Chelsea Clinton joins in fight for LGBT rights, global health

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Chelsea Clinton announced on May 28 that she intends to follow in her parents’ footsteps and become an advocate for, among other issues, LGBT rights.

The former President Bill Clinton and First Lady turned former Secretary of State’s only child, Clinton said to the Associated Press in an interview that she will be focusing on work with the Clinton Foundation, founded by her father, where she will help promote health projects: “not just in the United States but also around the world.”

During the interview, which was given at a women’s conference in Malaysia, Clinton said that she would like to return to Myanmar in Southeast Asia, where the Clinton Foundation will join with local authorities to dispense subsidized medical supplies such as vaccines and drugs for HIV.

Clinton visited Myanmar for the first time on May 27 as a representative of the Clinton Global Initiative, a part of her father’s foundation, at a ceremony marking the start of the Procter & Gamble’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water initiative. Due to pollution, safe drinking water is scarce; the goal of the program is to provide water purification packets to people in need.

Until very recently, Myanmar’s military rule would have meant the US refused to help, but when Hillary Clinton visited Myanmar in 2011 she was able to assist them in electing a democratic government, opening new doors.

Chelsea Clinton said of the country, “I hope to go back soon. My father and my husband are quite jealous now because my mother and I both have been to the country, and they have not.”

The next stop on Clinton’s agenda is Cambodia, where her family’s foundation will begin a program aimed at reducing HIV infections and related deaths.

In addition to her work around the world with the Clinton Foundation to support global health, she said that she strongly believes in supporting LGBT rights, including the right to marry.

“It just seems so fundamental to me. [I was] able to marry the person I wanted to marry,” she said. “That’s the fundamental human imperative. Those of us who have been lucky enough should expand these rights to others.”

On her Twitter, Clinton often posts messages in support of LGBT rights. On May 17, she tweeted, “Today is #IntlDayAgainstHomophobiaAndTransphobia. Proud of progress we’ve made but work still to do to [build]an equitable world for all!”

429Magazine

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