Bill Clinton chimes in on N.C. same-sex marriage ban
May 6th, 2012
04:17 PM ET
3 years ago

Bill Clinton chimes in on N.C. same-sex marriage ban

(CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton voiced his opposition to an upcoming North Carolina ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage, recording a robo call set to go out to half a million voters in the state on Monday.

“Hello, this is President Bill Clinton. I'm calling to urge you to vote against Amendment One on Tuesday May 8,” Clinton says in the recording.

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While North Carolina already bans same-sex marriage, the provision would officially stamp the policy defining marriage as the union of one man and one women as an amendment into the Constitution, making it the final state in the Southeast to add such a law regarding same-sex marriage.

Amendment One outlaws not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions and domestic partnerships of the same gender.

In Clinton’s robo call, he insists the passage of the law would have a damaging effect on the state’s reputation and economy.

“If it passes, it won't change North Carolina's law on marriage. What it will change is North Carolina's ability to keep good businesses, attract new jobs, and attract and keep talented entrepreneurs,” he says.

In the call, released by the advocacy group Protect NC Families, Clinton went on to say losing even one job as a result of the measure would be “too big of a risk.”

“So the real effect of the law is not to keep the traditional definition of marriage, you've already done that,” Clinton said. “The real effect of the law will be to hurt families and drive away jobs. North Carolina can do better.”

Clinton, who once opposed same-sex marriage, changed his personal position on the issue and made his decision public in 2009.

“I am no longer opposed to that," he said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. "I think if people want to make commitments that last a lifetime, they ought to be able to do it."

He added, however, he still believes it's a decision that should be left to the states.

Other high-profile figures have weighed in on the debate, including famed evangelist Billy Graham, who endorsed the initiative last week.

The 93-year-old took out full-page ads in 14 North Carolina newspapers touting his support for the measure. On his website, he encourages churches to download a poster that bears his image and the message "Vote for Marriage May 8th."

“Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern," the pastor said in a statement on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. "I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected.”

– CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin and CNN Belief Blog co-editor Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • North Carolina • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Get Real

    “I am no longer opposed to that," he said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. "I think if people want to make commitments that last a lifetime, they ought to be able to do it." says Clinton

    So they can make a commitment but it doesn't mean we change the definition of marriage.

    May 7, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  2. Evangenital

    God Jesus can come and tell bigots to vote no, but bigots will vote yes.

    May 7, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  3. two and out for GOP

    Here is the problem, people are associating gay marriage with religion and there in is the problem.
    As long as it is between to consenting adults, a person should have the right to marry or be with whomever they want same sex or not!!!

    May 7, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  4. Just As I Thought

    Everyday we hear from people like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Obambi, & now the most morally corrupt president in history....Bill Clinton, on how we the people need to become more "open-minded" & vote to end Biblical marriage to satisfy the Lust of man......Well here is my question for all you Progressive thinking folks.....What About What God Thinks/Says? Oh yeah......you don't believe He is Real! If you believe or not......one day you will stand before a Thrice Holy God & give account for your every word.......on that day you will have a sudden change of mind & heart.

    May 7, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  5. s.s

    Whats wrong with people ? Homosexuality is not a choice! let them marry or whatever you want to call and lets "GO" a step further and release all child molesters after all its not a choice they can't help it and don't stop there if Mary want to marry her horse so be it! after all is that what democracy is all about!! free choices?

    May 7, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. Hoo Myself

    **** So they can make a commitment but it doesn't mean we change the definition of marriage.

    The original definition of marriage was a contract between two parties.
    No mention of man or woman.
    Keep repeating the Republican mantra.

    May 7, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  7. Big Jilm

    So Billy Graham is against Freedom. Listen people, you either believe in freedom or you don't. Doesn't sound like North Carolina is a free State.

    May 7, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  8. Jelly

    Why vote against? Homosexuality is not a choice and so do child molestation. If Mary or Rob wants to marry her/his horse who are we to stop them. If a man or a woman wants polygamist marriage they should be given because its not a choice its an urge!!

    May 7, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  9. Jelly

    AMEN hamsta!! "The gay lifestyle is immoral unnatural and an abomination of God."

    May 7, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    "Again I ask "if we are truly protecting the institution of marriage, why not ban adultery?"
    -----
    Well, in almost half the states, adultery IS a criminal offense. It's just not prosecuted.

    May 7, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  11. Woody

    You'd think Clinton would be all for Plural Marriages too between "consenting adults".

    May 7, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Don't you just love how conservatives claim to want government out of their lives? But just as soon as you do not live your life up to their standards then they bring government all up into your life.

    What if same sex marrriage is permitted in someone's religion?
    What if someone is not religious: don't they have rights, too?

    May 7, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  13. first amendment to take rights from the people?

    I have to say that its a shame to call nc home with all the bigots around here

    May 7, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  14. Angie CT

    “Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern," the pastor said in a statement on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. What I'd like to know is when God gave Bill Graham the right to decide for everyone else what's moral & what's not.

    May 7, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  15. j bengel

    It should be noted that the amendment would ALSO prohibit civil union or domestic partnership for OPPOSITE sex couples as well. Basically, the amendment refuses to recognize ANY legal relationship that is NOT a heterosexual marriage. It's a my-way-or-the-highway brand of nuclear option that won't benefit anybody... even the people who wrote it and support it. It's a bad piece of legislation that even one of its sponsors in the legislature has abandoned support for.

    May 7, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    Hammerer

    Right!
    Clinton is a great spokesman for marriage commitments.
    ------------------------------–

    and Newt, Vitter, and Sanford are????? School is s over class.

    May 7, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  17. ShawnDH

    Voting on citizens basic civil and human rights is a national disgrace, and same sex marriage is already banned in North Carolina. What's the point? To further oppresws and discriminate against your fellow citizens and deny them and their families basic equalities and protections under the law? The Taliban would be proud.

    May 7, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  18. Jelly

    BILL CLINTON! "Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart." Acts 8:22

    May 7, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  19. ShawnDH

    Jelly wrote: "Why vote against? Homosexuality is not a choice and so do child molestation. If Mary or Rob wants to marry her/his horse who are we to stop them. If a man or a woman wants polygamist marriage they should be given because its not a choice its an urge!!"
    ________________

    Stop trying to equate gay marriage with child molestation, bestiality and polygamy. It's dishonest, ignorant and reflects the fact that you have no concept of the actual issue.

    May 7, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  20. Anonymous

    "First, I will say that I think this law would be wrong and I would vote against it if it was on my ballot. But in answer to your question it absolutely falls in the powers of States and not the federal government. That's in the Constitution. It's a law dealing with the lives of individuals and it is a state power. Just like health care. The founding fathers were very clear. And brilliant in their drafting of The Constitution."

    I suspect even Scalia would differ with your state v. federal views.

    May 7, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. ShawnDH

    Just As I Thought whined: "Everyday we hear from people like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Obambi, & now the most morally corrupt president in history....Bill Clinton, on how we the people need to become more "open-minded" & vote to end Biblical marriage to satisfy the Lust of man......Well here is my question for all you Progressive thinking folks.....What About What God Thinks/Says? Oh yeah......you don't believe He is Real! If you believe or not......one day you will stand before a Thrice Holy God & give account for your every word.......on that day you will have a sudden change of mind & heart."
    __________________

    YOUR religious beliefs are irrelevant to a discussion about equality under the law in 21st-century America. This is a secular democratic Republic, not a theocracy. If you want to live in a theocracy, move to Afghanistan under the Taliban since you share their vlaues about government, religion and gay rights.

    May 7, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  22. Take a mile

    What's next libs? If gays can marry then why can polygamists marry multiple times? Why can't a man marry his goat? why can't a 30yr old have sex with someones 8yr old daughter or son? Where's it end? Shall we also ban hammers and crowbars since they can be used as weapons? This is why we fight so hard against your selective social agenda, when we give you an inch you try to take a mile.

    May 7, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  23. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "Well here is my question for all you Progressive thinking folks.....What About What God Thinks/Says? Oh yeah......you don't believe He is Real! If you believe or not....."

    A lot of liberals and progressives believe in God. However, we do not believe in the hateful and bigoted "God" your GOBP cult worships. Nor do we believe a bunch of mentally defective rightwing radicals has any special insight into what "God Thinks/Says".

    May 7, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  24. Cedar Rapids

    "Amendment One outlaws not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions and domestic partnerships of the same gender."

    When the whole gay marriage thing was being argued, the opponents kept saying let them have civil unions or partnerships instead but dont call it marriage.....well here it is folks, they now want to ban any form of partnership, not just marriage. If you are gay and in a relationship prepare to have any rights signed away.

    May 7, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  25. Cedar Rapids

    "Take a mile -What's next libs? If gays can marry then why can polygamists marry multiple times? Why can't a man marry his goat? why can't a 30yr old have sex with someones 8yr old daughter or son? Where's it end? Shall we also ban hammers and crowbars since they can be used as weapons? This is why we fight so hard against your selective social agenda, when we give you an inch you try to take a mile."

    thats why we fight against you.....because you are an idiot in actually thinking that what you put forward is an argument.

    May 7, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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