Hillary Clinton supports marriage equality – too little too late perhaps?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a video with the Human Rights Campaign in which she explicilty supports marriage equality for the first time in her long career. She specifically says, “LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones, and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage. That’s why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law, embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and all Americans.”

While Clinton’s support for marriage equality is commendable, it comes after her departure from public office. While running as New York senator and as president, she opposed marriage equality – insisting that she wasn’t anti-gay marriage, but strongly “pro civil unions.”

Clinton is in a long, long, long line of political figures who have come out in support of gay marriage or marriage equality, when it no longer matters. Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton also gave his support, despite his signing of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as well as DOMA; Former First Lady Laura Bush threw her support behind marriage equality years after her husband’s presidency, which was marked by his push for a federal amendment to ban gay marriage; former Secretary of State Colin Powell also gave support for marriage equality after leaving office; Ken Mehlman was chair of the RNC, and supported the Republican Party’s anti-marriage equality stance, until years after the Bush administration when he came out as gay himself.

So even though it’s great that Hillary Clinton has come out in support of gay marriage, it’s not all that impactful, nor is it all that brave.



Filed under commentary, politics

2 responses to “Hillary Clinton supports marriage equality – too little too late perhaps?

  1. Does a statement have to “be brave” to be counted? I get your point that many people speak out about things when they are less in the public eye than before, but all the people you cite are surely involved in policy-making and candidate-grooming for their respective parties. Even if it’s “too late” (as you suggest) for them to make something concrete happen now, they do have the ability to influence the politicians of tomorrow.

    A different topic all together is how HRC’s every statement seems to be focus-grouped to death, making her campaigning persona pretty bland. During her presidential run, she seemed hell-bent on not letting anyone find anything she said objectionable… leading to her coming off as way too stiff and forced.

    • @ le cul en rows –
      Well, you’re right, Mrs. Clinton’s statement should be counted as any opinion should – she’s an American with an opinion…My issue with her is that she waited a very long time before she expressed her support for same-sex marriage – 8 years as first lady, 8 years as senator, 4 years as secretary of state – for 20 years she either kept her support of same-sex marriage secret, or she chose to throw gays under the bus for political expidency. Now that the tide has turned in public opinion, she’s joined others who now can safely say they support same-sex marriage, because there’s no risk of loss political capital. This reminds me of Tony Blair expressing grief and remorse of Iraqi deaths after the fact. Again, I think it’s great that Clinton’s supporting gay marriage – better late than never, but I do think that this move smacks of supreme political cynicism and calculation…And I say all this as a huge fan of the Clintons….
      Thanks for raising a dissenting voice to my blog post – it’s much needed 🙂

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