The presidential campaign of Democratic
Senator Bernie Sanders has criticized the Human Right Campaign's
(HRC) endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president.
HRC, the nation's largest LGBT rights
advocate, on Tuesday announced it was backing Clinton.
endorses Hillary Clinton; blasts GOP candidates over gay rights.)
“It's understandable and consistent
with the establishment organizations voting for the establishment
candidate, but it's an endorsement that cannot possibly be based on
the facts and the record,” Michael Briggs, campaign spokesman for
the Sanders campaign, told the Washington
Briggs pointed out that Sanders voted
against “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” in 1993 and the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 and noted the Vermont senator's support
for civil unions in his state when it became the first in the nation
to enact them in 2000.
Sanders was “a pioneer on this early
version of gay marriage, and has by far the most exemplary record on
gay rights of any candidate ever in American history,” Briggs said.
Brandon Lorenz, a spokesman for the
Human Rights Campaign, responded in a statement: Clinton “has a
strong record, a strong agenda, and a strong ability to win against
any Republican running on an anti-LGBT platform in November and lead
from Day One.”
Clinton announced her support for
marriage equality in 2013, while Sanders in 2006 said that Vermont
wasn't ready to make the move from civil unions to marriage for gay
men and lesbians. Lawmakers approved a marriage law in 2009, making
Vermont the first state to legalize such unions without being
required to do so by a court ruling.