September 25th, 2009
06:29 PM ET
2 years ago

Clinton speaks out on decision to support same-sex marriage

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton is speaking out about his decision to change his personal stance on same-sex marriage.

In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, the former president said that while he still believes the issue should be left up to the states, he is no longer personally opposed to same-sex marriage as he once was.

"I was against the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage nation-wide, and I still think that the American people should be able to play this out in debates," Clinton said. "But me, Bill Clinton personally, I changed my position.

"I am no longer opposed to that," he added. "I think if people want to make commitments that last a lifetime, they ought to be able to do it."

The full interview will air on Anderson Cooper 360 at 10 p.m. ET.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Popular Posts • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (350 Responses)
  1. Enough

    So why is his opinion NEWS worthy?

    September 25, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. ICARE

    Sorry, mainstream America has not changed its mind yet. And if we do, it's probably because it's the end of the world. That time has not arrived yet...

    Meanwhile, let's pray that people that DO make babies lead this country :)

    September 25, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Maryland

    Nice job Bill! Some Gay marriages (civil unions) have lasted longer than heterosexual marriages. People in general will be happier and I predict a lot less promiscuity. As a whole, gay people will be more easily acceptable if treated as an equal.

    September 25, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Brain Dead in Ohio

    Unfortunately saying anything of the sort when you're in office would cause an impeachment. Instead you were impeached for sexual favors so dangerous to our society we spent 300 Million on Kenneth Starr to prove it happened. Where was the whining from conservatives about spending then?

    I'm glad he's taken a more pragmatic approach to this debate, a debate only heated due to religious implications.

    Still, in this country for a candidate to be pro-gay marriage is almost as detremental to one's campaign as if the person was athiest. And there is NOTHING wrong with either.

    September 25, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Gary

    Why should it even have to be debated?? Its called equal rights!! Looking back, do you think slavery should be debated? Woman's rights? This is not an area of debate...its EQUAL RIGHTS!!! And for the bible thumpers, I respect your view, and I dont wish to marry in your churches or be a part of your religion. This is not about religion!!

    September 25, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Melissa

    Good for you Mr. President.

    September 25, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. warren smith

    how could you allow your self to fall in a situation such as this
    i am done with you guys and your stance with all this mess
    this is not gods way and you know it

    September 25, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Kevin in Ohio

    Yes..... its called "Civil Union". Don't call this perversion "marriage".

    September 25, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I have no problem with gay people having the rights that married couples have, but why must they dub the term marriage? Why not just call it a civil union and then everyone can carry on with their lives. Geesh!

    September 25, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Independent_me

    Exactly.
    People opposed to homosexuality qoute the Bible in support of their position...but they forget: the Old Testament was written to the Jews and, although through the Laws of the Old Testament homosexuality was forbidden to them, no such laws were given to the gentiles.

    In the same way, the New Testament and all of its pronouncements are directed to the followers of Jesus Christ. So if you say that you are a follower of The Christ, then those laws apply to you. If you break them, that is a matter that you and God will have to deal with.

    Christians who try to make secular law into biblicsal law are no different from the Muslim extremists who want to inflict Sharia law on the world.

    Bill Clinton is right.

    September 25, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. B

    I don't care what Bill thinks and I don't care what Jimmy thinks.

    September 25, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. shmeckel

    Is it possible to get them some of the same rights and leave the term "marriage" out of it?

    Marriage is a commitment to God (whatever religion) between a man and a woman. When you say two men or women getting married, it is an insult.

    I don’t agree with their lifestyle, but I am not perfect and refuse to judge them. I will continue to care for my straight neighbors to my left as much as my gay neighbors to the right.

    September 25, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Peter

    Senile stage is creeping on Bill, no one should take him seriously. Same sex is not marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman the rest is sodomy

    September 25, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Mark

    Just like you, eh slick one?

    September 25, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Tony

    What the hell does he know about commitments? He's a lifelong cheater....what a joke.

    By the way I could care less if gays want to get married.

    September 25, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Marivi

    I agree with him. Just don't call it "marriage". Because it is NOT.

    September 25, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Another Promise Broken

    Mr President

    Please, speak to Obama about keeping his campaign promises on Don't Ask, Don't Tell and DOMA. So far, he has been giving lots of speeches but not doing anything to fulfill his promises. He is a joke.

    September 25, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. meh

    Like the lifetime commitment he made to hilary? We all know how that turned out.

    September 25, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Robin

    Bill Clinton....The moral compass for America. lol

    September 25, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Dennis B

    And Bill Clinton is the best voice for speaking on MARRIAGE? Give it a rest, Bill.

    September 25, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. th

    That is what equal rights is all about.

    September 25, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Justin

    This sounds a little fruity

    September 25, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Socrates in Leominster

    Why is it that in the name of their religious beliefs.. people that are against same sex marriage or abortion oppose to something it is NONE of their business...
    People that want get married with someone from the same gender.. if that is what makes them happy.. then they should get married. Do those people that oppose call any of them when they are sick or they need money or buy their food or clothes or pay their mortgages? What right gives them the right to object to other people's happiness?
    Don't they realize that any one has to respect their religious beliefs because that is what they believe. The same with abortion.. Most of the ones that oppose to abortion are those who call themselves believers in God.. Don't they realize that as much as their God was created as a result of ignorance of elements that human beings couldn't explain whey they happening, ligthning or thunder.
    Those ones that oppose to what a woman wants to decide is the best for her.. it is HER BUSINESS. If a woman that brings a child to this world and she is alone, because she was raped or any other event.. Do those that oppose to abrotion will pay for the feeding, or health insurance or college tuition for that child that such woman brought to life.. Those that supposedly belief in the kindness, compassion, understanding and forgiveness of their GOD.. can believe anything they want and if a woman wants to have an abortion or 2 women or 2 men want to get married.. that is THIER RIGHT!

    September 25, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. John, Brooklyn, New York

    As a gay man in a committed relationship for the past 14 years, I have a number of reactions to Mr. Clinton:

    1) By signing DOMA when you were POTUS you killed the security of MARRIED gay people (e.g. Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, etc.) to cross a state line and continue to be married. Now that your opinion has changed, what exactly are you planning to do to repent for the damage that you've caused?

    2) Second, you seem to have come to the conclusion that gays "deserve" to be married if they are in a long-term committed relationship. This is an incredible double standard since, of course, straight people have never had to demonstrate that they "deserve" to have the right to be married because of any pre-set expectation of behavior. Heck, swinging, sex offending, murderers are allowed to be married...as long as they're straight.

    And, by the way, were we ever UNdeserving? Are you implying that my partner and I deserve to be married but those other gay people who demonstrate different behaviors do not? Gee thanks...you can keep your condescending approval of my behavior.

    3) Finally...sir, just as you managed your presidency, your personal opinions clearly follow, not lead, public opinion. The fact that you are now in support of gay marriage at a time when sexual orientation discrimination is frowned upon by a vast majority of Americans demonstrates that you are, frankly, late to the party...let alone failing to be courageous even in the slightest.

    September 25, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. MCD, SF, CA

    So if a man & woman, both non-believers, wed... it isn't a marriage.? Marriage is only for religious people???????

    I don't think so.

    September 25, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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