Hillary Clinton is free to speak now that she is no longer Secretary of State. She has come out with unequivocal support for gay rights and absolute support for same sex marriage. She says in her video what should be obvious to all Americans.
LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens and deserves the rights of citizenship. And that includes marriage. That;s why I support marriage for lesbians and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law. Embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and all Americans.
The most important statement she makes is that while she supports it personally, LGBT equality that includes marriage must be a “matter of policy and law”. What one thinks about gay marriage personally is immaterial. What one thinks about interracial marriage is immaterial. What one thinks about religious affiliation is immaterial. It is important that it be codified into law that no form of discrimination will be sanctioned by the state.
It is important that Hillary Clinton, the likely 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate, stake her position early on this issue. She was already preempted by Republican Conservative Senator Rob Portman who came out in support of same sex marriage (only after he found out his son was gay and deserved equal rights as well).
CBS News reports her evolution as follows.
Her announcement marks the latest shift over an issue on which she has been evolving for years. In a 2007 questionnaire by the Human Rights Campaign, Clinton rejected the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a controversial bill defining marriage as between one man and one woman, which her husband signed into law and later repudiated by. At the time, though, Clinton’s spokesperson clarified to Politico that she was objecting to DOMA’s ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriages, but not the idea that states have authority to determine the law independently.
Clinton has long supported civil unions between same-sex couples, and supported the 2011 law that legalized same-sex marriage in New York State. But she cited her experiences traveling the globe as secretary of state, as well as her own daughter’s wedding a few years ago, as key to her process.
One must remember that, Hilary Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton was the one who made the DOMA compromise that he recently explained in the Washington op-ed titled “It’s time to overturn DOMA”. Inasmuch as it was Bill Clinton’s presidency, questions will be asked about the advice she gave him. While Hilary’s public support is a bit late it must be noted that at the state department she was instrumental in providing the LGBT employees equality and refrain from discrimination.