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.

 

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    In the future, it will be interesting to look back and see when the majority of each political party’s officials supported gay marriage. I suspect the Democrats have passed that point already, considering it’s a “cornerstone” of their plank. But will the Republicans take 5 or 50 years from this point?

  2. legion says:

    That may be the case, but I’m not sure the video really tells us anything about her future plans.

    Well, it tells us she wants to remain in the public eye… That still doesn’t say she’s got plans to run for office, but she’s definitely not retiring either, & clearly keeps that door open.

  3. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    I don’t know about you guys, but, if I needed advice about marriage, I don’t think Hillary Clinton would be on my short list.

  4. Barfour says:

    This doesn’t tell us much about whether Clinton will run for President in 2016, but I’ll be extremely surprised if she doesn’t run, except if there are health reasons. Aside from that, the only reason she will not run is if she is tired of politics. Now, everyone knows that there is way too much BS in politics but Clinton has had the ambition to be President for most or all her adult life and she is not going to give up that ambition now. It is believed, and I think rightly so, that Clinton will be the overwhelming favorite to win the Presidency if she runs. She will become the first female President of the US, a milestone in the fight for equality for women in the US and around the world. As a life long feminist, this will just be too much temptation for Clinton to resist.

  5. An Interested Party says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but, if I needed advice about marriage, I don’t think Hillary Clinton would be on my short list.

    Well certainly you have shown yourself to be totally unworthy to give any kind of advice or even comment on anything to do with issues related to gay rights or Islam…

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Perhaps some enterprising young reporter will follow up by asking Hillary what precisely she thinks about Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act. Then again perhaps not. Speaking of which, how many layers of political irony are buried in the 4th graf of that media piece:

    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 in the Supreme Court.

    Imagine what our politics would be like if we had a real media and for that matter an informed electorate. Yikes.

    Speaking of which, and in any event, obviously Hillary Clinton and every other Democrat are going to announce that they support same-sex marriage. Democrat primaries are decided by race and money, not by issues, and we’ve reached the point at which general elections now are all but decided by race and levels of government dependence, not by issues. There’s not any reason for Hillary et al. to straddle the fence. There’s nothing to be lost by supporting this viewpoint.

  7. rodney dill says:

    I’m just guessing she won’t be attacked here over her announcement anywhere near as much as Rob Portman was…

  8. anjin-san says:

    I’m just guessing she won’t be attacked here over her announcement anywhere near as much as Rob Portman was…

    That’s not a guess, it’s a given, and there is a good reason for it. Democrats have some good faith credibility on this issue. Republicans, on the other hand, have made keeping gays & lesbians relegated to second class citizen status a cornerstone policy goal.

    Sorry, but if you shit on people day after day, year after year, there is going to be blowback.

  9. Jim Henley says:

    Democrat primaries are decided by race and money, not by issues, and we’ve reached the point at which general elections now are all but decided by race and levels of government dependence, not by issues.

    Hilariously, “race and money” are issues.

  10. David M says:

    @rodney dill:

    I’m just guessing she won’t be attacked here over her announcement anywhere near as much as Rob Portman was…

    To be clear, Portman admitted he only cares about the issue for the selfish reason that it affected his own child. I’m pretty sure “I only care about issues that affect my immediate family” is not an attractive quality in public servants.

    So, there’s really no similarity between his announcement and Clinton’s.

  11. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @rodney dill: Yep.

    As I noted in the Portman thread, and here, I don’t care how allies find their way to my side. The important part is that they made their way over. Especially when they’re willing to take on entrenched interests among those who are typically considered ‘their” team.

    On the topic at hand, I figured Hilary had already done this. It took me by surprise that she hadn’t.

  12. mantis says:

    @rodney dill:

    I’m just guessing she won’t be attacked here over her announcement anywhere near as much as Rob Portman was…

    For good reason. Portman was an actively anti-gay, pro-discrimination politician until his son came out and now he’s suddenly pulled a 180 for selfish reasons. He co-sponsored DOMA in 1996, he voted to prevent gay couples in Washington from adopting in 1999, and in 2004 he voted for an Ohio law that banned not only gay marriage but civil unions.

    Clinton, on the other hand, has long supported equality for LGBT couples up to the point of gay marriage. She has long supported civil unions, and has never sponsored legislation discriminating against gays (or voted for any, to my knowledge). Her endorsement of gay marriage is but a small step in the direction she has been headed for a while.

    Portman’s about face flies in the face of everything he has ever done on this issue, and the stated reason for it is that he doesn’t not want one gay person, his son, to face discrimination. He couldn’t care less about every other gay American.

    So yes, our reactions are different, and quite appropriately. Why do you think they should be the same?

  13. Mr. Replica says:

    @mantis:

    But…But! She was married to Bill when he signed DOMA into law. Therefore, she is just as guilty as the person who co-sponsored the bill and helped vote it into law! Dur!

    How you like them apples?

  14. stonetools says:

    To be honest, its getting a little boring to watch a steady stream of politicians signing up to support gay marriage. Its a great thing and amazing, considering six years ago, supporting even civil unions for gays was risky, but now it seems just part of the inevitable march of progress-inevitable, that is, except for Republican bitter enders.