Tales from the Trail

Clinton to gay youth: “hang in there”

Hillary Clinton has joined a growing list of celebrities and politicians reaching out to gay, lesbian and transgender youth following a rash of suicides prompted by bullying. USA/

“I have a message for all the young people out there who are being bullied, or who feel alone and find it hard to imagine a better future:  First of all, hang in there and ask for help,” Clinton said in a video message available on YouTube.

“So take heart, and have hope, and please remember that your life is valuable, and that you are not alone.  Many people are standing with you and sending you their thoughts, their prayers and their strength.  Count me among them.”

Clinton’s message is part of a growing “It Gets Better” project which has seen thousands of people post their own video testimonials aimed at gay youth, hoping to persuade them that it is possible to live full, healthy, happy lives.

As a presidential candidate, Clinton opposed same-sex marriage but did support civil partnerships for gay and lesbian Americans.

The First Draft: Recess!

USA/There’s a real school’s-out feeling around Washington today. Congress left town last week after the House voted for bill to curb climate change, and most lawmakers won’t be back until after the July 4 holiday weekend. The Supreme Court issues its last rulings of the term, with a full sheaf of decisions expected — but then the justices will be gone for the summer.

President Barack Obama’s hosting Colombian President Alvaro Uribe at the White House, with a joint appearance in the afternoon. In addition to a full plate of U.S.-Colombian issues, the two leaders could address last weekend’s military coup in Honduras. Obama has already called for peaceful resolution of “tensions and disputes” but he may have more to say.

Later in the day, Obama celebrates the accomplishments of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans at a White House reception. This community has criticized the president for what they see as foot-dragging on repealing the Defense of Marriage Act — which defines marriage as between one man and one woman and says states need not recognize gay marriages performed in another state — and the U.S. military’s Don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy.