to be dragged, kicking and screaming to the table labeled "LGBT."

Obama has a demonstrated, legislative record of support of LGBT rights going back to his days in the Illinois senate.

Hillary, by contrast, admitted in the recent LOGO/HRC chat, that she opposed repealing her husband's DOMA -- she only supports repealing article 3 of the vicious act.

But, what more can you expect from Hillary Clinton?

She voted for the Iraq war and refuses to say it was a wrong vote; voted for Bush's USA Patriot Act and then again to reauthorize it; and voted for a cynical flag burning amendment to curry favor with Red State southerners.

Hillary Clinton is just more of what we've had since 2000. No thanks.

YOF, it's easy to say such things, harder by far to actually stand up and define such generalities with specific, concrete positions. Obama has done so repeatedly, Clinton has avoided doing so, just as repeatedly.

I don't agree with Obama on every single issue, but at least I can say I know where he stands. That's far more than I can say about Hillary.

A skilled segue into Hate Crimes, methinks - a more emotive issue for viewers, maybe? Typical politician's manoeuvre IMO, and I had just had a decade of Tony Blair. :-)

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | February 2, 2008 7:08 PM

Rebecca, thanks for posting this. Clinton's response was indeed unsettling.

I wish liberals had someone to choose other than Obama or Clinton.

Michael Bedwell | February 2, 2008 7:13 PM

Rebecca, aren't you the least bit tired, let alone ashamed, of continuing to willfully misstate the facts by YOUR words? Do you not hold YOURSELF to the extreme standard of unequivocal explicitness that you indict and convict and crucify Sen. Clinton for?

"all of whom are actively working against a transgender-inclusive ENDA"

Believing that submitting a bill that includes transgenders would kill any opportunity for any group's protection is something you have every right to disagree with both in strategy and principle but is not, ipso facto, the same thing as being anti-transgender no matter how angry and hurt you are—and have a right to be in terms of the rubber of reality hitting the road.

By YOUR "logic," I can prove to you that OBAMA is "anti-transgender"—and antigay and antilesbian and antibisexual—because it is a fact, not my opinion, not my interpretation, but a matter of record of the legislature of Illinois, that, regardless of what he had done before [and he dishonestly exaggerates that], he CHOSE not to become a cosponsor of the bill protecting all of those groups from job, housing, etc., discrimination in Illinois that finally passed. Nor did he convince his personal friend, Sen./Rev. James Meeks to vote for it. It passed by a SINGLE vote no thanks to the great Sen. Obama.

Set aside, if you can, your Super Deluxe Hillary Hatred for a moment, and ask yourself WHY he chose not to even take a few seconds to sign onto the bill, over the nine months when he could, let alone take time out of his campaign for the US Senate to lobby for it if he is SO committed to LGBT rights?

As for DOMA Section 2 [which, despite the myth, bans NOTHING], Sen. Obama is on record as STILL supporting a state's right to legally deny gay relationships no matter what they're called, which will still be true after the Section is repealed. He also believes states should be able to ban gay adoption if they choose. You're being played, Christopher! Stop cooperating!

Thank you.

There is a lot to be said for the fact
that Clinton had to be dragged into
anything that would pin her down to
some kind of alternative lifestyle
position is amazing to say the least.
remember her husband couldn't be corralled on
The same subject eight years ago.
This really sets the tone of what the Clinton political engine is all about.

look at This

it should make anybody wonder....
I have always felt that the Clinton's Colter and company were always in the same camp.
a tell tail sign of this is "mandatory Health insurance" whatever happened to freedom of choice.
Whatever happened to a The Republic our forefathers founded?

If you don't like that Google link to Ann Colter's endorsement there are more just go look Even one from Faux News.

Personally I don't care which party gets in power as long as I am not forced to do anything against my will like sign up to a health care plan that is neither a plan, health care or voluntary.

While the really big issue here is GLBT rights, i don't see that is really being an issue that would impact our daily lives. Think about it.....
Has Eight years of Bush changed your freedom regarding GLBT rights?
No it hasn't however we have lost much of our freedoms because of Bush's reaction to an enemy we only have their word exists.


While I favor Obama over Hillary, it looked to me like she was trans inclusive. She said, "all," so I suppose that means, well, "all." I think if she'd just said "gays and lesbians" then we'd have something...

To use the word "all" gives her latitude enough that she can't really be pinned down. Sue uses the word like the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence use the word. You know
"all men are created equal"

I keep falling back to that famous quote from Bill
"it depends on what the meaning of "is", is"

I could never trust anybody that thinks that way.

When i see her speak in Kentucky with a phony accent and several places with accents that are part of the social topography of what region she is speaking in , i can't help but question her honesty. Sorry if i have offended anyone, i just can't see having someone in the White House that comes off as that much of a flim flan artist.

If i had to vote Democrat (that being with a gun to my head) I would have to vote for Obama.


Michael B., if you've been paying attention for the last several months, you know that HRC and Barney Frank ARE, in fact, working toward a non-inclusive ENDA. Barney has gone on record on the House floor as supporting exactly that, he has said in the media that the 2009 version will be non-inclusive, and HRC has been proven in multiple ways to be supporting his effort. This is not supposition, it is fact, and everyone knows it. I don't believe I misstated anything.

I can point to exactly where Obama says he supports trans inclusion, I can dig out a video clip of him doing so. Where's Hillary's statement on the matter? Good luck finding one. She dodges the question every time it's been put to her.

Bil, c'mon, you know as well as I do that Clinton saying she supports the rights of all LGBT people is as vague and meaningless as when HRC says it. If she really believed that, she'd lay out her position on the rights of the gender-variant as clearly as she has in regards to gays and lesbians. The fact that she hasn't chosen to do so even once during this entire campaign should tell you something.

Michael Bedwell | February 2, 2008 10:10 PM

Oh, I paid a great deal of attention, detailed attention, and discovered that some people are too attached to being professional victims to move on, or listen or speak objectively. Some people no matter what anyone else says will always go nuclear when disagreed with. Will always keep adjusting their semantic dial a little bit when rationally and fairly questioned about their previous assertions. Who will always scream down those who understand the difference between a proposed bill and law, between content and intent, between possibility and fantasy. Sen. Obama might want to hedge his hopes of bringing us all together after tuning it to Radio Transylvania.

After hearing nothing but static for so long I admit I did change channels about the time Tammy Baldwin had veered a little bit from the Party Line. Please update me: did that get her strung up to the Official Enemies List with Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank? If not then, did her endorsement of Hillary hoist her to the Hate Mast?

As for your request, "Where's Hillary's statement on the matter," we trust these, even if they came from Nazi Headquarters, er, HRC, will suffice as they are Sen. Obama's answers, too.

QUESTION: Currently, there is no federal law protecting individuals from job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Qualified, hardworking Americans can still be denied job opportunities, fired or otherwise be discriminated against just because of their sexual orientation in 33 states and because of their gender identity in 42 states As president, would you support and work for passage of a federal bill that would prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity?


QUESTION: Currently the federal hate crimes law does not protect all Americans from bias motivated violence. Would you support federal legislation that adds sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability to existing federal law giving authority to the federal government to investigate and prosecute violent crimes (H.R. 1592)? This
authority already exists for crimes committed because of the victim’s race, color, religion
and national origin and because they were attempting to exercise a federally protected


CLINTON COMMENT: I believe that hate crimes undermine the fundamental principle upon which our nation was founded, that all men and women are equal. I will strengthen law enforcement and prosecution of discriminatory acts of violence against gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals. I am a co-sponsor of the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act and as president, will sign it into law.

OBAMA COMMENT: I am a cosponsor of the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, which would expand federal jurisdiction to reach violent hate crimes perpetrated because of the race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or physical disability of the victim.

Ok Michael, let me be more specific: Where can you cite these words coming out of Hillary's mouth or at least in a statement coming personally from her? I have yet to see even one, while I can think of at least two, just off the top of my head coming directly from Obama.

Why does the direct statement matter? Because of who she chooses to align herself with politically, people who are directly and publicly opposed to a trans-inclusive ENDA. Remember, Barney Frank and HRC both were publicly in favor of an inclusive ENDA before they flip-flopped and began working against it. Why should anyone take a year-old statement from Hillary on ENDA as gospel, which may or may not even have been personally written by her, when both Barney and HRC were saying basically the very same thing at that time too?

The fact is that if she really supports an inclusive ENDA then she should have no problem saying so when asked, yet she dodges the question every time it comes up. Why do you think that is, Michael? Why has she avoided the question for the entirety of this campaign if she's really fully in favor of an inclusive ENDA?

It's easy to talk in politically palatable generalities on an HRC questionnaire. It's quite another thing for a candidate to actually come out and say directly that they support something. Obama has done it, more than once. We're still waiting for Hillary's first time.

Michael Bedwell | February 3, 2008 12:38 AM

Not that I think they're remotely, rationally necessary, but if one gave you your latest demand, even if Hillary sat herself on your face and repeated them during an intergalactically televised 3D broadcast you would still find some other excuse to throw dry mud pies from your Goodwill Store purse.

One could observe how strange it is by contrast that you put so much faith in Obama's similar mere words, printed and pontificated, when it was action he failed at in Illinois when he chose to go AWOL when the fight for an LGBT repeat T T T T T T T T T T T T T bill was being waged there—and then lied and said he was the General in charge.

But, atheist that I am, it would be unChristian of me to keep trying to pull you out of your warm pool of liquid baloney as you treasure it so. If misery loves company you are your own best friend. really should listen to my radio show, Michael. Last night, I said on the air that if Hillary really was out front in favor of the issues I care about and Obama wasn't I'd change my vote in a heartbeat. However, that just isn't the case and it never has been.

I'd love to see a woman as President, but not this particular woman. In addition to all of the problems I've already noted, Hillary runs away from the tough questions, she panders to the wealthy and powerful, and she gives little more than lip service to the issues of lower and middle class Americans when she's not completely ignoring us outright.

This is the same woman who said, back when she was first running for the Senate, that she didn't support trans rights because no one in the gay and lesbian community had asked her to. That kind of ignorance scares me, and I've seen nothing thus far to indicate she's become any more educated and in tune with our issues since then.

Will I vote for her if she's the nominee? Of course I will, the alternative would be far worse. Do I think she would be a good President? Maybe...but I'm also quite sure that Obama will be a better one. He goes on the record speaking on what he believes, and he goes out of his way to do so. Hillary goes out of her way to do exactly the opposite. That tells me something about both of them and the kind of President each of them would be.

Geez, I can't believe that people are taking her "all people" phrasing to mean anything at all. Ron Paul talks about protecting "all people"'s rights while he talks about overturning Lawrence, Huck talks about how "all people" are children of God while he wants to quarantine AIDS patients, Romney talks about respecting "all people"'s religions while he says he'll legislate fundamentalist Protestantism, etc.

"All people" is a meaningless phrase. In the video, she was directly asked about transgender protections in ENDA, and she answered vaguely about hate crimes leg. Either she has the oral comprehension skills of a second-grader or she didn't want a soundbite out there of her supporting a inclusive ENDA.

I don't really see what Bellini did wrong here, though. He coulda pushed, yeah, but her answer speaks for itself. And it's a hell of a lot better than that Advocate interview that was more enamored with the color of her pantsuit.

Hillary was undeniably slippery in response to the question. She could have very easily composed a forth right response, but chose to reply with the colloquial phrase "a law to protect all americans." As previously stated, she does not wish to go on record as in support of transgender rights. She fears that making an openly strong commitment for GLBT equality will harm her campaign effort. DADT can be, and has been, recently construed as a purely strategic issue in the matter of maintaining a strong military. Hillary's reference to DADT was, as usual, a masterful side step. She is the consumate politician, providing the illusion of support to all issues from every angle. Unfortunately, that observation destroys my confidence in anything she might say. Every time i look at her I picture the evil emperor in "Star Wars."

"In fact, she did not ignore the question. This was her response: 'Well, I think we need to protect all Americans.'"

I really cannot believe the number of people - including Bil - who are naive enough to buy that un-elaborated-upon statement.

Do we need to go back and start pulling up the rhetoric from the Human Right Scampaign that asserted it was working for 'all' when even its mission statement said *only* G&L?

Number of trans-inclusive employment bills Obama has put forth / supported / co-authoted / co-sponsored to match his rhetoric: At least ONE (whether Michael Bedwell is willing to accept it or not:

Number of trans-inclusive employment bills HRC's HRC has put forth / supported / co-authoted / co-sponsored to match her (and HRC's) rhetoric: ZERO.

jAlex is right..
Which is why i made the comment regarding the relative nature of phrases like, people, or the people, or all men are created equal....

The first thing people need to remember is it's election season Everyone running to one degree or another will be saying what "WE" want to hear. And when it comes to the war, the issue that is impacting our lives more then citil rights right now... All the front runners are not Anti-War.

Whoever you vote for please do yourself a favor and look past the Car Salesmen Talk and discern what your candidate is really about.

Take care

Michael Bedwell | February 3, 2008 4:18 PM

# of T-inclusive ENDA bills either Clinton OR Obama have submitted in the US Senate: Zero

# of T-inclusive ENDA-like bills Clinton submitted to New York state legislature: Zero, oops, she was never in the state legislature.

# of T-inclusive ENDA-like bills Obama submitted to Illinois state legislature: ZERO. After four years in the legislature, he finally became a cosponsor to three—in [one case FOUR MONTHS AFTER it was submitted]. All died in committee. He authored/originated: ZERO.

# of flat out LIES Obama has told about what he did in the Illinois state legislature: at least one HUGE one:

To "The Advocate": "I was a chief cosponsor of and then passed" "the human rights ordinance in Illinois"

THE TRUTH: He was not a cosponsor of any kind of the bill that finally came to a vote nor was he even still a member of the legislature when the historic bill was voted on. [His replacement Sen. Kwame Raoul became a cosponsor and voted for it. One less vote and it would have died, too.] Neither Equality Illinois nor "Windy City Times," in their reports on the by-a-hair victory, mention any efforts on his part to even work for it.



From her earlier comments I'd expect Kat to repeat her saintly spin on this which comes down to, "Because he was one of those who gave me food before that got lost I forgive him for not giving me any when he knew I needed it most."

It's obvious why he lied to a lazy LGBT magazine about what he'd actually done. We can only speculate that the reason he couldn't take 10 seconds to even sign onto the bill was because he was too busy running for the US Senate. Some might be interested to know that at least twice after winning he promised to complete his first six-year term before running for President. I guess that's a different Barack Obama on Tuesday's ballots.

If it’s the same one, then there’s another lesson to be learned other than that Obama can lie with the best of them. The two biggest themes of his entire campaign for President have been “bringing change’ and “bringing people together.” He tried smile fucking us with both of them during McClurkingate—though the only thing that changed was that for the first time I know of a major Democratic candidate for President paid for a microphone and stage on which a rabid professional homohater [can you imagine what he thinks of transgenders!] poured out his pompous, pious poison. And the only people who were brought together were McClurkin and 3000 South Carolina voters who screamed in agreement when he did it.

Which brings me back to Illinois and what, contrary to his claims, Obama did not do. Assuming he tried at all, he failed to prevent his own close friend and spiritual consultant the Reverend Senator James Meeks, a notorious homohater in Illinois, from voting against the LGBT rights bill. I think it safe to assume that the homohating lions in the US Congress need not fear Obama will convert them to homoloving lambs.

We don’t even know for certain if transgenders will be included in the bill Sen. Kennedy has promised to introduce to the US Senate; nor if either version will pass.

Without a significant change in US House membership in November, we don’t if transgenders will be included in any upcoming bill there, let alone pass.

What we DO know is that when Obama was most needed in the Illinois Senate to help keep their LGBT rights bill alive and finally pass after over three decades of trying, he was missing in action.

And ACTION, I submit, is more indicative of the depth or shallowness of one’s commitment and credibility than words, either from one’s mouth and/or on paper.

Obama's a politician. Trust politicians at your own risk. I don't regard anyone as a saint. If he get's elected, there will still be no trans-inclusive ENDA as long as Barney Frank is in Congress.

I simply see HRC's HRC for the HRC shill that she is. Obama's co-sponsorship of even one T-inclusive anti-discrimination bill puts him in a different - positive - league than HRC's HRC. That's a fact - and no amount of anti-Obama, pro-HRC's HRC spin (and not even any quotes from Obama which, if accurate, tend to paint him as just another politician willing to exaggerate his own record) alter that.