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. rob

    I already thought Bill was awesome but as a proud gay man this makes me think even more highly of him. His opinion matters and his voice is a powerful voice to have on such an important issue. Bill is the man! Everyone deserves to be happy. People cling to hate because its all they have, let go of the hate and maybe you will see there is nothing to be scared of in allowing people to be happy. Make yourself better instead of dragging down others. The church needs to stick its hypocritical nose somewhere else. Those who blindly oblige need to learn to think independently.

    September 25, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. page

    Now I know he is far left with the rest of the nuts in the White House.

    September 25, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. matt

    matt September 25th, 2009 4:13 pm ET

    If I had the time, I could debunk your theory as well. I love the liberals. Moral standing is a bad thing to them. All this entertainment and a paycheck too!

    How could you debunk my theory that the Bible has contradictions, when its not a theory at all, its proven fact? Do a horizontal reading (meaning you read one gospel story in Mark and read the same one presented by Matthew) of the Gospels and youll see that Luke and Matthew, for example, give two different stories of Jesus's birth and how Joseph and Mary got to Bethlahem and how both are historically inaccurate. And whose against moral standing? As a student of history and philosophy I understand that moral standing is not a religious trait. Morality stood long before Christianity and will stand long after! i just dont believe in fairy tales cause if I did I would think Santa came on Dec. 24th with gifts!

    September 25, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Vicki

    Kudos to Bill.

    September 25, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. Michael Hsu

    I haven't changed my opposition to gay marriages. You see, there is such a thing as moral absolutism (which says gay marriages is wrong). The problem with moral relativism is that weasels, like a certain person who doesn't know what the words "is" or "sex" means, should not be allowed to redefine morailty for themselves or others.

    September 25, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Lila

    Well said, STU!!!!!!!

    I think you nailed it.

    September 25, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. amy

    he was on your side Roy, did you even read the Bible Post?

    September 25, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. tired of the hate

    A few thoughts for those Chrisitans with heated opinions on this topic from The Bible:

    "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity."

    "A gentle answer turns away wrath."

    "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."

    "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit."

    "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

    First, there's the controlled tongue, which thinks before speaking (or e-mailing), knows when to stay silent and offers sound advice.

    Then there's the caring tongue, which speaks truthfully but tactfully, with a constructive goal of encouraging and improving.

    Then there's the conniving tongue, which speaks with wrong motives and uses gossip, rumors and slander to twist the truth.

    And finally, there's the careless tongue, which utters lies, curses and hot-tempered words that lead to damage and destruction.

    September 25, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. dizizcamron


    i commend you for having a reasonable argument against gay marriage/civil unions, but there are several problems with your statement.

    first, gay couples can adopt children, and raise them effectively in good homes. this is perhaps the strongest reason FOR gay marriage/civil unions, as since they cant breed their own children adoption is the most likely option. taking children out of foster care and placing them in loving is a benefit to society worth rewarding with tax breaks.

    secondly, if your statement that the tax breaks given to married couples were a carrot to encourage good child rearing households, then the many straight couples who do not or cannot have children would have their tax status stripped, which they do not.

    finally, the tax breaks associated with marriage are only a single benefit to that status. more importantly is medical power of attorney. w/o a lawyer and filing legal papers, the only person who is allowed to make medical decisions on your behalf, or even visit you in the hospital, is your parents or your spouse. it is a terrible situation to find yourself helpless to affect the medical outcomes of a loved one because the state does not recognize your union with them in any form.

    i agree that calling in marriage or a civil union is semantics. the rights granted by the state are what matters. besides...population grown isn't exactly the US's biggest concern right now. we're lucky enough to live in a country that isn't drastically over populated...measure that aim to encourage breeding aren't necessary.

    September 25, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Kerzell, CA

    Wasn't the word "marriage" already redefined on "C" Street?

    September 25, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Farrell in Houston

    I'm not interested in a same sex partner for marriage and it makes me no difference one way or the other. If you're not gay or a closet gay then butt out or come out of the closet.

    September 25, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Nate from Atlanta

    Man and man is not marriage. Its a gay relationship.

    September 25, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. maximus (NY)

    I just can't wait for the " Judgment day". I'll be buying my ticket for the front row from now to sit and watch and laugh them out to hell, Sodomians and Gomorrahans.

    September 25, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. DickCheneyTheMadharchodh

    OMG, Chelsea is a lesbo !!! didn't realize it but now I see the pattern.

    I (Dick Cheney) had to do the same thing last year!!

    September 25, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Tim

    I have always thought that marriage is a religious institution, and I believe that marriage has no place as a legal institution. I think at one point when women were seen as subservient to men, it had a purpose. Women have become as independent as men, although it still is a little tougher for them due to lingering traditional values.

    As far as children go, both parents are responsible for that child unless one of the parents releases the other from the responsibility. The parents should also be able to give that responsibility to another if that person agrees to take it.

    If government recognizes marriages, should they also recognize Communions, Bat Mitzvahs and Bar Mitzvahs, Baptisms, etc. Religion and Government should not mix.

    September 25, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Lila


    What about couples who can't have children?

    September 25, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Leo

    This is to John, Brooklyn, New York

    to answer your 1st question our government is so involved in this marriage debate because it goes all the way back to when this country was founded by the puritan religion....

    September 25, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. Doug

    Obviously doesn't believe in traditional Marriage, so this is a logical step.

    End result is...........Who cares about Bill Clinton.

    September 25, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. mesa

    Okay, let them wed. But since they don't have the ability to reproduce together, they need to go childless.

    September 25, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. kaleto

    That's Slick Willie for ya, the weather vane of politics. His views change depending upon which way the political wind is blowing.

    September 25, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Objective Thinking

    If a Republican came out and said he changed his opinion from "opposed to gay marriage" to "not longer opposed to gay marriage," I'm sure the responses on here would include a lot more posts calling him a flip-flopper, or accusing him of lying about his real beliefs.

    September 25, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Ray

    Michael Hsu

    Surely, under your "moral absoultism" killing is wrong. Then surely, you are a person against the death penalty and war. Also, likely, a member of PETA.

    September 25, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. The Constitutionalist

    The moment a married man and woman stepped foot into a court room to get a divorce was the minute the term "marriage" ceased to have a strictly religious definition. It became a matter of law. While this is probably the only thing I am in agreement with liberals on, its not about right, left, or center. Its about the Constitution. Glad I'm a libertarian.

    September 25, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. jenn

    Well, he's certainly not the poster child for the sanctity of marriage, that's for sure. But then again, a lot of the family-values, anti-gay-marriage types ought to spend more time tending to their own marriages (Sanford, Vitter, Craig...need I go on?) than railing against other peoples' right to get married.

    I've never understood opposition to gay marriage. Honestly, why would anyone care whether or not other consenting adults get married? As the people of Iowa found out, society won't collapse if gay people can get married–a recent poll showed that 92% of Iowans said that legalized gay marriage had not affected their lives in any way. Duh!

    September 25, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Susan in Sunnyvale, CA

    Yay Bill!!!

    September 25, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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