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:
Remembering how campaign staffer screamed at me in Jan 2007 for even wanting to ask Hillary a question about DOMA #evolvingmatters
— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) March 18, 2013
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.