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. Peter

    If I marry my she goat or she dog will that be marriage?

    September 25, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. JayG

    Chelsea is gay, that is the hidden story, nobody changes a fundamental belief like that after years of being in politics without it hitting close to home.

    September 25, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Felonious Monk

    Where is the proof there is a god? Oh, that's right, it's faith.

    September 25, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Kelly

    @#$% your god, the church of England, or any other religious dogma that believes they have authority on morals in the Land of the Free. At best you Christians who hate queers have a marginally organized group of voters were able to tip the scale on a handful of important elections. You better get on with the love and forgiveness soon 'cause after all the baby boomers clear out you will all be a memory – and you can be remembered as a hateful bigoted stain on our constitution or under-appreciated lovers of mankind. If it were me and I believed in Peter, judgment day, and all that nonsense you best hope that your pork eating, premarital sex having, sinful bigoted ways are forgiven by your savior in a way you never could forgive your neighbors and countrymen in life.

    September 25, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Proud Member..Party of No

    Bill Clinton is a despicable human being and nobody cares what he thinks.

    September 25, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Bill in VT

    Wow. How is he living up to his "lifelong commitment"? Geez.

    September 25, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Acornie

    I like to use Bill Clinton as my moral compass. He is such a good role model.

    September 25, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. Paul Todd

    Why are people so happy... or sad? ITS TOO LATE! He is no longer prez. He has no say, he had his chance. Too litlle too late for the pro-gay crowd, and yippeee for the anti-gay people. Having an ex-prez come to a conclustion is a null opinion. As an ex-prez, he has no bully pulpit, or executive order power or anything. Personally I just think he is just setting the stage for Hillary to run later and is gearing up for the gay vote. Black people showed the Clintions how much they appreciated them already in the primaries (despite how much the Clinton's did for the black community), so they have to work on the base.

    September 25, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. anonymous

    Following the logic of the "homosexuals are not able to have kids" argument, it looks like heterosexual couples who are sterile are out of luck. They can only bring children into the world through a third party. No marriage there?

    September 25, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Cindy

    What is obvious to folks in the north and in Canada for years has not been so obvious to those living in the bible belt. You've got to forgive Bill–his roots in the bible belt have slowed him down in coming around to the right stance on this issue. But he has finally arrived.

    September 25, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. Felonious Monk

    maximus (NY) September 25th, 2009 5:02 pm ET

    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.

    You sir are the most christian of christians. You compassion knows no bounds. You deserve a place at the right hand of god; Push jesus out of his place while you are at it.
    It sounds as though you will be spending eternity in hell. If I believed in an afterlife I would laugh at this.

    In 2000 years will Elvis be a god? Oh, that's blasphemy. LOL

    Keep waiting for the "judgement day," and keep laughing.

    September 25, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. Don

    Wow, what an incredibly aware and open mind point of view Bill!

    Only problem is that it's 2009 and most of the rest the world's civilized leaders already got this concept 20 years ago!!! 😉

    September 25, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. mark

    good call bill...enough with the religous right crap.

    September 25, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. S

    My mother is losing her health insurance. I would like to marry her so that she can be added to my benefits plan. Problem?

    September 25, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. JustSaying

    Who is it hurting when a gay couple gets married? Really?
    It isn't affecting anyone but the couple.
    That's my stance on the subject.
    I don't think I have the right to dictate who someone else can fall in love with.

    September 25, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Shana

    Well, now I pretty much unequivocally love him. His opposition to gay marriage bothered me, but YOU GO, SIR. Heh. The minds, they are a'changin', and for the better. I hope it's not too much longer before all American adults share the same rights, because the discrimination and inequality has gone on far, far too long.

    September 25, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Jackie in Dallas

    For the Bible thumpers...

    Also in the Bible is the fact that Abraham had multiple wifes and concubines upon whom he fathered children. Does that mean he was not legally married, or should we all reconsider about multiple spouse marriage because HE did it?

    There are also Biblical injuctions about a lot of things that are considered relatively normal American sexual activity. Are we to redefine what people can do in the privacy of their bedrooms even when legally married by your standards? Boy, is that an expansion of government!

    The Bible also calls for compassion, to love one another, and not to judge others. I wish you would read THOSE sections more often.

    As for homosexual behavior...anthropologists will tell you that homosexual behavior has been documented back to neolithic times and maybe even earlier. Animals, in particular other primates, exhibit it. True, it is not the most prevalent behavior, obviously, since it would limit species continuity, but it happens. Marriage, as a monagamous institution, is relatively new in terms of human history.

    I'm not gay, but I'm also not judgmental. Other peoples rights end where mine long as their behavior does not impact me or mine. And I truly believe that the Constitution does mean equal rights for all citizens.

    September 25, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Khalil

    Thank you Bill. What took you so long!

    September 25, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Dan

    Someone compared homosexuality to Sodom and Gomorrah. They haven't read Ezekiel 16:49 which states that their sins were "pride, excess of food and prosperous, but did not aid the poor and needy." The main concern about marriage throughout the Bible is NOT that it be heterosexual or even monogamous, but rather that it not lead people astray from God. The purely monogamous marriage between Ahab and Jezebel in 1 Kings 16:31 was not commended because it was heterosexual, but rather condemned, because it led Ahab into idolatry. Every context in which homosexuality is condemned, such as idolatry in Romans 1, so is heterosexuality, such as in Numbers 25:1-8, which led to virulent condemnation and a plague because of this idolatrous heterosexuality.

    September 25, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. JayG

    Kelly: you need a hug geez. talk about hate mongoring. Seems to me you have more hate in your heart then any of these people you speak about. see a phsychiatrist

    September 25, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. smiley

    well i actually knew that straight people have lot of problem like sex offense, abuse, rape, cheat, divorce, murder, so much... i noticed that straight people like to involve with gay people which would be less problem... gay people are nothing wrong with you all guys... leave them alone

    September 25, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. Buster

    I want to marry three women. Then when that doesn't work, I want to marry my dog.

    September 25, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. C Lo

    Dear Bill Clinton,

    Gays can currently make lifelong commitments to each dont need a piece of paper that says your married to make a committment...They also have unions for gays...

    or all the gays can move to gay friendly states...that way non-gay friendly states dont have to deal with so many gays....which in turn, lowers hate crimes against gays....



    PS. what is the preferred word by gays for gays? ive never relaly known what they prefer to be called... homos? gays? same-sex lovers? what am i suppose to call them without an uproar?

    September 25, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. Dave

    Wow, it is amazing to me just how ignorant so many people are, in this world, when it comes to the Bible and what the true creator of this world and mankind has to say about same sex marriage. The true King, Jesus Christ, was very specific in his word that marriage exists between a man and a woman, not between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. When I read stuff like this and read comments from individuals like I have it just gives me more of a reason to pray that Jesus comes back soon and picks up his church.

    September 25, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. Dave in TX/PA

    September 25th, 2009 5:30 pm ET

    "Following the logic of the "homosexuals are not able to have kids" argument, it looks like heterosexual couples who are sterile are out of luck. They can only bring children into the world through a third party. No marriage there?"

    Not a very good counter arguement. I don't think anyone can argue that two of the same sex is a natural sexual union. Despite being sterile, a man and woman still have the correct biological components to reproduce when paired.

    I agree this should not be a basis for civil unions but your counter arguement falls a little flat. Let's just say unions show commitment to one another and leave procreation out.

    September 25, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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