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. cleve

    First Dick Cheney, now Bill Clinton. Give me a break, why didn't they do something while they were in office?

    Let's recap, Bill spent his time sharing Willy with God knows how many women?? So, he didn't honor his own marriage vows, but only now does he support the rights on many LGBT Americans to marry. And I voted for Bill twice.

    Dick only supports this now that he has an illegitimate grandchild!! That's right, he was opposed to it for so long, while he kept Mary locked in the basement of their Wyoming home, letting her out only when he needed her for the 2004 race.

    They're both losers in my mind on this issue! Too little, too late!!

    September 25, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. davie

    Bill Clinton, the authority of lifelong committments.

    September 25, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. GR

    It's time for America to come out of the STONE AGE with regard to sexuality. A person is created with a sexual affinity. There is NO conscious choice about it. Period. And the same is true even within the animal kingdom where homosexuality is well documented.

    It's time that we matured as a society and give all people the right to pursue lasting, committed, legally-recognized relationships no matter what their sexual-orientation.

    September 25, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Nothing wrong in what he says.

    September 25, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. al in memphis

    At some point we will learn, it not always about what we think as Americans, or even the fact that we have the freedom to choose. Look at natue an see what God set in order.

    September 25, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Oakland Tracy

    Thanks Bill – only 15 years and an "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" too late.

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

    @Biff Basham September 25th, 2009 4:03 pm ET

    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?

    hey Biff, your post is a great example...
    Using the bible to spread hate. That's evil, and you're trying to make it something good.

    September 25, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. NVa Native

    As marriage is a religious act Govt should not have anything to do with marriage. If your religion of choice allows you to marry someone then have at it.
    Pretty simple to follow the path of religious freedom, if you don't like it move to some backward country like one of those Pakistan, Afganistan, any of the 'stans – where barbaric life styles are embraced.
    Religious freedom is American, religious bigotry is not!

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

    You make dog fight you go to jail but it is ok to marry someone from the same sex ........what kind of world we live in ?

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

    What a great opportunity for Anderson to come out! Congrats Anderson!!

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

    September 25th, 2009 4:02 pm ET

    @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.

    You cant seriously use the bible as a source of authority.....the book literally has more contradictions, errors, discrepancies than actual words! For god sake the book has two creation stories and both dont say the same these two books, they are by leading biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman, one is called "Misquoting Jesus" and the other is called "Jesus, Interrupted: the hidden contradictions in the bible".....Im sure it wont change your faith in the book but itll open your eyes to how many mistakes and contradictions there are in that book!

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


    Because he is a former president. Also, probably because he siged a federal law about marriage being between a man ad a woman. Also if that moron Bush was to say something it would probably be on the news as well..

    September 25, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Andrew- FED UP!

    I am a gay man and in no way am i settling for 'Civil Unions.' I am NOT a second class citizen and the term 'marriage' predates the bible anyways. As if that wasn't enough to convince the extremists, the law is NOT TIED TO RELIGION WHAT SO EVER! Seriously people, when did Jesus Christ write our constitution? And again, if this wasn't enough, explain to me the 'sanctity' of YOUR heterosexual marriage when the divorce rate is over 50%! According to your bible, divorce is sinful, no?

    The time for the LGBT Civil Rights movement is now. Three states have already carried out Equality and the rest of the country is underway. Once the Baby Boomer generation is finally long gone, America will be able to live with far less discrimination once and for all. These are the same people who were against integration, interracial marriages, etc. Anything not the 'norm' they have to stick their fat republican noses in and interject themselves into peoples rights. If you don't like it, move to Iran. They'll agree with your tyranical point of view.

    September 25, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. kellygreen

    What a great opportunity for Anderson to come out! Congrats Anderson!!

    The TRUTH is that most Americans either support same sex marriage or don't give a rat's tail.

    September 25, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Big D

    ICARE wrote:
    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

    The end of the world is driven by gay marriage? You are a complete idiot.

    September 25, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Joe

    Glad to hear Clinton caught up with the times. Now if only we could drag the Republicans onto the right side of history.

    September 25, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. None of your business

    I have no problem with civil unions. However, redefining the word "marriage" is wrong.

    September 25, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. Robert

    I always did think Hillary wore the pants in the family. Now I am convinced.

    September 25, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. Sue

    BILL, BILL, you are obviously looking for a new political appointment/FUTURE???? MISS the spotlight now don't you????
    Well, time Hillary DUMPS you for good – you certainly are now jealous of HER fame and position.
    And to think that I used to defend you????? Not your sexual meanderings – which now seem to have been MANY – but your political fortitude.

    September 25, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Erik

    I say that we should redefine the terms so that a "civil union" is a legal status thats joins two people for the purposes of a long term personal relationship, with all the legal benefits that we give marriage now. That this apply to all people, whether they be two men, two women, or one man and one woman. So that all such unions of two people are equal under law.

    "Marriage" can then be defined as the non-legal unification of two people for a relationship, which would have no legal standing, yet would be keeping in the sense of marriage as it is currently defined. The ceremonies of marriage could be performed by religious or secular institutes for whatever reasons, and under whatever conditions they see fit.

    With these definitions, gay couples can be granted all the legal rights of marriage under law, whereas marriage does not change at all, and it would under the discrimination of private, non-governmental institutions to decides who can be married under their system. Both sides win.

    September 25, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. seebofubar

    Maybe Billy Boy is getting a little bi-curious? Maybe we should get him a page instead of an intern.

    September 25, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Fernando

    Don't be ridiculuos Clinton! Are you looking for votes for your wife in the next presidential campaign? It seems to be that you are gearing for that and are breaking ground with the gay community of US. These politicians are all the same: they are always looking at satisfying their greed no matter how much they hurt the people they are supposed to protect. Same-sex marriage is the destruction of the nucleus of society, which is the family.

    September 25, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. HH

    This one is for Peter that does not understand what sodomy really means.
    Merriam-Webster; SODOMY: anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex; also : copulation with an animal
    You see, sodomy is not merry beetween same sex as you imply. And if they whan to get merry or 'civil union' or what ever...are you going to live with them?

    September 25, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. Leevitalone

    Seems like some people decided to rewrite the dictionary.

    They have decided to define "right" to suit their own purposes. They think that because they call something a "right" that it then is one.

    They have also decided to change civilized society's definition of "marriage." What's sad is that all this discussion might not be taking place if everyone had been allowed to choose who would make health care decisions for them when they were incapacitated and with whom they could own property - that kind of thing.

    Now who wouldn't accept those as "civil rights?"

    September 25, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Big D

    I don't personally think Bill was truly against gay marriage. That would be inconsistent with a progressive philosophy. Because the right wing nuts and a weak Democratic Congress (sound familiar?) damaged his Presidency over the issue of gays in the military, he was compelled for political reasons to "oppose gay marriage". Now that the fog has lifted and most Americans are beginning to realize that the entire debate has been mean-spirited and driven by the usual right-wing extremists (the same folks who stoke our racial divisions), it is safe for Bill (and Hillary) to go with the progressive position.

    I wish that it wasn't so political, but that's how I see it.

    September 25, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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