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Hillary Clinton officially says yes to gay marriage

Hillary Clinton made it official today: In a video for the Human Rights Campaign, the former secretary of state announced her support for same-sex marriage.

LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens and they 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, embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and all Americans.
Like so many others, my personal views have been shaped over time by people I have known and loved, by my experience representing our nation on the world stage, my devotion to law and human rights, and the guiding principles of my faith.
Marriage, after all, is a fundamental building block of our society, 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 the same joy. To deny that 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.

Clinton’s five-minute message comes three days after Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced his support for marriage equality. It also comes 10 days after her husband, former president Bill Clinton, called on the Supreme Court to overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which he signed in 1996. All three made their views known before the high court hears arguments next week in two cases related to same-sex marriage.

As secretary of state, Clinton was a champion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) around the world. On International Human Rights Day in 2011, she delivered a blunt yet inspiring speech in Geneva with the memorable line, “[G]ay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” Earlier in 2011, Clinton gave a nod to the marriage-equality law in New York State. But now that she is out of Foggy Bottom, Clinton can be clear about where she stands on major issues. As Perry Bacon of The Grio just pointed out on MSNBC, this is her first public comment on anything since leaving her post last month. That it was on same-sex marriage is significant.

Look at any survey and Clinton’s name leads the Democratic pack for the 2016 presidential nomination. Never mind that she hasn’t said one word about her political plans. But her public pronouncement places her in the forefront of her party. The two other talked-about contenders for 2016 are New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. Both men were intimately involved in the efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in their respective states.

In short, supporting the right of loving and committed same-sex couples to marry is the only acceptable position to have if you want to be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. But even if Clinton doesn’t run, her support for marriage equality is valuable and needed. As the LGBT community continues its push for full equality, every little bit helps.

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