Why Hillary Clinton Now Supports Gay Marriage

Elahe Izadi
National Journal

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton came out in support of gay marriage Monday as the Supreme Court readies to hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage later this month.

Clinton approached the gay-rights group Human Rights Campaign about a week ago to ask how she could lend support to their efforts, according to Human Rights Campaign spokesman Fred Sainz.

“She has worked with [Human Rights Campaign] in the past and she talked to us about how she could help, so this message, to get the word out, is particularly important in advance of oral arguments scheduled next week,” Sainz said. “She hoped to add her voice to the series of voices” in support of gay marriage.

Despite the 2016 presidential buzz that surrounds her, Clinton has maintained a relatively low profile since stepping down as secretary of State earlier this year. The video message is her first foray back in the public spotlight, and in it, she says she supports gay marriage “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." Clinton added, “Like so many others, my personal views have been shaped over time by people I have known and have loved.”

Clinton has evolved on the issue since running for president. In 2008, she backed civil unions, but not same-sex marriage. In 2011, she lauded New York's then-new same-sex marriage law. 

The Clintons also have long-standing ties to the Human Rights Campaign. The group’s president, Chad Griffin, has been a close Clinton associate for some time — he started his career as a 19-year-old Clinton campaign worker in Arkansas, and went on to work on the communications team in the Clinton White House.