September 25th, 2009
06:29 PM ET
5 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. meeks

    But what about the children? Isn't it bad enough that the schools are now teaching that racism is wrong? What if our gay children grow up in a country that doesn't hate them? Then other children might want to try out that lifestyle. What is this world coming to? I want to raise my daughter to marry a man. He doesn't have to be a great man. Just a man. If he beats the @%$# out of her well that's life. As long as he's a man. Remember Lot from the bible. He was ready to give up his virgin daughters to be raped by strange men, all to avoid male on male relations. And the bible can't be wrong about anything, can it?

    sarcasim by the way

    gay, longterm relationship (18 yrs), we made a baby, 5 yr old boy, and teacher in the deep south

    Marriage would be a good thing for us. Then I could put my partner and son on my insurance and take them off medicaid. You wouldn't have to pay for them anymore.

    way to go bill, about time

    September 25, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Joe

    I love those that say it needs to stay between a man and a woman. That's the definition of course!

    How about when the definition of marriage was between one man and many women? Or one 50 year old man and a 10 year old girl? Or how about the fact that marriage was a way of passing on property(that includes women) to retain family blood lines? Do women want to go back to essentially being men's property through that God binding contract?

    So go ahead and pick which era marriage you think it needs to be defined as. Or just call it "separate but equal" when you say you're OK with unions but don't you dare think you can be apart of the marriage club.

    Because what have we learned from Massachusetts? OH yeah, it's the state with the lowest divorce much for the doomsday "Rome is falling because of the gays!" scenario...

    September 25, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. bluesky

    Bravo!!!! Here's to freedom. Thank God there are those who see that it's none of the government's business if you want to marry the person you love.

    September 25, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  4. terry, va

    Clinton is getting crazier every day. He must have a brain tumor.

    September 25, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Thomas Joseph

    God has created Man an Woman with a specific purpose. Same sex marriage is sincerely not acceptable if we consider in biblical aspect. Men and Women are human beings created by god and have a great role in creation. If same sex marriage becomes widespeard we will be in an era where animals dominate humans.

    September 25, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. lon

    Can't you all see that Billy boy is still confused. His wife is gay and now his daughter is gay. Does Bill like both? Remember he "never had sex" with that woman. Get real, Gay marriage is not sanctioned by God, it never will be. Stop trying to sway public opinion by using washed up presidents. Mr. Obama was supposed to fix all of this but he cannot go against his Muslim brothers. Just another diversion tactic.

    September 25, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Ms. GJ

    I will never, never understand why these christians wont stay out of my life, I don't care if they want to quoate their bible to each other and pray 7/24. Just keep your dogma out of MY life.

    September 25, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |

    Clinton is not a weeble but he still waffuls and wallbles to this day.

    September 25, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. Joe, St. Louis, MO

    Wow, there mustn't be ANYTHING else we could be covering in the news, eh CNN?

    September 25, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. Too Bad So Sad

    Well, since Bill let gays in the military under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, he might as well go ahead and condone gay marriages.

    September 25, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. Cape Codder in the Desert

    Bill Clinton is someone who can speak with authority on people making lifetime commitments? Thank you so much for your insight!

    September 25, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  12. Susan in Sunnyvale, CA

    I'm a heterosexual democrat married to the same man for 38 years and I support gay marriage.
    It doesn't threaten me nor my marriage at all.
    Frankly, marriage doesn't make any difference at all. I know a hetro couple who have been together for more than 30 years, never got married for fear it would ruin their relationship.
    I know several hetero couples who are afraid to get married because of what they have witnessed in their parents' generation.
    I know hetero couples who have chosen not to have children, but their marriages were fantastic.
    And I know plenty of hetero couples who have been married and divorced several times. Christian, non-christian, but all good people. It really doesn't matter at all.

    September 25, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Bill in Calif

    i'M STILL WAITING ON AMERICAN CULTURE TO 'EVOLVE' FULLY. i have my eye on this cute little siamese feline down the alley.

    September 25, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. sarah

    And I also love how republicans rant on and on about how government needs to stay out of people's lives, except, well of course, our marriages and our uterus's. Opportunistic hypocrites.

    September 25, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Juge

    It is LONG PAST time for this acceptance from you Bill. But, I guess, better late than never. I hope your stature will lead to some positive action.

    September 25, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. annie s

    Well done, Mr. Clinton. I don't care if you've come late to the party. What's important is that you've decided to vocally support equal rights for all Americans.

    September 25, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. RRRUSA

    We demand that gay people pay the same taxes we do, we demand they fight the same wars that we do, we demand that they obey the same laws that we do.

    Yet we deny them the right to spend the rest of their life legally with the person they chose to love and cherish and to share hard fought benefits with them also.

    This to me is the height of Christian forgiveness in religions that base themselves on forgiveness....funny how some conveniently forget that because they are blinded by hate that Jesus himself included prostitutes and theives in his Kingdom . Bless you and I pray you grow out of your hatred.

    September 25, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Tee

    Judge not lest ye be judged right? Whatever happened to allowing others to live as they see fit? Unless you feel like you yourself will be sitting on the right hand of the Father on judgement day all you are giving is an opinion and I thought in America we ALL had a right to the persuit of can one person define what will make another person happy or limit their options to get to that happiness. Your Freedom is supposed to end where someone elses begins.

    September 25, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  19. Dan

    How can straight people( Ellen) say that gay marriage will be forced on are not gettiong gay married are you...???

    September 25, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. Katie in Iowa

    Bill Clinton, I love you even more now. I'm not a homosexual, but I deeply support same-sex marriage. I mean, if Bill Clinton, probably the non-gay man in the history of the universe can support it without catching 'TEH GHEY', then why is there so much fear that people will suddenly turn gay if same sex marriage is legalized?

    September 25, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. JR

    hmm is Bill about to make an announcement?

    September 25, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. AJON

    One thing I have learned from following politics for many years is that anything spoken or written by a seasoned politician like Bill Clinton is not by mistake. It has been carefully analyzed and calculated for effect, immediate and in the future.

    Same sex marriage – as an issue – will gain more visibility in the USA in the next few years, and if Mr. Clinton has his wife safely positioned on the right side of it, she will have a good chance to capture the LBGT vote.

    Remember what she did in West Virginia?

    I still do not rule out the possibility that she may do an in-party challenge to Barack Obama in 2012. She did not take her defeat well.

    But I don't think she will ever get many African American votes. They all saw the reall HRC in 2008.

    Having said that – I think she is a fantastic Secretary of State. A huge improvement over Ms. Rice – "the Queen of travel and photo ops".

    September 25, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. not a big fan

    Bill Clinton was/is/and always will be a great politition (and liar).
    I'm really don't think his views are news worthy anymore now that we are on his 2nd predecessor. I do hope that he doesn't do anything to embarrass America and her friends.

    September 25, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. Pragmatic

    If you don't want a "gay marriage" – you don't have to have one! Why are so many people – the same ones who want – nay, demand, freedom and personal choice are usually the first in line to throw the first stone .. they will quote the Bible when it matches their views but when its the Golden Rule ... that's the passage that is always ignored ...

    ... like health care ... isn't there something about "in doing for the least you are doing it For Me" in Scripture? Then why are the evangelicals so against reforming health care????? They get to the Pearly Gates – they may have some 'splaining " to do!

    September 25, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Maxwell

    To liberals-

    Take heart! This country is going through sweeping demographic changes that can allow mainstream politicians from the Bible Belt to air views of this nature where they could not have just 10 years ago. We are becoming more diverse, more urban, and more tolerant. Just like other civil rights movements, there is too much momentum here for a handful of whiney bigots to stop. Their strident hysterics are the death rattle of a bygone era. We must be patient, but this too shall pass, and so will gay marriage.

    September 25, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
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