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. steven harnack

    As for the people who say gay marriage will lead to people marrying animals I say more power to them. For some of the married couples I see it would be a definate upgrade.

    September 25, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  2. CTSadler

    The people who care about gays only having civil unions and not marriages are the same ones who get worked up whether or not Ford is better than Chevy. Who cares?!?!

    September 25, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  3. jaye

    We're proud of you, Bill!!!!!

    September 25, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. rachel

    You all need to grow up and Chelsea is not gay she's been in a long term relationship with a guy for a few years showed up at CGI today of course you all will argue that doesn't matter lord knows toe tapping repbulican who deny beign gay have been outed, so maybe you ALL are gay no matter how long you have been married or an a heterosexual relationship.

    September 25, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. right vs left sux

    Of course he's changing his stance. He no longer has to worry about getting elected. It would be nice if politicians would just let us know what they really think instead of what they think we want to hear to advance their political careers.

    September 25, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. chad

    Over the years we have seen certain people in our country throw up road blocks that impede the progress of another group. Frist it was womens rights, then it was rights for African Americans and other minorities...and now it is the fight for equal rights for our gay and lesbian CITIZENS. If you are a woman or minority you should be supporting this movement or give up your rights by defualt.

    Equal rights applies to everyone...not just the people that look/act/and have sex like you.

    The same right that gives Christians the right to practice their religion without persecution is the same right a lot of Christians are trampling on!

    September 25, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  7. Christian

    I think it's only fair to acknowledge the fact that there ARE christian groups in most every denomination that support the full-inclusion and rights of LGBTQ people. I, for one, am a member of such a group, and have greatly appreciated the support, love, and grace they have shown me as I seek to be a faithful, gay Christian.

    As a former Arkansan from Hope, I can only say that I hope that President Clinton's comments will stir the stagnant waters of this debate and move us forward in conversation and action. It is very important, and I believe Mr. Clinton knows this, that no matter where we stand we keep avenues of communication open and mutual respect at the forefront of all we do. It's the only way that ANY kind of change can happen.

    September 25, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. Larry of Boston

    "One nation, under God ..." And God says NO to same sex marriage. The United States is becoming Sodom and Gomorrah.

    September 25, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. Cliff

    Does this mean Bill is going to "come clean" and tell us there were others besides Monica....maybe...Barney.
    Would not be at all surprised!

    September 25, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  10. J Robinson

    "if someone wants to marry multiple men/women, that is none of my business as long as everyone is a willing participant, and no abuse is involved."
    Would that it were so simple. But, what if "brainwashing" is involved, or some other subtle forms of coercion yet to be defined by expert social scientists? What about incest... if it's consensual? What does "willing participant" mean? What is "abuse". Why do we persecute polygamists?
    Marriage between one man and one woman was not a naive concept when it was first defined, nor is it now. I helps maintain a just and orderly society... not a perfect society, but one that promotes a rational and constructive foundation for our social institutions.

    September 25, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. spike

    TeamClinton 2012!

    Geez, could this guy be any less obvious in his efforts to undermine Obama at every turn and get TeamClinton back in the position they crave more than anything else in the universe: leaders of the free world.

    Now that Obama has essentially marginalized Sec State Hil, Bill is the mouthpiece for TeamClinton 2012.

    This can only get more "interesting" as 2012 approaches. I'll make popcorn.

    September 25, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  12. Tim

    Courage in leadership the Clinton. Obama's cut of the same cloth. No convictions when they are responsbile, only when someone else is.

    September 25, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  13. Tazz

    I just think its scary when a government can go and change the meaning or definition of marriage. I am with Bill Clinton, if they want to devote their lives to each other, great. But even with "Joes" rant about the definition of marriage over the millenia, yeah it has NEVER EVER included male and male, or female and female. We can all try and call a cat a dog all we want, but a cat is still a cat. Whatever a homosexual couple wants to call their union is fine with me, but its not MARRIAGE.

    And, sooner or later, because of media bias, and how its "evil" and "bigotry" to try and defend the definition of marriage, pretty much all states will go with same sex marriage, which is why I think the government should get out of marriage period. If the government didn't recognize any marriage but just recognized all "unions" both heterosexual and homosexual, thats fine with me, just stop calling it marriage when its between a man and a man or a woman and a woman.

    September 25, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. S Wallick

    My question is. Why does anyone get married? We have been married 53 years, and it isn't the piece of paper that keeps us that way.

    September 25, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. Bill Sampson

    All reasonable, educated and intelligent people support equality – as long as they don't have to run for office!

    September 25, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. Lucy

    I think that gay marriage opponents have become a pitiful laughingstock. Seriously, worry about more pressing issues. I am proud of Bill and the only negative thing I can say to him, is seriously you are just supporting this NOW? Way to stay current dude 😉

    September 25, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. I Can See Argentina from my Front Porch

    The government should just issue civil union licenses.
    If 2 people want to be bonded in "holy matrimony", let them go talk with their pastor.
    Problem solved.

    September 25, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  18. Bubble of Sanity

    I wonder who Bill met that made him change his mind, and when we'll get to meet him?

    September 25, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. DeFacto

    1. The bible is an old old book, you believe in that, you may as well read a 100 year old biology book to get your information.

    2. Marriage is no longer just a religious sanctity. It is something people do to become "established" or to show their friends and family that they are serious about each other. I know many people who get married and have no religious affiliation, it is more of a concept. That being said, gay marriage should be acceptable.

    Let's move forward America, no form of education tells you to hold onto old ideas, you may as well still think the World is flat if you reference the bible.

    September 25, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  20. Kristin

    its about time!

    September 25, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  21. Joyce

    If the creator wanted same sex marriage he would not of made two genders or took the rib of Adam and made him a female companion.
    My opinion of these people is they can't find anyone in the same sex that will have them so they find someone else with the same problem.

    September 25, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |

    It's about time, Bill. And don't ask-don't tell is really stupid as it hurts our country. So many good men and women who want to served their country can't. And we need them more than ever now!

    September 25, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  23. Dan, Louisiana

    Love Bill Clinton BUT i beg to totally differ on this one. I belive God made Adam & Eve NOT Adam and Steve. And while it is true that some are born gay, I belive most are lured or drawn by their environment....that is, if a child lives aound men or women same sex lovers, then he/she will grow up thinking its okay to have sex with same sex and might fall into bisexual or homosexual situations.
    That is why Gay marriages (if they happen) should not be allowed to adopt children.

    The more we see this ,the more we make it acceptable,the more this cancer eats into our soceity.God does not make mistakes and regardless of your religious beliefs,i am sure your religion does not have any regard for homosexuality.

    September 25, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  24. William in San Jose

    Too little too late. I'm glad you changed your mind Bill but it would have meant a lot more 15 years ago.

    September 25, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  25. sir magneto

    quite clearly the homophobes are on the wrong side of history. bill clinton is already married to a man, so get over it

    September 25, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
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