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PRESIDENT CLINTON SPEAKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN

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Reference: The Globe and Mail, a Toronto ON newspaper. 1997-NOV-104, Page A4

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President Clinton was the guest speaker at a historic meeting of the largest gay-rights organization in the US: Human Rights Campaign.He became the first sitting president to address a gay group in history.

He cited an address in 1947 by President Truman which dealt with the race issue. President Truman told African-Americans at the Lincoln Memorial that "all Americans" must be treated equally. Mr. Clinton said "Well, my friends, all Americans still means all Americans. We know that it is an ideal and not perfectly real now. We all know that some of the old kinds of discrimination, [that] we have sought to rid ourselves of by law and purge our spirits of, still exist in America today. We all know that there is a continuing discrimination against gays and lesbians. But we also know that if we're ever going to build one America, then all Americans - including you and those whom you represent - have got to be part of it...All America loses when any person is denied or forced out of a job because of sexual orientation. Being gay, the last time I thought about it, seemed to have nothing to do with the ability to read a balance book, fix a broken bone or change a spark plug."

Mr. Clinton appealed to Congress to pass the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act which would outlaw employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

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