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. LacrosseMom(stuck in moderation)

    On this issue, I agree with the conservatives (yeah, Kevin in Ohio) call it "Civil Union", please.

    September 25, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Jacob

    Thank you, Bill!

    Many more political leaders will be following your lead!

    September 25, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Brian

    Wow...and Bill Clinton's thoughts on lifetime committments carries alot of weight....

    September 25, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. Oh no..

    More liberal idealism leading to the moral destruction on the once great United States of America. Thanks for nothing Bill!

    September 25, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Copout

    Is this really any surprise? After allegations that Hillary is bi, wanting people to "make commitments that last a lifetime" is not a far stretch. He's obviously embarrassed because he can't even call it what it really is.

    September 25, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. paul (staunch Moderate)

    I STRONGLY support marriage equality for everyone.

    They should have the right to be just as miserable as the rest of us! And God bless 'em!!

    September 25, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Robin

    @Independent_me September 25th, 2009 3:45 pm ET

    Sorry, you are wrong.

    Romans 1:26
    1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    1 Timothy 1:10

    3 NEW Testament verses that are very clear.

    CNN for the sake of fair and balanced opposition, please post this.

    September 25, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Biff Basham

    Just like God said , in the last days, people will call evil "good". God knew what He was talking about, for sure. And Clinton being a Bible-believing person, he says?

    September 25, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Well, there's at least a small dose of enlightenment.

    September 25, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Jenny in CA

    It amazes me how much hate and intollerance still exists for one another. We are all living our lives and why does one person feel they can tell another they don't have the same rights as them? Do you think you are better? We are all equal and should not be so quick to label something that you don't agree with. I guess you will leave it up to your "God" to judge you.

    September 25, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Moderate in N.E.

    Please people, if Mr. Clinton wants to make this statement, fine. The suggestion of calling one thing a marraige and another a civil union is fine so long as all commitments made between concenting adults before the eyes of the government are called the same. That is, under our government ALL are called civil unions and can and should only be called marriages by the churches. Having family members who are jewish, christian, and mormon I can assure you that each of these churches have different requirements for there to be a marriage - so why shouldn't the churches who confer the opportunity to be so joined also be the insitituion which calls the couples married. That way the government stays out of churches and what they call a marriage and the churches stay the bleep out of the government. Civil unions for all.

    September 25, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. Jes

    News flash.

    People have been getting married before we even had monotheism, before Christianity, before Islam.

    Marriage has nothing to do with a god.

    While you might want to brush up on world history, you might also want
    to read the U.S Constitution and learn a little bit about separation of church and state

    September 25, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Sherry

    Marriage is not about sex. Plenty of people remain married years after they stop having sex and I doubt they want their long term marriages called anything else. Anyone who wants to be married should be allowed to be married. As to Bill's promescuity...that is he and Hillary's marriage and their issue to deal with. If they chose to continue their committment despite their promises, they have the right to do so. He did not break a committment to the country, he broke it to his wife. How she dealt with it is none of our business.

    September 25, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. Lisa in Shelton

    "Equal but separate" used to be a racists rationalization for segregation. If it ain't marriage, it ain't equal. Words matter and hate is not a family value.

    September 25, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Tony/Stafford Springs, CT

    I'm the only redneck in America that supports same sex marriage. You're all out with the times. Your old fashioned ideas are bad for society. Whatever happened to land of the free? Freedom of religion?

    September 25, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. Ninos

    To all the ones who keep stating, "don't call it marriage, call it civil union," there's one problem: ONLY MARRIAGE CAN PROVIDE THE SAME RIGHTS TO SAME SEX COUPLES!! This goes to the married men posting on here. Spare us your sacred marriage spiel, cuz no one is buying!! I would be willing to bet my right arm that 99.9% of these men cheat on their wives!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 25, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. nc guy

    i see a few people saying give them same benefits but leave the term marriage out of it b/c that is a religious thing....

    well, don't allow people to get "married" by a justice of the peace in a court then if it is such a "religious" ceremony – don't call all of those unions marriage then since it was not done by a pastor or priest or whatever

    September 25, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Kathleen Kenney

    President Clinton is speaking for the rights of others. He is not claiming that he did not make mistakes in his personal life.
    (Consider the millions of people helped by the Clinton Foundattion.)

    September 25, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Willy Brown

    He would support it since he don't get none from you know who

    September 25, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. Dean

    Unfortunately, those who say marriage is a religious commitment are wrong. It is possible to get married by a 'Justice of the Peace' in some states, and it is possible for a sea captain to marry people – and these people are not necessarily religious officials. Let's be honest, marriage is a financial arrangement as far as the state and federal governments are concerned. They give financial benefits (or drawbacks), and nothing else. Those who are opposed to the religious aspect still have the ability to oppose same sex marriage in their churches, temples, etc. – which most religions require for the marriage to be considered valid in the eyes of God.

    September 25, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. carole

    He has an intelligent mind...............people of intellect can revisit their opinion on issues. Unlike the closed minded racists that are spewing hate now in the town halls and in the chambers by saying 'You Lie'.

    September 25, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. rachel

    Well, I am okay with what he said. I mean honestly people it's always been my opinion if you are opposed to same sex marriage for goodness sakes then don't marry someone of the same sex its that simple.

    September 25, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Bill of Florida

    Why are you people so threatened by someone who wants to marry another person of the same sex? First and most important, if you have no interest in the person who is getting married, what difference does it make to you? Second, if it doesn't affect you personally, why do you want to legislate your morality on another person. Third, if you believe in states rights, why are you trying to impose your morality on a national basis? Fourth, if you believe that government is too involved in your life, why are you trying to get it to crawl into everyone's bed with them? You don't have to be a homosexual to see the clear contradictions of these useless efforts to theocracize the United States of America. You claim to defend the Constitution. Well put your money where your mouth is and stop being such hypocrites.

    September 25, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Richard

    This guy really is obsessed with media attention. He is a sexist and border line pervert. He really should keep to himself regarding anything even remotely related to sexuality.
    Furthermore, how can anyone believe what he says? He admitted lying about his prior conduct under oath in the sexual assault civil rights law suit filed against him by Paula Jones, he was temporarily disbarred from practicing law and he made blaming others for conduct and cheating on your wife a "presidential thing." See, eg numerous sentators and governors, the prior president, Williams, musicians, etc.

    September 25, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |

    I would think a male with his medical history, as one would say has
    one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel, I might think he
    would encourage people to do the right thing when choosing a mate,
    one man and one woman. He knows better,

    September 25, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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