Hillary Clinton endorses gay marriage (video)

Hillary Clinton endorsed gay marriage today:

“A few years ago, Bill and I celebrated as our own daughter married the love of her life. I wish every parent that same joy. To deny the opportunity to any of our 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.”

What’s particularly interesting about Hillary Clinton coming out for gay marriage is multi-fold:

1. She’s arguably the Democratic frontrunner for 2016. The onus will now be on other Democratic candidates, and possibly even some pressure on Republican candidates, for the presidency in the future. Hillary’s move helps cement a presumption that the Democratic party is pro- marriage equality.

2. She has an international profile that few American politicians have, outside of her husband and the sitting President. Her statement may have impact internationally as well (after all, President Obama’s embrace of gay marriage last summer helped inspire leaders in New Zealand).

3. She mentioned God.  It’s always fascinating to see how politicians deal with religion, especially in a case like this.  Invoking God suggests that God is on our side in this battle.  That’ll rile up the fundies and the pedophile-enabling Catholic church.

It’s interesting.  Hillary struggled with the marriage issue, and particularly DOMA, during the 2008 campaign.  The argument was that her husband had signed DOMA, and embraced it at the time (though he has now recanted), so it put her in a difficult position commenting on the law, let alone urging its full repeal – so she didn’t.

Joe and I know first-hand that DOMA was a thorn in the side of Hillary’s ’08 campaign.  That’s one more reason why her turnaround is so fascinating, and so significant. Joe recounts via Twitter today what happened to us in 2007 when we were setting up an interview with then-candidate Hillary and made the mistake of telling her staff that we wanted to ask her about DOMA:

We never got the interview.

As an aside, Bill Clinton came out for gay marriage in 2009.  The talk at the time was that Hillary couldn’t because she was a member of the Obama administration, and it would put the President, who at the time was still in remission over his previous endorsement of marriage equality, in a bad spot.

This is one more indication of how quickly the same-sex marriage debate in America has shifted.  To suggest that momentum is on our side would be an understatement.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • Bill_Perdue

    I was referring to his evolution, and you’re right, Portman’s decision was based on far more honest and human reasons than H. Clinton’s lying to get votes.


  • Shame she didn’t do it 20 years ago. But, then evolution is like politics—-expedient.

  • Ain’t that the truth!

  • Sweetie

    Portman clearly didn’t do it because he’s desperate for votes.

  • Ninong

    Hey, wanna know who doesn’t endorse gay marriage? Some singer named Michelle Shocked, that’s who. In the middle of her performance at Yoshi’s in San Francisco Sunday night, she launched into a rant against gay marriage that culminated in her yelling, “God hates fags and you can Tweet that I said that.”

    Two-thirds of the audience got up and walking out. They had had enough at that point. Schocked later Tweeted, “Truth is leading to painful confrontation.” So it’s clear that she meant it and it was not intended as some sort of a stunt as some people tried to claim the following day.

    Now her other bookings in California and around the country are being canceled right and left. It was not a stunt, she was dead serious. In June 2011 she told an audience member who asked her a question about homosexuality, “You are looking at the world’s greatest homophobe.” Now that’s what I call truth in advertising.

    She bills herself as a born-again Christian who was raised in a Mormon household. Don’t ask me, that’s what it says online.

  • Oh wow, isn’t that special.

  • Me too.

  • Ninong

    In his Lawrence dissent, Scalia predicted that Lawrence would lead to gay marriage.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I’m actually more pleased at the other thing I didn’t hear in her video–a repeat of Bill’s baldface lie that we were facing either DOMA or a federal amendment in 1996 and that he was some kind of gay hero for signing DOMA!

  • Given Roberts refusal to strike down PPACA’s health insurance mandate, some in the ConservaSphere ™ already consider him an apostate.

    As I noted in another comment, I think there are three variables at work here:

    – Whether Kagan recuses herself (doesn’t seem likely, but who knows, it was brought up as a possibility).
    – Whether Kennedy is swayed by his own arguments and logic, repeated in Walker’s PropH8 ruling and by Olsen and Boies, contrasted with Clement’s attempts to use positions either ridiculous or already refuted in other cases.
    – Whether Roberts wants his legacy to be the Chief Justice who attempted — and ultimately failed, even if it’s years or decades from now — to stop same-sex marriage equality in America.

    And the reason I’m so sure on this last point is in the article I linked in a comment above:


  • Roberts’ kids attend an Opus Dei school in Maryland.

    In a way, I’m hoping Scalia behaves as reprehensibly trollish as he’s ever been during these cases. It might help the waverers decide they don’t want to be associated with what is sure to be an incredibly bigoted anti-gay dissent (in the case of overturning or finding for expanded rights nationally). There’s no way he won’t pass up a chance to bash Lawrence v. Texas and argue for the reinstatement of anti-sodomy laws.

  • I hear what you’re saying, and remember how at the time it was widely reported that Walker’s ruling read exactly as if he was using Kennedy’s usual arguments, including language and arguments that seemed lifted directly from Lawrence.

    I’m no legal expert and certainly no expert on the machinations of the Supreme Court, but it strikes me as unlikely that they’d announce taking the case, only to bounce it out due to lack of standing. Moreover, Boies and Olsen don’t seem to be taking that tack any longer in their arguments and filings.

    We do live in interesting times on this issue, and overall I’ve never been more hopeful that my wife and I could have a legally recognized marriage before one of us kicks the bucket. Situationally though, I don’t know. Precedent, jurisprudence, and the Constitution seem clear — even if the bigots don’t like it — that there is a fundamental right to marry, that gays and lesbians should be a protected class deserving of heightened scrutiny, and that both PropH8 and DOMA (as well as all the other gay marriage bans) are unconstitutional on the grounds of equal protection and due process, as well as manifestly motivated in all cases by anti-gay animus.

    This is still nearly same Supreme Court that consistently refused to hear DADT challenge cases, all the way up through 2010.

    Personally, I have no doubt there are three solid votes against marriage equality — Scalia and Thomas, obviously, and I don’t think Alito would waver either. And what looks like four relatively solid votes in favor — Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Ginsburg. Assuming of course none of them recuses themselves, as was suggested Kagan might do.

    That leaves Kennedy and whether he’ll be swayed by his own arguments being repeated in Walker’s ruling. And Roberts and whether he’ll want to go down in history as the chief justice who tried and ultimately failed to stop same-sex marriage. I guess we’ll see.

  • Ninong

    In other words, you believe that what the Supreme Court will do is simply allow the Ninth Circuit’s ruling to stand without expanding it to include anything else? Would that only apply to California or would it apply to all of the states covered by the Ninth Circuit?

  • Ninong

    Well, I believe Roberts did do some pro bono work that could be considered pro-gay early in his career, right?

    And Roberts did pretend to be a fair-minded jurist during his confirmation hearings, although some of what he said turned out later to be outright lies based on his later rulings.

    I still think Scalia will contribute to the freak show atmosphere during the oral arguments on Prop. 8. He is so set in his views against anything having to do with gay rights. If he’s not an outright member, I’m sure he’s qualified for honorary membership in Opus Dei.

  • Ninong

    Judge Walker’s decision quoted Justice Anthony Kennedy on several points and it’s obvious that he was tayloring his arguments to line up with Kennedy’s previous decisions. I think we have at least a 5-4 favorable ruling coming on overturning Prop. 8 and reinstating gay marriage in California. However, I don’t see how the Court can buy Walker’s argument without extending it to the entire country. If gay marriage is a “fundamental right” guaranteed by the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment, then it should be available to everyone throughout the entire country.

    Walker didn’t rule based on the California State Constitution so much as the United States Constitution. The findings of fact that he listed were so compelling that I don’t see how any court could rule against gay marriage if they are open to addressing the question. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t believe the findings of fact are up for review. It’s the decision that is being contested and the court’s legal basis for that decision. And the decision was based on the guarantees of the US Constitution. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided to rule that the people can’t remove an existing right by referendum.

    First the Supreme Court would have to rule that gay marriage is not a “fundamental right,” as ruled by Judge Walker. And to do that they would have to get into his interpretation of Due Process and Equal Protection. The easy way out for Anthony Kennedy would be to simply overturn Prop. 8 without getting into any of that by agreeing with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the voters of California do not have the right to take away an existing right by referendum.

    Remember, back in the 1960’s California passed a new law by referendum that would have given homeowners and landlords the right to discriminate on the basis of race in real estate transactions. I think that passed with 60-something percent of the vote. The California State Supreme Court struck that one down and I don’t believe the Supreme Court touched it.

    P.S. — I just thought of another chicken way out for Anthony Kennedy. The Supreme Court could deny standing to the proponents of Prop. 8, thus allowing the District Court’s ruling to stand. The real defendants in the case were the California governor and attorney general and they declined to defend. First Schwarzenegger, by saying that he wanted to leave that question up to the courts to decide, and then Brown, who said it was unconstitutional. It was the governor and the attorney general who should have defended Prop. 8 against the ruling of the Federal District Court.

    I sure hope the Supreme Court doesn’t decide to open the issue of standing again. That would be a wussy way out.

  • MyrddinWilt

    The problem with reading SCOTUS briefs is that they are only really written for one or at most two people. None of the cases that come up are remotely close. They would all go the progressive way if the court wasn’t packed with three total and utter GOP hacks, one GOP hack that has on one occasion not made a hackish vote and one guy who plays being ‘moderate’ while making more hackish votes than not.

    There is no possibility that Scalia or Thomas will be anything other than hackish. There is some chance that Roberts or Kennedy will vote to strike prop hate. Alito won’t vote against his party unless his vote would make no difference.

    Seems much more likely prop hate will be struck down or not because at this point even the haters realize it is a liability. The way things are stacked right now it looks like a vote to reverse prop hate would win by quite a strong margin. So just getting SCOTUS to strike it down and do nothing else probably helps the bigots. They can continue to pretend that majority supports their position.

    The real issue is what happens on the DOMA case and whether a majority decides to close the matter as far as they are concerned with a broad ruling for equality. That is a decision only Kennedy or Roberts can take and one that a brief from the DOJ isn’t going to make up their mind for them.

    If Roberts does go for a broad ruling it would effectively make him the new Kennedy, the apostate who is considered a Democrat despite consistently ruling for corporatism because he bucked the party line on two signature issues.

  • MyrddinWilt

    I don’t see any shortage of Republican positions that make them out to be neanderthals.

    She was Secretary of State before and the US convention is collective responsibility. Any public change in government policy has to come from Obama and Obama alone. If the cabinet starts debating policy differences outside the cabinet the administration just ends up looking divided and weak.

  • I’m guessing it’ll be the ‘narrow interpretation’. Cthulhu only knows what they’ll decide on the DOMA challenge, but given the current court’s makeup, I’m not optimistic.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Desperate for votes, Hi Clinton ‘evolves; like Portman, B. Clinton , Obama and the other bigots. Just a bit slower.

    Will she lead a campaign to repeal Bill Clintons DOMA? No, imitating Obama, she won’t.

    Will she campaign for ENDA? No, imitating Obama, she won’t.

    Will she try to expel anti-gay Democrats from that bigot infested party. Definitely not.

    Will she fight to free gay.antiwar whistle blower and hero Brad Manning who made fools of her and Obama on the world stage? No, since it was her petty rage that caused him to be imprisoned and tortured.

  • Ninong

    I think the DOJ’s amicus brief was taylored to the Ninth Circuit’s narrow ruling on Proposition 8. For better or worse, the Supreme Court is being asked to rule on a very narrow interpretation of Prop. 8 that would not extend the benefits of same-sex marriage to the whole country. The Ninth Circuit concentrated on the fact that Prop. 8 removed a right that already existed at the time. Gay marriage was legal in California by order of the California State Supreme Court and Prop. 8 removed that right. Judge Vaughn Walker said that it was a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 14 of the Constitution.

    Personally I believe a 5-4 victory on the narrow interpretation is almost a certainty. The real question is whether the Court will expand its ruling and, if so, to what extent. The best possible outcome would be for the Court to declare all bans on same-sex marriage a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, thus striking them all down nationwide, just as they did with the Lawrence decision that struck down all laws that criminalized homosexual behavior.

  • In related news, support for marriage equality rights has never been higher:


    The most promising factoid?

    Among young adults age 18 to 29, support for gay marriage is overwhelming, hitting a record high of 81 percent in the new poll.

    Even among GOP and GOP-leaning independents, the number is 52-43 in favor. Overall, it’s 58% in favor, and a rapidly dropping 36% against, an almost complete reversal from less than a decade ago.

  • Perhaps, but that isn’t what his DOJ said in their PropH8 amicus brief. They stopped well short of endorsing nationwide marriage equality.


    I know he said differently in that press conference, where he suggested that it might be nationally unconstitutional for states to ban same-sex marriage. But there still is a difference between saying something and putting it on official paper submitted to the Supreme Court.

  • He is, true, but I’m still watching him because small dog or not, he’s a biter.

    People didn’t take Joseph McCarthy seriously either, at first. And Cruz is an even more thuggish, ignorant version of the same guy.

  • Ninong

    About a week ago Barack Obama was asked if he still believed individual states should have the right to decide for themselves if they wanted to accept gay marriage and it made it clear that now that he fully accepts marriage equality he wants it nationwide with no exceptions.

  • Wow. Powerful.

    Know what I didn’t hear? Any hedging or mention that marriage equality ought to be left up to individual states to decide.

  • Naja pallida

    Ted Cruz is the epitome of the small-dog mentality. He barks and growls like he’s a 100lb rottweiler, when he’s really a tiny, scruffy little thing that doesn’t even realize nobody finds him threatening. Getting elected to the Senate just inflated his already over-sized ego even further, making him believe that everyone is required to respect him now. Combine that with him being a condescending misogynist, he can’t even open his mouth anymore without coming off like a total douche-bag. Any Presidential potentials would be wise to avoid him at all costs.

  • Ninong

    Well, the last time a Clinton ran against a Bush, Clinton won. If Hillary decides she wants the nomination, I think she will get it. If she hesitates, then I think there are several viable candidates capable of defeating whomever gets the Republican Tea Party’s nomination.

  • Ninong

    I know this won’t happen, but my ideal ticket for the Republicans would be Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

    I used to wish for Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum for the 2012 GOP ticket but that was just wishful thinking.

  • guest1

    Not another clinton/bush plz

  • Ninong

    Hillary’s a little late to the party.

  • Drew2u

    that was what was said during 2008, also. Not that I am disagreeing, mind you. We just have a different kind of political monarchy

  • Phil Perspective

    And she still doesn’t have the stones of a Wellstone, who voted for DOMA, and then admitted later it was one of the biggest mistakes of his career.

  • Indigo

    I was for Hillary before I was against her. Now I’m for her again.

  • Indigo

    That would be fun to watch. You know, our US policies have been so entirely usurped by the Corporatists that US politics is a spectator sport now, might as well pick a team and pop popcorn. I miss being involved but why be involved only to be ignored? Ah, for a fresh Woodstock . . .

  • Anthony McCarthy

    Any day a prominent politician comes out for equality is the right time to do it. Good, hope she is one of many more.

  • nicho

    It will be Hillary and Jeb — a dynastic battle that will rival The War of the Roses. It will be two branches of the same political family (The Corporatists) battling it out for supremacy.

  • Shame they didn’t do it a little sooner to get more GOP candidates on record opposing it. Their opposition is only hurting them more and more each passing year.

  • S1AMER

    Wonderful video. Yes, it’s longer than most — but she needed the time to make a multi-faced, multi-level narrative that says so much to so many. This is very big political news in America, and a very personal note to all of us.

    I wish I could hug her right now; I really do. Instead, I can only say, “Thank you, Madame Secretary.”

  • MyrddinWilt

    Looks to me as if they deliberately timed this to wipe CPAC news off the wires.

    Hilary is definitely campaigning for 2016. Whether she runs for President is not certain. But she is definitely going to be drawing the GOP fire.

  • Drew2u

    I don’t pray, but if I did, I would wish for a match-up between Hillary and Scott Walker.

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