PRESS RELEASE from Hillary Clinton for President Exploratory Committee

June 27, 2007

Contact: Press Office

Clinton Campaign Announces Launch Of
LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee

On the eve of the 38th anniversary of Stonewall, Hillary for President announced the formation of  “LGBT Americans for Hillary,” a national steering committee of over 65 leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.  Members of the steering committee include LGBT elected officials, activists from national LGBT and Democratic Party political groups as well as leaders from the worlds of business, entertainment and sports. This leadership committee will work with the campaign on several areas including political outreach, communications, policy advice and counsel, and fundraising.

“I’ve seen how Hillary Clinton’s experience, commitment, and leadership have made a difference for the LGBT community,” said New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.  “From her efforts to defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment to standing up for our rights in employment practices, there is no one else in this race who will fight harder for the LGBT community.  She’s ready to be our next president and I look forward to organizing the LGBT community on her behalf.”

The list of supporters on the steering committee demonstrates the history of friendship that Hillary Clinton has had with this community and the depth of her support among LGBT leaders.  It includes people like former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Eldie Acheson, who went to college with Hillary Clinton, and Neel Lattimore who worked for her as First Lady as well as film/TV writer and producer Greg Berlanti who met her last week and signed on as a supporter immediately.  The list also includes prominent LGBT activists who have been leaders on issues important to the community, including three retired members of the military who have worked to overturn the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, advocates in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and the attorney who argued and won the landmark Supreme Court case, Lawrence v. Texas.

“Her commitment to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and her steadfast work to improve access to care and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS are just two of the reasons why I support Hillary Clinton for President,” said Jose Zuniga, President of the Chicago-based International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care. Zuniga, who attained the rank of Sergeant, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1993 after coming out as a gay man. He served as a military medic during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and had been named the Sixth US Army's Soldier of the Year six weeks prior to his discharge.

Hillary Clinton has worked to advance the cause of equality for LGBT Americans for many years.  As president, Clinton has pledged to end the divisive leadership of the past six years and work with the LGBT community to make sure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal economic benefits and rights.  She also will work to end discrimination in adoption laws.  As a U.S. Senator, she has worked to expand federal hate crimes legislation and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and will sign the legislation into law once she is in the White House.  She will also put an end to the failed policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

“I am proud to have the support of such distinguished leaders in the LGBT community,” said Clinton.  “Together, we can move our nation closer to the promise of fairness and equality that all Americans deserve.”

Already, Hillary for President has been actively reaching out to earn the support of the LGBT community.  In March, Clinton addressed the Human Rights Campaign's Board Meeting and Equality Convention – the only candidate to accept their invitation.  Her LGBT supporters have hosted two fundraisers for her campaign, one in Washington, D.C., on May 23, 2007, and one in Los Angeles last Friday.  Hillary for President has a full-time staff person, Mark Walsh, solely focused on LGBT outreach.

“Hillary Clinton has precisely the priorities our nation needs at this time - a strong defense with a balanced hand to guide it, a will to strengthen education and health care, a fair tax system and a balanced budget - and equal treatment of every American under the law,” said Elizabeth Birch, former executive director of the Human Rights Campaign.  “The LGBT community has seen many hard political years.  It is time for a renaissance for our nation and for our community.”

LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee Members (Committee In Formation)*:

·        Eldie Acheson, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General; founding director, Public Policy and Government Affairs, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

·        Roberta Achtenberg, former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

·        Toni Atkins, San Diego, CA, City Councilmember

·        Dr. Christopher Barley, activist, philanthropist

·        Greg Berlanti, creator/producer, TV series, “Brothers and Sisters”

·        Elizabeth Birch, former Executive Director, Human Rights Campaign

·        Mary Breslauer, former co-chair, Kerry-Edwards 2004 LGBT Steering Committee; communications consultant

·        Tonio Burgos, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus

·        Ilene Chaiken, creator/producer, Showtime series, “The L Word”

·        Rocco Claps, former LGBT Outreach Director, Democratic National Committee; Illinois LGBT activist

·        Bruce Cohen, Oscar-winning film producer

·        Roberta Conroy, member, National Leadership Council, Lambda Legal

·        Joan Darrah, retired U.S. Navy Captain

·        Q. Todd Dickinson, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual
Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

·        Thomas Duane, New York State Senator

·        Ingrid Duran, board member, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

·        Steve Elmendorf, Deputy Campaign Manager, Kerry-Edwards 2004

·        Shelley Freeman, business leader, Los Angeles Police Commissioner

·        Ethan Geto, long-time gay rights advocate

·        John Gile, Executive Director, Project Angel Food

·        Emily Giske, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus

·        Deborah Glick, New York Assemblymember

·        Steven Goldstein, Chair, Garden State Equality

·        Chad Griffin, CEO, Chad Griffin Consulting, Inc.

·        Rebecca Haag, Executive Director, AIDS Action Council; Executive Director, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts

·        Yashar Hedayat, businessman

·        Lisa Henderson, General Manager, Olivia Cruises

·        Stephen Herbits, businessman

·        Fred Hochberg, former Deputy then Acting Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration; Dean of the Milano School for Management and Urban Policy, The New School

·        John Isa, board of directors and Business Council member, Human Rights Campaign

·        Gloria Johnson, board member, National Stonewall Democrats

·        Christine Kehoe, California State Senator

·        Keith Kerr, retired Colonel., U.S. Army; retired Brigadier General, California National Reserve

·        Kasey Kincaid, attorney, Iowa grassroots activist

·        Billie Jean King, sports legend and social pioneer

·        Sheila James Kuehl, California State Senator

·        Mark Kvare, board member, National Stonewall Democrats

·        Neel Lattimore, Special Advisor for Strategic Communications, Children’s Defense Fund; former press secretary for the First Lady

·        Bruce Lehman, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks

·        Sue Lovell, Houston, TX, City Councilmember

·        Claire Lucas, chair, Democratic National Committee LGBT Leadership Council; board member, National Stonewall Democrats

·        Linda Gray Murphy, board member, National Stonewall Democrats

·        Daniel O'Donnell, New York Assemblymember

·        Dixon Osburn, LGBT activist on "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy

·        Annise Parker, Houston, TX, City Controller

·        Catherine Pino, board member, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

·        Julian Potter, former Special Assistant to President as Liaison to the Gay and Lesbian Community

·        Christine Quinn, Speaker, New York City Council

·        Hilary Rosen, President,; media industry consultant

·        Peter  Rosenstein, DC-based LGBT community activist

·        Mirian Saez, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus

·        Greg Sargent, attorney, New Hampshire LGBT activist

·        Jayne Baron Sherman, co-chair, In the Life Media; former board chair, Lambda Legal

·        Melissa Sklarz, Director, New York Trans Rights Organization; vice chair, National Stonewall Democrats

·        Paul M. Smith, board member, Lambda Legal; Attorney who successfully argued the landmark case, Lawrence v. Texas, establishing the right to privacy for gay Americans

·        Jeff Soref, former chair of the Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus; former co-chair, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

·        Laura Spanjian, board member, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund; board member, Equality California

·        Campbell Spencer, former National LGBT Outreach Director for the Democratic National Committee and Gore-Lieberman 2000

·        Rick Stafford, chair, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus; co-chair, National Stonewall Democrats

·        Jill Stauffer, board of directors, Human Rights Campaign

·        Sally Susman, business leader

·        Rev. Deborah Tammearu, Episcopal Priest, Diocese of New York

·        Matthew Titone,  New York State Assemblymember

·        Jeffrey Tooke, board member, National Stonewall Democrats

·        Olive F. Watson, activist and philanthropist

·        Paula Redd Zeman, vice chair, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; vice chair, Black Democrats of Westchester

·        Bob Zuckerman, board member, National Stonewall Democrats

·        Jose Zuniga, retired U.S. Army Sergeant and former Soldier of the Year; Executive Director, International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care


* Members of LGBT AMERICANS FOR HILLARY have endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in their individual capacity.  The names of past or present affiliations are included to assist in identifying the individuals listed and do not indicate any endorsement by that group or organization.