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Hillary Clinton announces support for gay marriage

By Julie Pace and Ken Thomas

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:36 a.m. HST, Mar 18, 2013

WASHINGTON » Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her support for gay marriage today, putting her in line with other potential Democratic presidential candidates on a social issue that is rapidly gaining public approval.

Clinton made the announcement in an online video released this morning by the gay rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign. She says in the six-minute video that gays and lesbians are "full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship."

"That includes marriage," she says, adding that she backs gay marriage both "personally and as a matter of policy and law."

Clinton's announcement is certain to further fuel the already rampant speculation that she is considering another run for president in 2016. Other possible Democratic contenders — including Vice President Joe Biden, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley — all back the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Polls show that public opinion on gay marriage has shifted perhaps more rapidly than on any other major issue in recent times. In Gallup polling last November, 53 percent of adult Americans said same-sex marriages should be granted the same status as traditional marriages, while 46 percent felt they should not be valid.

In 1996, when Gallup first asked about gay marriages, 27 percent felt they should be valid.

The shift among the major political parties has been equally swift. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Clinton and rival Barack Obama both backed civil unions for gay couples, but not same-sex marriage. In the lead-up to the 2012 election, Obama announced his support for gay marriage and Democrats backed the right of same-sex couples to wed in their party's official platform.

The GOP officially opposes gay marriage, though several high profile Republicans have publicly backed the right of same-sex couples to wed. On Friday, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman became the first Republican senator to announce his support for gay marriage, saying he had a change of heart after learning that his son is gay.

More than 100 Republicans also submitted a "friend of the court" brief to the Supreme Court asking the justices to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. The court will hear oral arguments on California's Proposition 8 measure next week.

Justices will also hear arguments in a related case concerning the constitutionality of a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. President Bill Clinton signed the act into law in 1996, but said earlier this month that he now believes it is unconstitutional and should be overturned.

Despite holding back in supporting same-sex marriage, Hillary Clinton was a strong support of gay rights, both in the U.S. and abroad, during her tenure at the State Department. Under her watch, the U.S. government made it official policy to promote gay rights around the world.

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palani wrote:
To the Benghazi bungler: <-_->zzzzz
on March 18,2013 | 05:36AM
false wrote:
That kind of war is not something we have had a lot of success with from 9/11 on out. Even Oklahoma. Some events are just man's inhumanity to man which is pervasive, even here in Hawai`i. Eyes on all the time because we are equally as vulnerable.
on March 18,2013 | 05:52AM
Slow wrote:
Over the years I have slowly come to admire Hilary Clinton. It is amusing to watch her ascendance while the Republican party, from Mitt to Sam, stumbles and crumbles.
on March 18,2013 | 06:32AM
LanaUlulani wrote:

It's great that some people are in favor of equality for all but people in 30 states already voted to ban gay marriage in some form.

Hillary Clinton coming out now in support of gay marriage is four years TOO LATE. Very fake and disingenuous of her. Auwe. What an opportunist.

on March 18,2013 | 06:43AM
serious wrote:
Who really cares what she says. She's a professional politician.
on March 18,2013 | 07:18AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Hillary Clinton coming out now? Makes you wonder if she is one. After all, every time she kisses Bill, she is doing it to Monica Lewinsky by proxy.
on March 18,2013 | 07:56AM
koji wrote:
she is starting her campaign early, lots of damage control to cover. She will try and lock the female demo and gay demo, then concede to whoever has a higher rating than her, ask her supporters to follow that person etc etc its all planned out
on March 18,2013 | 08:56AM
cojef wrote:
You're right, starting early to campaign for the 2016 election by throwing her hat in the ring, despite her health issue, if it was not a ploy to avoid testifying on the embarrassing debacle at Benghazi. After all there are no prominent democrats wannabe president caliber person,,other than maybe The current Veep.
on March 18,2013 | 10:08AM
newsjunky1 wrote:
Hahahahaha........she's "evolved", just like Obama. Hahahahahaha!
on March 18,2013 | 08:59AM
Anonymous wrote:
Yes, rational human beings constantly examine changing circumstances, critically think about them, and sometimes change their mind.
on March 18,2013 | 09:43AM
hawaiikone wrote:
And quite often they come to the wrong conclusion....
on March 18,2013 | 06:49PM
Anonymous wrote:
Ms. Clinton is not the only one who has thought about the issue and changed her mind: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/03/18/gay-marriage-support-hits-new-high-in-post-abc-poll/
on March 18,2013 | 09:46AM
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