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Hillary Clinton has changed her mind about the order of importance of transgender rights ahead of the midterm elections, indicating in a recent interview that it shouldn’t be a top priority for Democrats who want to keep their majorities. in Congress.
“We’re about to lose our democracy, and then everything anybody cares about goes out the window,” Clinton told the Financial Times in an article on Friday when asked about the “transgender debate.”
“Listen, the most important thing is to win the next election,” she said. “The alternative is so scary that anything that doesn’t help you win shouldn’t be a priority.”
Clinton’s comments deviate dramatically from what she described as the “highest priority.”
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During her failed 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton repeatedly promised to work with Congress to pass the Equality Act, a still stalled bill that would extend civil rights protections to transgender and women. other LGBTQ people.
“We need to pass the Equality Act,” Clinton said in October 2015, adding, “You can count on me to fight for you.”
“Our fight for equality must continue to ensure that transgender people are treated with equal rights and dignity,” she tweeted in January 2016.
As recently as March this year, she tweeted, “We need to stand up for trans people.”
Clinton, 74, faced backlash from the trans community in 2019 after saying it would take “a lot more time and effort” for people her age “to understand what it means to define differently”.
She later clarified her comments and said, “Now is the time for all of us to affirm that transgender people deserve equality, safety and opportunity.”
Clinton’s comments Friday on the midterm elections come amid a heated national debate over women’s sports and equity, spurred by the rise of Lia Thomas, now a former University of Pennsylvania swimmer, a transgender woman, and her record wins in competition on the women’s team. Thomas, who once made the school’s men’s team, insisted she didn’t hold a competitive advantage over her female teammates.
Clinton has been remarkably quiet about her stance specifically on trans women participating in women’s sports.
Several Republican-led states have pushed to ban hormone treatments and gender transition surgery for minors, as well as to prevent transgender men from participating in women’s sports and using women’s bathrooms and locker rooms.
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Clinton called these laws “excessive government power” that puts transgender people at risk.
“It seems more important than ever to mark this year’s Trans Visibility Day as laws threatening trans people pass through state legislatures across the United States,” she tweeted on March 31. “These laws represent government overreach that targets an already vulnerable group.”
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.
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