Hillary Clinton announces support for same-sex marriage

Hillary Rodham smiles in one of her last interviews as Secretary of State.

Does this mean she’ll run for president in 2016? Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her support for same-sex marriage Monday morning in a video posted on the Web site for the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for LGBT rights.

She joins possible Democratic candidates for 2016 that include Vice President Biden, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley in supporting same-sex marriage. Last year, President Obama became the first sitting president to back same-sex marriage.

“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones,” Clinton said in the video. “And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. 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.”

She admits that her views have changed, “shaped over time by people” she has “known and loved.” She admits that marriage is “a fundamental building block of our society, a great joy and yes, a great responsibility.”

She continues in the video, “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. To deny the opportunity to any of our daughters and sons solely on the basis of who they are and who they love is to deny them the chance to live up to their own God-given potential.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is gearing up to hear a suit March 27 that challenges the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which says marriage is the union between one man and one woman. Although President Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law in 1996, he wrote in an editorial published in The Washington Post that he believes it’s time to overturn DOMA.

Although Hillary Clinton has been a strong and vocal proponent of gay rights, including civil unions, she had stopped short of support for same-sex marriage.

Attitudes toward same-sex marriage have shifted dramatically in recent years. In a Gallup poll last November, 53 percent of American adults thought same-sex marriages should have the same status as traditional marriages, while 46 percent were opposed. Contrast that with the first time a Gallup poll asked about gay marriage in 1996: Only 27 percent thought they should be valid.

Diana Reese is a freelance journalist in Overland Park, Kan. Follow her on Twitter at @dianareese.

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