Hillary Clinton Backs Same-Sex Marriage
Hillary Clinton has become the latest politician to back same-sex marriage:
In a move that could have implications for a 2016 White House campaign, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed gay marriage on Monday, saying she supports it “personally, and as a matter of policy and law.”
“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones,” Clinton says in a nearly 6-minute video released by the Human Rights Campaign. “And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage. … I support it personally, and as matter of policy and law.”
Clinton’s endorsement was expected after her husband Bill and daughter Chelsea endorsed gay marriage while she was serving in President Barack Obama’s cabinet. While running for president in 2008, Clinton opposed gay marriage and backed civil unions. Since then, support for gay marriage has become a cornerstone of the Democratic Party.
By releasing her endorsement in a video, rather than with an interview, Clinton can also avoid questions about her husband’s past support for the Defense of Marriage Act and the military’s now-discarded “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Clinton addresses neither subject in the video, even as DOMA is up for review by the Supreme Court.
“Like so many others my personal views have been shaped over time by people I have known and loved, by my experience representing our nation on the world stage, my devotion to law and human rights and the guiding principles of my faith,” Clinton says. “Marriage, after all, is a fundamental building block of our society. A great joy, and yes, a great responsibility.”
“A few years ago, Bill and I celebrated as our own daughter married the love of her life,” Clinton continued. “I wish every parent that same joy. To deny the opportunity to our own daughters and sons solely on the basis of who they are and who they love is to deny them the chance to live up to their own God-given potential.”
Two potential opponents for Clinton in a 2016 presidential primary — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — have ushered gay marriage laws through their legislatures. (Using careful language, Clinton had praised Cuomo’s victory in New York as “historic.”) A third, Vice President Joe Biden, jumped the gun and endorsed gay marriage last spring, preempting President Barack Obama.
This really doesn’t come as much of a surprise, of course. Indeed, I suspect we would have seen it earlier had Clinton not been precluded from discussing domestic politics due to her role as Secretary of State. Of course, many will take this as a signal that she’s at least thinking of running in 2016. That may be the case, but I’m not sure the video really tells us anything about her future plans.