That former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supports marriage equality doesn't seem surprising. She'd already delivered an eloquent address on LGBT issues in December 2011, making the case to the world that "gay rights are human rights," and before leaving her post, Clinton elevated equality for gay people as a core value of U.S. foreign policy in ways none of her predecessors ever considered.
For that matter, given her stated positions, I'd more or less forgotten that she hadn't already endorsed marriage equality. But this morning, she made it official, explaining her position in a six-minute video made available through the Human Rights Campaign.
For those who can't watch clips online:
"LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones -- 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, embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and for all Americans. Like so many others, my 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 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 God given potential."
The news comes just three days after Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio became the first Republican senator to endorse marriage equality, though in his case, Portman cited having a gay son. Clinton's announcement is arguably long overdue, though unlike the Republican senator, she has a lengthy and impressive record of championing LGBT rights for much of her career.
Looking ahead, we do not yet know what kind of national ambitions, if any, Hillary Clinton harbors, but given the prevailing winds in the party, I think it's safe to say any Democrat seeking national office from this point forward will be expected to support marriage equality as a matter of course.