Hillary Clinton wants Democrats to focus on winning elections, not on issues such as the debate over transgender rights.
Mrs. Clinton told the Financial Times in an interview published Friday that the priority must be the November election when asked about the Democratic Party’s emphasis on “activist causes” such as the transgender debate.
Reporter Edward Luce asked: “Democrats seem to be going out of their way to lose elections by elevating activist causes, notably the transgender debate, which are relevant only to a small minority. What sense does it make to depict J.K. Rowling as a fascist?”
Mrs. Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, didn’t directly address the transgender issue but suggested that it wasn’t helping Democrats.
“We are standing on the precipice of losing our democracy, and everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window,” she said. “Look, the most important thing is to win the next election. The alternative is so frightening that whatever does not help you win should not be a priority.”
Her take drew plenty of pushback on social media from transgender-rights supporters, some of whom accused her of being a “TERF” or trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
Hillary Clinton defending JK Rowling and saying protecting trans people comes at the expense of saving democracy as if these were mutually exclusive is the most Hillary Clinton take. https://t.co/oq0z2lHgBb— Codify everything era️ (@spacewhalecat) June 19, 2022
The question referred to “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who has been accused of being transphobic for arguing that there are significant differences between women and men who identify as women.
The Biden administration has pushed to include sexual orientation and gender identity in federal anti-discrimination protections, which critics decry as a mandate for including male-to-female transgender individuals in female sports and public accommodations.
The House passed last year the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
A 2021 Human Rights Campaign poll found that 70% of voters support the Equality Act. At the same time, surveys also show that most Americans oppose allowing biological males in girls’ and women’s sports.
A University of Maryland-Washington Post poll released last week showed 55% oppose allowing biological males in girls’ high school sports, rising to 58% for collegiate or professional sports.
• Valerie Richardson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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