March 18th, 2013
10:52 AM ET
10 years ago

Hillary Clinton announces support for same-sex marriage

Washington (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced for the first time Monday she supports marriage rights for same-sex couples, saying that "gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."

"America is at its best when we champion the freedom and dignity of every human being," Clinton said in a video produced by the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-same-sex marriage advocacy group.

The former first lady, U.S. senator, and 2008 presidential candidate had previously backed civil unions and partner benefits for same-sex couples, but had stopped short of a full endorsement for marriage. That was the position of most Democratic primary candidates that year, including President Barack Obama.

During her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton avoided taking political positions, as is customary for the role.

Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, wrote in an opinion article last week that he supported the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the law he signed in 1996 that defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. It also denies federal benefits to same-sex couples in the nine states where same-sex couples can now legally wed.

In the video released Monday, Hillary Clinton said her time traveling the world as America's top diplomat "inspired and challenged me to think anew about who we are, and the values we represent to the world."

Those values, she said, must include full equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans to marry.

"Full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship," she said. "That includes marriage. That's why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law."

Clinton had previously hinted at her support for marriage rights, speaking favorably of New York's law permitting marriages between same-sex couples. It also brings her in line with major figures in the Democratic Party, including Obama, who came out in support of marriage rights last May.

Democrats also included a plank in their party platform at last summer's convention supporting same-sex marriage.

Clinton's public backing of same-sex marriage comes as the Supreme Court prepares to tackle the issue this spring. Last year the high court agreed to hear two constitutional challenges to state and federal laws dealing with the recognition of gay and lesbian couples to legally wed.

Oral arguments will be held on March 26 and 27, with a ruling by late June.

In her video, Clinton called marriage "a fundamental building block of our society," and with a knowing laugh, called marriage "a great joy and yes, a great responsibility."

"A few years ago, Bill and I celebrated as our own daughter married the love of her life, and I wish every parent that same joy," she said.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Jneuy

    CNN backing of Hillary begins.....this network has worse rating than msnbc because the are a liberal outlet that fakes it. At least msnbc owns and celebrates it.

    March 18, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Meki60

    gag me with a spoon.

    March 18, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Sagebrush Shorty

    Running for office already,isn't she?

    March 18, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. Hmm

    @ dominicanmamforobama, you left out that Jesus spoke about forgiveness and also about sinning no more.

    March 18, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. sasss31

    We look forward to Hillary as President in 2016! 🙂

    March 18, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. youbetcha

    Marriage is man made anyways. Just like religion. Neither have anything to do with god or love.

    March 18, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Bobby

    This just in...the Wright brothers successfully complete first ever flight.

    Seriously...this is news? Wow...CNN is really trying to not only create news...but completely forward an agenda..which includes (clearly) setting up Clinton as the next Dem candidate for pres...YAWN!!!!!

    March 18, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. GenPatton

    Gee. Imagine that. She wants to run for the white house so she needs to pander.

    March 18, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. Ghunt

    Hey critical sounds like you may have developed empathy for the man-boy love association. Your kind of "personal growth" really has not limits.

    March 18, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. iBod

    God, I love Clinton!

    Let's the call this: Her first alignment with the standard made by President Obama.
    ...In other words: I am running for President in 2016!

    March 18, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. eskimole

    There are many things in this world that will not make one iota of change in my life. My taxes won't go down and my income won't go up. But 2 of them stand out. 1 Who the Pope is. 2 Gay marriage. I couldn't care less if some one wanted to marry their dog. As to Hillary- go home already-the world has had enough of Clintons!

    March 18, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If I remember my Cathecism correctly, I recall God having a lot to say about being your brother's keeper, and treating others the way you'd like to be treated;

    Treating others the way you'd like to be treated? Come now. That compassion lost it's flavor long ago. It's been replaced with treating others the way "they" expect "them" to conform to "their" limited viewpoints and "their" limited compassion. So, yeah, sending us out into the wilderness is just fine. And, I'm not just talking gays. Elderly. Disabled. Poor. All of whom seem to be a pox on the bootstrappers facade of happy campers who apparently want their personal utopia not to include the lesser of us. The less we are seen from (and heard from) the better they can spend their days in happy oblivion of our very existence. Which remarkably in their little world also excludes God's blessing on us.

    March 18, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Hillary is right on! Hillary for President in 2016!

    March 18, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Don

    Yep, grooming herself for the oval office and it doesn't mean she believes in same sex marriage. Just wants the votes.

    This country is really taking a downturn.

    March 18, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Jackie

    At women is part of the thier child as they give birth to the miracle of life. Few women accept this. Men wait until a child grows but always the mom. Ron Portman loves his son but had to think over the fact his son was gay. Notice the Mom just loved her son as usual. Men like former Senator Larry Craig hide and show an image of what is expected. It's time for a woman to lead and put the country back in order of love, respect, manners and honesty.

    March 18, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. Peter

    Who knew that traveling and getting exposure to other ways of thinking and living could possibly broaden one's views? It's no coincidence that the people whose views are stuck in the past are themselves stuck in their own narrow world. Get out of your zip code, your comfort zone of streamlined religious teachings, and your unchallenged way of life and open your eyes.

    March 18, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Mr. New York

    Go Hilary! You will certainly get my support, and dollars for your 2016 bid!!

    March 18, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Gregory L. Faith

    I thought she said she was out of politics. Who cares what she says now that she is a private citizen. Go ask the lady on the park bench next CNN. Geezz

    March 18, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Singlemalt

    Looking forward to the next election. The republicans, are in for one hell of a shock. The party in search of remaking itself, indeed. Good luck with that. The one credo they have now, and always will have is greed.

    March 18, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Deez

    So she hasn't already? Not a big shocker here, but glad to hear more people are getting on the bandwagon.

    Hey GOP, get on the right side of history!

    March 18, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Al-NY,NY


    Yep, grooming herself for the oval office and it doesn't mean she believes in same sex marriage. Just wants the votes.

    This country is really taking a downturn

    "just wants the votes".....and the GOP tearing itself apart in order to figure out "how to get votes" from young people, hispanics, and all the other demographics they didn't get last time is different????

    March 18, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Another reason to never vote for her for anything.

    March 18, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. jimmraz

    Id rather see 2 couples get together any sex, to get this USA economy working. Do you know how much stuff you have to buy when you move in together then the consumption of goods then the nagging to buy this that the other, USA economy would be booming if you allowed same sex marriage. for 10 mins of passion in there own homes in private I am not going to put that little ewwwhh fact in front of the taxes and benefits they will be to the USA public and economy for the other 24hr 50 min's when they live a completely straight life like the rest of us . Come on for 10 mins of a private encounter ?... This has to pass its too important for the USA economy and its right think to do.

    March 18, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Cindy

    Good post Kman66.

    March 18, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Overmann

    Why? She running?

    March 18, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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