Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Entertainment
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Clinton defends initial resistance to gay marriage, denies support was politically motivated

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Hillary Rodham Clinton tersely defended her initial opposition to gay marriage, denying in a radio interview that political reasons were behind her shift last year to supporting same-sex marriage. She accused the host of the show of "playing with my words."

"I did not grow up even imagining gay marriage and I don't think you did either," Clinton told National Public Radio's Terry Gross, one of the most respected interviewers in the U.S., on Thursday.

"This was an incredibly new and important idea that people on the front lines of the gay right movement began to talk about and slowly, but surely, convinced others about the rightness of that position," she added. "When I was ready to say what I said, I said it."

The exchange came during Clinton's media tour supporting her new book, "Hard Choices," about the former first lady and senator's time as President Barack Obama's secretary of state. Clinton has said she'll decide later this year whether to make a second run for president.

In 2008, Clinton, Barack Obama and other Democratic presidential candidates opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, although they endorsed versions of civil unions.

In March 2013, Clinton released a video expressing her support for gay marriage, shortly after she left the State Department. As the nation's top diplomat, Clinton refrained from weighing in on domestic politics but she won praise from gay rights organizations for bringing attention to LGBT issues around the globe and within the State Department.

But the former first lady's announcement came after Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden and several prominent Democrats — along with Republicans like Sen. Rob Portman — had stated their support for same-sex marriage.

The NPR interview became tense when Gross asked Clinton repeatedly about her shift to support gay marriage. At one point, Clinton told Gross: "I think you're being very persistent, but you are playing with my words and playing with what is such an important issue." Gross said she was trying to clarify Clinton's views on the issue.

"No, I don't think you are trying to clarify," Clinton responded. "I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favour and I did it for political reasons. And that's just flat wrong. So let me just state what I feel like you are implying and repudiate it."

Gross noted that Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed the Defence of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman and denied gay couples a range of federal marriage benefits.

The former New York senator said the nation is "living at a time when this extraordinary change is occurring and I'm proud of our country." She said that in 1993, at the start of her husband's presidency, "that was not the case."

Clinton was appearing at several events in New York to promote her book. At the Council on Foreign Relations, she said Iraq had turned into a "dreadful, deteriorating situation" and that she "could not have predicted" the effectiveness of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to seize territory and try to "erase boundaries to create an Islamic state."

Weighing her future, Clinton said in an interview set to air on "CBS Sunday Morning" that she learned in 2008 that the "American political system is probably the most difficult, even brutal, in the world." But she told NPR she wouldn't be deterred "by the blood sport of politics."

___

Thomas reported from Washington.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media