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Sanders delegate: Clinton better for LGBT community than Trump

Some Washington State delegates supporting Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention still can’t find enough to get excited about Hillary Clinton.

But they’ve found one issue around which they can unite.

The Democratic nominee, they feel, trumps Donald Trump when it comes to support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

“Donald Trump does not have the impetus to address HIV issues in America,” said Wenatchee delegate Jacob Egloff, who supports Sanders and who is a member of the LGBT community.

In Tuesday’s LGBT caucus meeting in Philadelphia, many national leaders shared the same sentiment.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former NBA player Jason Collins, who all pledged support for Clinton, believe she will fully support the LGBT community, specifically with the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

“We can do it,” said Cuomo, who has been a longtime supporter of LGBT rights. “I think Hillary can end HIV in the United States.”

At the convention, Clinton presented a plan for how she will work toward an “AIDS-free generation.”

But beyond his comments at last week’s Republican National Convention, some say, the GOP presidential nominee has not laid out specifics about how to combat the disease that affects more than 1.2 million Americans.

Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who was one of the most prominent gay members of Congress, called out those who won’t vote for Clinton because they don’t agree with her on other issues.

“I do not understand how anyone can reconcile a claim to be in a superior moral, political position with an intent to disregard LGBT rights when you vote,” Frank said.

Justin Baird, a member of the LGBT community and a Sanders delegate from Seattle, agrees the Democratic Party is better fit to serve minority communities.

“I believe the Democratic Party has a proven record of being a leader in addressing the concerns of all the diverse communities in our nation,” Baird said.

While Egloff doesn’t believe Clinton has the best record when dealing with LGBT rights, he does think “she’s proven that she has changed her mind.”

“We have a very clear choice,” he said. “We have a candidate who has been effective, and she’s worked for the LGBT community. Then we have someone (Trump) who is against Muslims and doesn’t want to let refugees into our country who are literally fleeing Syrian and Iraq because they are LGBT.

“You cannot reconcile those two things. If you're against them, you’re against us.”

Egloff pointed to states such as Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi that have passed anti-LGBT laws.

“At the end of the day, the Republican Party is not our friend,” he said.

Although Egloff would rather have Sanders represent the LGBT community as president, he sees Clinton as the lesser of two evils in a race between her and Trump.

“He (Trump) doesn't go out of his way to help discriminated communities,” Egloff said. “He has not done that, and I don't suspect that he ever will.”

Talore McBride is a journalist and a student at Temple University in Philadelphia. She is reporting on the Democratic National Convention from Philadelphia as part of a project allowing students to cover the event for local newspapers, TV stations and digital outlets.

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