Issue Position: LGBT Rights and Protection
"After a 17-year struggle by Democrats in the State Assembly and advocacy groups such as the Empire State Pride Agenda, the historic Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, or SONDA was adopted into law. SONDA is the first step in bringing state law into the 21st century with regard to LGBT rights in housing, employment, public accommodations, education and credit. I will work in congress to make sure that all of our citizens have equal economic, civil and legal rights regardless of sexuality, gender or gender preference." - Yvette Clarke
Clarke was proud to support the mayor of New Paltz, who bravely performed gay marriages until stopped by court order. Clarke also supports Judge Doris Ling-Cohan's ruling in favor of gay marriage; and fully supports legislative action to legalize gay marriage and repeal The Defense of Marriage Act in congress. Clarke will oppose all so-called "protection of marriage" bills or ballot initiatives that would seek to deny the validity of same-sex unions.
AIDS is the greatest humanitarian crises of our time. Worldwide, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that over 40 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS, the vast majority living in Africa and the developing world. Women and children are the most vulnerable. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that for the first time over 1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. African Americans and other minority groups have been disproportionately affected by the disease. Despite making up only 13 percent of the population, African Americans represent more than 42 percent of all people living with HIV.
Clarke supports the creation of a Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS. Recognizing the prominent role that access to medication plays in extending the lives of infected people and keeping families together, she supports legislation that allows impoverished countries to purchase generic, cheaper HIV/AIDS drugs. To protect vulnerable children and orphans caught in situations where their infected parents or guardians can no longer support them or who are infected themselves, she authored an act to provide social, educational, and economic support.