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. Bob R., Lanham, Maryland

    Marriage of a man and woman is wrong – a consenting adult male and a consenting adult female is right. Gays, lesbians, and the rest cannot accept the fact they are simply wired wrong. It is obvious to the vast majority of people that the primary purpose of marriage is to perpetuate the human race, not to "give pleasure" to each another. My lovely wife gave me her hand 49 years ago in a hetero-sexual marriage. Both pairs of our parents stayed married more than 50 years each. Some of my 8 siblings have also stayed married together for mor than 50 years. Mr. Clinton does not seem to know what constitute sexual relations so what i sthe value of his opinion?

    September 25, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. ICARE

    As as far as I am concerned, there is only one way to make a baby. And it's not between two same-sex couples.

    Let the truth be the truth. God bless America! Long live the truth.

    September 25, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I am a conservative republican and none of this bothers me. Two people who love each other and can spend their lifetime together is A.OK. Just as long as states don't force churches or religious organizations to perform gay marriage.

    September 25, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. reality check

    Most, if not all states provide civil union commitments for which same-sex (homosexual) partners can enter. Marriage, or matrimony, is a sacred rite reserved for those (two individuals) of opposite gender (heterosexual)...Period! I understand the economic benefits of allowing same-sex unions however, the issue of moral acceptance is troubling. Why is it that we are constantly being pressured by this element of our society to accept and espouse homosexuality as normal behavior? Since when did the word "gay" be redefined as one who practices homosexuality? Now, it seems, that the institute of marriage is being redefined in an attempt to re-program traditional values and critical thinking.

    September 25, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. Tom

    I am confused. Are people in this thread really not aware that posts from people like 'typical Republican' or 'clem Christian' probably are neither from a republican or a in the other case a Christian? Just read the content of their message. It'd be like someone who is a republican calling themselves "committed democrat" and then leaving a post on a health care article about how they can't wait to 'rule and ruin the country by squeezing out all insurance companies with the unfolding of our public option.' It's too bad that people are afraid to state their case without identity theft along the way – – or that the CNN approval people can't see that it destroys the thread to hear from people who represent themselves as the people they most want to tear down to reinforce negative stereotypes against Christians, or homosexuals, or republicans or whomever else they hate today. CNN – you should be wise enough to see through those posts and care enough about the quality of your threads to post comments that move the discussion forward rather backwards.

    September 25, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. Steve

    Whew !!!! I was afraid he had given up on interns. Or, maybe this new attitude of his enables him to pursue both male and female.

    September 25, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    "Blue" states have lower divorce rates than "Red" states ... traditionally "Bible-belt" states have higher teenage pregnancy rates ... More than 50% of "straight" marriages end in divorce (I'd have to look up the stats about "gay" marriages, but I'm guessing it's lower).

    I just feel like we've got bigger fish to fry than worrying about gay people getting married. I'm a Christian and like everyone, I pick and choose what I want to believe about the Bible (because we all know it's been written and re-written by well-meaning and not so well-meaning people over the centuries to justify their own political and social needs).

    Anyway, I pick the part about us all being children of God and what Christ preached about love, forgiveness, compassion, charity, kindness, social justice, etc., etc.

    If gay people want to get married – fine by me!

    September 25, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    I have several gay friends and relatives and they were all born that way. Allowing gay people to marry is not going to "change the mind" of anyone.

    September 25, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. Faye in Sparks, Nevada

    Bravo, Pres. Clinton. I see the change of minds all over the country and in time gay marriages won't even be a big deal in any state. It wasn't all that many years ago when people gave all the stupid idiotic reasons to bar blacks and whites from marrying. That really was awful. Fortunately that period of American stupidity ran it's course, as stupidity just can't hold up over a long period of time. People do get smarter eventually, unfortunately it takes some folks longer than others. We are progressing. Thank goodness.

    September 25, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. AntiRush

    Only nutjobs oppose gay marriage. Why do I care if someone else wants to enter into a same sex marriage? I don't, unless I am someone who thinks that people should live their lives the way I say they should. And we know who those people are. Too bad most of them can't live their own lives.

    September 25, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. John M, NoHo

    We don't get to decide who we're attracted to. We're merely bystanders, only spectators to the chemical reaction. If you don't believe in gays marrying, then don't marry a gay person. Problem solved... NEXT!!!

    September 25, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  12. tiff of lithia springs

    Good for him I rendered services to a couple this week. They a just like everyone else.

    September 25, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. 65+

    I'm glad he feels he can say this now. I assume at the time of his presidency it was deemed a political disaster. All this judging of people based on sexual orientation is so ridiculous. The world moves on and does not end due to change. Did the world end when we abolished slavery? Or gave women the vote? The world is a better place for those actions. Good grief I just recalled that in my childhood a young schoolgirl in slacks was a no-no! We are evidently more resilient than we think and can tolerate change. Good for us!

    September 25, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. keith

    welcome to bipedalism and the 21st century Bill.

    September 25, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  15. It's unconstitutional people

    Seperate but equal is unconstitutional, also freedom of religion, is likewise Freedome FROM religion. You can't legislate laws based on religion because of your particular faith. There are an array of different religious beliefs on the planet and to say that you're particular faith outshines everyone else's and that laws need to be based on them is wrong. Also i would like to mention that its not illegal for Athiests, Agnostics, Buddhists, Islamics, Hindus, Jewish, and every other religion to get married, wwhich proves its not religion motivated, and also proves that is discrimination solely against gay people. For those of you using the argument of whats next? beastiality, polygamy, pedophilia? Those are all illegal and break individual laws. If a gay person slept with an animal, that would be illegal, if a gay person slept with a minor (which also statistically speaking most pedophiles prey on young girls and are heterosexual), that would be illegal, and polygamy (considering most places still have an unconstitutional ban on gay marraige, once again the only one practicing polygamy are heterosexuals as well) . However a gay person of age being in a consenting relationship with another gay person of age is not illegal.

    September 25, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  16. Mary

    Reading some of these comments disturbs me quite a bit–ignorant people are lumping same-sex marriage with polygamy, incest, and bestiality. Seriously?

    These idiots are the same people who would have had a problem with interracial marriage 50 years ago. Back then, people believed that interracial marriage would lead to the breakdown of "morals" and the fall of society. Except that, of course, 50 years later, society is doing just fine, even as many choose to marry someone outside their race. It's been proven that interracial marriage does not hurt anyone. Obama is a product of an interracial marriage, and now he sits in the highest seat in the land–PotUS! Of course, there are still people who believe that anyone who dabbles in interracial relationships ought to be burned alive, but unfortunately, racism isn't dead, and neither is homophobia.

    It all comes down to ignorance and fear. Folks were afraid of what interracial marriage would do to morals and society (nothing), and now folks are afraid of what same-sex marriage will do to morals and society (also will ultimately be nothing).

    September 25, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  17. Tara

    Glad to hear it. I'd like to see marriage unlegislated for all adults.

    September 25, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Willy Brown

    Could be that he's puffing more than cigars now...

    September 25, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. SonnyRey

    Bob R. of Lanham, Maryland is right. The issue in not about any of the several "bibles," love, religion, or God even though hose arguments have been made. It should be be clear that the idea of marriage is to perpetuate the human race.

    September 25, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. S Callahan

    Say it aint' so Bill....does this mean Hillary has come out of the closet or did you too find a 'soul' mate that's bi? So disappointed Bill....

    September 25, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. alma

    they toss gay around like it's a piece of meat, when in all reality this is the heart and soul of a human being. It should never be voted on it is their civil liberties. We as people have done the gay community the biggest wrong done to man kind. This is not a choice and enough blood has been shed because of religious beliefs. Alma

    September 25, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. ICARE

    It is immoral.

    September 25, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  23. malclave

    It's good to see that Bill Clinton is joining with Dick Cheney in advancing the rights of gays. Now if only Obama will get on board.

    September 25, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  24. Charlie

    Why would I care what Bill Clinton thinks? He obviously read a poll somewhere and figures he might be more popular if he changes his view. This guy is not qualified to speak about marriage period !!!!

    September 25, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. GenPatton

    Chelsea's coming out of the closet

    September 25, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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