Bernie Sanders: Voting for Hillary Clinton is the only way to stop Republicans rolling back LGBT rights

Bernie Sanders has called on his supporters to fall in line behind Hillary Clinton, warning about the devastating impact of a Trump Presidency on minorities.

The left-wing Vermont Senator fought an aggressive campaign against Clinton during the Democratic Primaries, but after losing out he endorsed her – nominating her by acclamation at the Democratic National Convention.

But although Senator Sanders is now strongly backing Clinton, many of his supporters are refusing to do so, threatening to abstain, back a third-party candidate, or even vote for Donald Trump as a supposedly “less harmful” option.

In an op-ed for the LA Times over the weekend, Sanders again reiterated that the only way to stop a damaging Trump Presidency is to elect Hillary Clinton.

He warned: “On virtually every major issue facing this country and the needs of working families, Clinton’s positions are far superior to Trump’s. Our campaigns worked together to produce the most progressive platform in the history of American politics. Trump’s campaign wrote one of the most reactionary documents.

“[Clinton’s] Supreme Court appointees would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment.

“Trump, on the other hand, has made it clear that his Supreme Court appointees would preserve the court’s right-wing majority.”

Trump previously said he would “consider” appointing justices to overturn the equal marriage ruling – which his Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence and many of his mooted SCOTUS nominees favour doing.

Sanders also referenced the regressive Republican platform – which supports gay cure therapy and backs anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ laws.

He wrote: “Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and I will vigorously support her.

“Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president.

“His campaign is not based on anything of substance — improving the economy, our education system, healthcare or the environment.

“It is based on bigotry. He is attempting to win this election by fomenting hatred against Mexicans and Muslims. He has crudely insulted women.

“And as a leader of the ‘birther movement’, he tried to undermine the legitimacy of our first African American president. That is not just my point of view. That’s the perspective of a number of conservative Republicans.

“In these difficult times, we need a president who will bring our nation together, not someone who will divide us by race or religion, not someone who lacks an understanding of what our Constitution is about.”

He continued: “I understand that many of my supporters are disappointed by the final results of the nominating process, but being despondent and inactive is not going to improve anything.

“Going forward and continuing the struggle is what matters. And, in that struggle, the most immediate task we face is to defeat Donald Trump.”