WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT rights group, has announced its endorsement of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
"Today, 63 percent of LGBT Americans report having experienced such discrimination, and we are seeing other troubling trends, from the onslaught of state and local anti-LGBT measures to the national scourge of anti-transgender violence to backsliding on HIV/AIDS prevention and youth homelessness," HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement Tuesday. "Against this backdrop, we've heard the leading Republican presidential candidates repeatedly threaten to block our progress, and to revoke, repeal, and overturn the gains we've made during President Obama's two terms."
He added: "While they fight to take us backwards, Hillary Clinton is fighting to advance LGBT equality across our nation and throughout the world. We are proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for president, and believe that she is the champion we can count on in November -- and every day she occupies the Oval Office."
HRC said Clinton will accept the endorsement at an event Sunday in Des Moines, Iowa.
"I'm honored to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign -- the nation's largest organization working to achieve full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans," Clinton said in a statement. She also vowed to support the Equality Act which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide protections for LGBT people, as well as supporting the right for transgender people to serve in the military. She also promised to end the practice of gay "conversion therapy" on minors.
The HRC was at the center of a national campaign for marriage equality before last year's Supreme Court decision made it the law of the land. CNN reported some have criticized Clinton for her late support of marriage equality. The candidate gave her support for it as a constitutional right last year.
The endorsement comes a day after two New Hampshire newspapers endorsed Clinton, praising her "mastery of world affairs."