Bill Clinton drops opposition to same-sex marriage

The Nation has been tracking the evolution of former Bill Clinton’s attitude toward same-sex marriage, and notes that — last week, before an audience of college students — the former president declared himself in favor of it:

This spring, same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire. In his most recent remarks on the subject, Clinton said, “I think all these states that do it should do it.” The former president, however, added that he does not believe that same-sex marriage is “a federal question.”

Asked if he personally supported same-sex marriage, Clinton replied, “Yeah.” “I personally support people doing what they want to do,” Clinton said. “I think it’s wrong for someone to stop someone else from doing that [same-sex marriage].”

Clinton opposed same-sex marriage during his eight years as president and signed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Adds The Nation:

…Clinton’s reversal is the highest-profile one to date. It may also have political implications for the future of the Defense of Marriage Act. President Obama has pledged to repeal the law, but in June, the Justice Department filed a brief in federal court defending the law’s constitutionality.

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50 comments Add your comment

Dovid Zechariah Schwartz

July 14th, 2009
12:53 pm

“I personally support people doing what they want to do. I think it’s wrong for someone to stop someone else from doing that.”
It looks like former President Bill Clinton has found a way to solve nearly every government budget deficit! Legalize murder, theft, rape and looting! If its wrong to stop someone from doing what they want to do, every state and federal agency can save muko-bucks by entirely scrapping their police forces and other law enforcement agencies. After all, isn’t the law just some mean-spirited way of stopping people from doing what they want to do?


July 14th, 2009
1:04 pm

he said this July 8 and now July 14 the press is rampant with this. why the delay??
check out my Bill Clinton blog


July 14th, 2009
1:26 pm

What a joke! He doesn’t believe in marriage between a man and a woman to have cheated on his wife with every female in sight.


July 14th, 2009
1:28 pm

Dovid, isn’t it a little bit of a massive, inane stretch to put legalizing gay marriage on the same level of murder, theft, rape, looting, and getting rid of every law?

Bill White

July 14th, 2009
1:53 pm

This is nothing new. He’s a Socialist whacko who never led a Christ-centered existence. Marriage is between a man and a woman–period. There is no debate to this law. For the past 35-plus years, the psycho-babble crowd has been on the warpath saying that it’s OK to be gay. Wrong! It’s a condition of the mind and should be treated as such. If you’re gay, you should get it treated like the flu. If I were to draw up a health plan, I would put that at the top. I compare being gay to cannabilism. Don’t get me wrong, I love everyone and we should never ever harm anyone for being gay. We should help them through counseling and religious study. I know that this isn’t politically correct, but I could care less what you all think. Why should this great nation go against the Bible just to satisfy a few people? I want gay folk to be happy, but the only path to happiness is to get fixed through an intervention that includes hours of people wrestling the gayness out and constant displays of Gov. Palin and Loni Anderson for the guys and Tom Selleck for the gals. God Bless, Bill Orvis White

will jones: I will wear a blue dress for Bill, he is GAWD!

July 14th, 2009
2:42 pm

Clinton, like bush, like bush #1, like carter, are all pathetic losers who should be in jail. There is NOTHING Christ-centered about the US, the US is a lousy nation that lies to it’s citizens, doesn’t believe in justice and can’t stay out of other countries issues. Gays, the demos, the repubs, the rich and the poor are all at fault for this. Three quarters of our nation is comprised of nothing more than walking abortions who should not exist.


July 14th, 2009
3:08 pm

The harsh comments on this page are scary. Whether gay people are entitled to marriage is one thing, but spouting of such hatred towards someone because of something they can’t help is not right. (If’ think you it is a “choice” then you need to get out and meet some gay people). Gay people are entitled to no rights under the law – especially in Georgia. Their kids can be taken away and they can be forced to die alone as hospitals deny visitation rights. If you would like to advocate a Christ-centered existence, please consider what Christ would say before you speak.


July 14th, 2009
3:11 pm

Totally spineless. He was the most anti-Gay President ever, he signed into law Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act.

No thank you Slick Willy!!!


July 14th, 2009
3:12 pm

DZS and Bill White are obvious morons whose thouhts on this subject have no business being made public. The stupid things they say are a reflection of who they are, not who they are talking about. Pitiful!

Conservative Georgian

July 14th, 2009
3:13 pm

When people like Bill White rant and rave with bigotry, they would probably shiver to realize how much they are actually helping the cause of equal rights. Who in there right mind (or left) would side with someone who abuses Jesus Christ’s name to foster bad will and cause harm? My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. White in hopes that he can deal with his obvious internal battles with homosexuality.


July 14th, 2009
3:17 pm

Is there anything more pathetic than an old lecher? And what idiot college let me near college students? Go away, Bill. You were a horrible President and most of America realizes that now.


July 14th, 2009
3:20 pm

The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act were some of the best things Clinton did, as well as keep us out of debt.


July 14th, 2009
3:27 pm

To Mr. Bill Orvis White…wow…what evil pours from your “christian” fingers. As a gay woman I sooooo glad to hear that “get fixed” through your amazing ways. I have to wonder on how many this “theory” as been tested?

It is people like you who preach under the covers of the bible that make me wonder what happened to judge not lest ye shall be judged.
Tell you what..we all meet the same maker at the pearly justify your hatred of me and my “family” and I will justify my sins then let’s see what happens. Nothing but love for you and your kind.

will jones and the satan hannity

July 14th, 2009
3:35 pm

Listen folks, there are NO Christians in the US. Those that say they are are pure liars. Christianity will cease to exist, due to the stupidity of those around you. Good luck.

Chris Broe

July 14th, 2009
3:45 pm

Clinton also explained the whole Lewinski thing today too: “It’s a paradox! If Monica had stayed quiet, I’d have gotten outta that mess, yet, if she had a bigger mouth, I wouldn’t have stained her dress. Go figure.”


July 14th, 2009
3:45 pm

Wow. I don’t support gay marriage, but wow. Some of these people live in our society.


July 14th, 2009
3:49 pm

Bill White, have you really read the Bible? If we included the Bible in its entirety as law I seriously don’t think that you or any rational individual would want to live here. Read Dr. Ehrman’s “Jesus, Interrupted:Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible(And Why We Don’t Know About Them)”. And before you dismiss Dr. Ehrman’s research you should know that he was a devout egangelist who is now the chairman the religious studies department at UNC Chappel Hill.


July 14th, 2009
3:49 pm

Mr. White, you state that being gay can be compared to cannibalism and then, in the next sentence, say you love everybody and don’t want anyone to harm gays. Did you ever think that your over-the-top statements might rile someone up to harm gays? You have the right to your opinion and your religion – I’m straight and christian, too. But I agree with Julie. Let’s all meet at the pearly gates and see how God judges each of our sins. I’m personally am thinking “love thy neighbor as thyself” and “judge not…” as 2 that won’t be in your favor.


July 14th, 2009
3:55 pm

I’m convinced that if Jesus were alive today that church leaders would kill him all over again because people are more interested in the authoratative structure and answers the church provides and less interested in the freedom Christ brings.


July 14th, 2009
4:01 pm

For all you Bible thumpers who say gay marriage is unGodly and you want to “save us” from sin… where are you when my bills need to get paid? When I am broken down on the side of the road? When I am laid off from my job? When I am about to get evicted?

If you want to do the gays a favor, help them as you would help your neighbor in need. Stop condemning them to Hell, because until we meet our maker, we don’t know for sure what he wants.


July 14th, 2009
4:09 pm

People should be able to do what they want as long as they are not causing harm to others or breaking the law. The govt has too much to do with our day to day lives, if a woman wants to marry a woman then let her do that, and if a man wants to marry a man then let him do that. We will all be judged by a higher power in the end and will all be accountable for out actions. People really need to start focusing on their own business and not worry about what goes on in another persons home. If you feel that same sex people should not marry then make sure you marry someone of the oppisite sex and mind your own d**n business and let the same sex couples do whatever they want to do, you are not the one who has to judge them and what they are doing does not cause harm to you. How would you feel if someone told you that you couldn’t marry the person you loved and wanted to spend the rest of your life with?


July 14th, 2009
4:12 pm

To CJ@4:01pm,

Where are you when others (gay or non-gay) lose their jobs, etc.
Regarding what our maker wants, there is the little ole instruction book called the Bible. Tough to do, but still supposed to try.


July 14th, 2009
4:21 pm

Please people open your bibles and read what thus says the Lord. Paul speaks on the this issue in the book of Romans. We’ve all sinned and come short of his glory. That’s why we need to repent for our sins and he will forgive us. It’s not about hate, it’s about love.

Travis Chance

July 14th, 2009
4:35 pm

“It’s a condition of the mind and should be treated as such. If you’re gay, you should get it treated like the flu. If I were to draw up a health plan, I would put that at the top. I compare being gay to cannabilism.”

How completely insightful. I don’t know why I’ve never thought of equating loving someone of the same sex to eating one’s own species – such a blatant parallelism exists between the two. And just imagine if there were a GAY vaccine…wouldn’t that just be a cure-all. After that’s been invented, maybe a vaccine for divorce, sexual infidelity, stupidity and (Bill Orvis White’s favorite) cannibalism!

Come on man, get real. How narrow and rigid do you have to be to actually think that basing the laws of a country of ~300 million people on ONE religion or worldly view is right and ethical? While our forefathers may have established our country with a blurred relationship between church and state, they ultimately wanted religious freedom. That, to me, doesn’t say church and state as one. Marriage is a religious institution in and of itself and should be kept within the confines of religion. The law, in turn, should reflect that.

Often Disappointed/Never Surprised!

July 14th, 2009
5:04 pm

Far too many people confuse loving all of our brothers and sisters with condoning foolishness. I will always believe that true marriage is between a man and a woman. Who cares if millions sign a petition and and protest the right for gays and lesbians to marry, it is still wrong. This country believes everything can be settled by a majority vote. God knows what our society will become if this type of behavior continues. I can remember a group of people voting for Barrabbas and against Christ. Some things never change!


July 14th, 2009
5:21 pm

Marriage is the joining of a man and a woman after they leave their parents homes to form a new nuclear family; as written in the bible. That being said, I feel that this would have been a non-issue had the gays and lesbians pushed for laws to allow them to enter into civil unions. Instead, they decided to launch a frontal assault on a religions institution that has its basis in biblical teachings, with the resultant outcry.

My biggest fear in all this gay marriage legalization is that other groups, Mormons and other polygamist religions such as Islam which allows for up to four wives will push for similar protection. By stating that MARRIAGE is between one man and one woman, society will protect itself from those fringe groups (not of the majority) who will seek to shove their agenda into the mainstream.

To settle this once and for all, each and every state should place a referendum on the next ballot. The question should be very simple: Do you believe two men or two women should be allowed to enter into a civil union with protection similar to those accorded in marriage? If so, it would only be a matter of simple legislation to require insurance companies to recognize such unions as legitimate.

After all, the real bottom line here is equal protection under the law. It is just a shame that such a simple step as allowing two people to enter into a contract with the equal protection accorded present heterosexual couples has become such a poliitcal issue.

I consider the exploding deficit and enormous debt to be more important to the survival of our country in its present form, then whether two men or two women should be able to have the same protection as a man and woman in holy matrimony.

When we decide that anything goes; then so goes our nation!


July 14th, 2009
5:28 pm

Bill White: Oh, you could CARE LESS, eh? How much less could you care? Or do you mean “couldn’t care less”? I’m not surprised you can’t even get that right, considering you compared being gay to cannibalism. Please, explain to me, what exactly does cannibalism have to do with being gay? Cannibalism is about eating other humans. It has nothing at all to do with being gay. Stop making false analogies.

And please, how do you expect to “treat” being gay “like the flu”? I’d like to see your process. Come on, I’m waiting.

Oh, wait, you’ve done no research, have you? This is just all based on your bigotry and homophobia? SHOCKER!

The Majority

July 14th, 2009
5:40 pm

Ever see a “gay pride” parade? Their behavior is disgusting and reprehensible–and they do it in public in front of children. There’s nothing normal or acceptable about it.

And I too don’t care whether you like it or not.


July 14th, 2009
6:14 pm

Funny, Bill White, in several places in the Old Testament, the Bible says marriage is between a man and several women (1 Kings 11:3 just for an example). By the way, eaten any good ham sandwiches lately? (Lev. 11:4-8) Have you stoned your kid? (Deut. 21:18-21) How about worn a poly/cotton shirt? (Lev. 19:19)

Can’t pick and choose, Bill! Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)”


July 14th, 2009
6:30 pm

TO Bill White….I believe you are the Christian Nazi whacko, sir. People like you are so far from what being a American symbolize. Sir, I guess freedom is not your thing. Please leave if you do not want freedoms for ALL.

The Majority

July 14th, 2009
6:42 pm

So “bifemmwhatever”,

The Bible says it’s a sin for two men or two women to have relations with each other.

As a Bible scholar [cough], are you an adherent to that part also?

I don’t believe it’s the part that you don’t understand that bothers you.

The Silent Majority

July 14th, 2009
6:43 pm

The Majority: Ever seen straight people during Mardis Gras? Don’t judge an entire population based on a single parade.

The Majority

July 14th, 2009
6:45 pm

A final thought: It’s entirely appropriate that a man who committed adultery [one sin] would come out in favor of another sin. At least Slick Willy is consistent–even if he is consistently wrong.


July 14th, 2009
6:45 pm

Phooey on your religious zealotry. This is why we must have separation of church and state. This is about what should be a fundamental human right guaranteed by our government. I don’t try to impose my beliefs on your church; now you stop trying to impose your beliefs on my government.


July 14th, 2009
6:57 pm

bifemmefatale, Talk about pick and choosing! Try reading both testaments (Old and New), for example Leviticus 18:22; 1 Kings 14:24, Leviticus 20:13, and Romans 1:24,26,27. To live in Christ’s grace does not give us freedom to sin and repentance of sin is a requirement of salvation. And with those scriptures in mind , read Hebrews 13:4

On the food line try Acts 10:10-16.

I do like William’s thoughts and he has merit in his logic about marriage.

American Marriage Ministries

July 14th, 2009
7:46 pm

I can’t tell if Dovid is being sarcastic. I think Lucia’s argument is ad hominem. Bill white is a whacko. I don’t understand the association between same-sex marriage and religion. Marriage is just a contract between two people, it is recorded by the state. The issue always seems to be muddied between religious and political identity. This is really just about civil rights.

Certainly you could argue that Bill Clinton didn’t do everything he could for the gay communities. You would probably be right. You could also make the case that his open support is two cents too short and too late. Bill Clinton also lied to the American people.

Bill Clinton is a career politician, and he is human. It is easy to be critical and have a myopic attitude. Bill Clinton is not perfect; he has worked hard his whole life and accomplished a lot. Whether you think that is good or bad is irrelevant. At the very least it shows that people of his generation are able to understand and support ours.


July 14th, 2009
8:09 pm

just an observation,this topic was posted over 8 hours ago, resulting in a total so far of 35 comments….over at bookmans blog “why are southerners so fat” posted 4 hours ago resulting in 178 comments so far. which topic are people more concerned about?[this is not a trick question]


July 14th, 2009
8:18 pm

I have lived with my domestic partner for 34 year now. I really am not overly concerned with gay marriage. I do, however, support full rights for domestic partners/civil unions. If the Church wants to keep marriage between a man and woman so be it. But at the same time they should not be denying us our civil rights. And no Mr. Boortz we do NOT have the same rights as straight couples. Apples and oranges and you know it.


July 14th, 2009
8:36 pm are in the same position of a family member of mine who as been with a partner for 20 years,she shares your opinion of gay marriage, she is also a member of a church that is accepting of her relationship[there are some that do]however I take some exception to your statement that it is the church that is denying you civil rights.while they may have some influence,its not on most churches agenda, ultimately it is the state. also,Ive heard Mr. boortz opinion of which you speak, remember ..hes an entertainer.


July 14th, 2009
9:00 pm

@ electrician, Bradley’s lame observation of the top 10 college coaches has 246 comments at last count. And it’s a slow night.

Looks like most men don’t have time to comment on gay marriage. They’re too busy discussing a sport centered around young hunky guys in tight pants, bent over and handling balls.

Bill White

July 14th, 2009
11:56 pm

As I stated before, the psycho babble crowd put us all on this slippery slope. They, along with the ACLU, Communists and assorted libs, kicked God out of the schools.
If we kept the Lord Almighty in our learning institutions, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I’m amazed at the hatred directed at me for holding my own views. Listen all of you McFlys: I love all of you. I don’t hate anyone — well Michael Moore comes close. The point here is that this nation has fallen off the tracks. We don’t respect one another when we engage in high-risk sexual practices, termination of innocent life, over-taxation and secularism. I fear that our country is quickly becoming like Europe whereby secular progressives rose to power and took freedom away from its citizens. We now have an installed-president who wishes to choose your doctor and take away your weapons cache, money and Sean Hannity tapes.


July 15th, 2009
2:58 am

“From This day forward”, let Lgbt’s marry and get on with living. Thank you former Mr. president for your change of heart and mind.


July 15th, 2009
9:47 am

Congratulations on finally finding your conscience, Mr. Clinton.

Too bad you didn’t do it when it mattered.

Satan (The Devil)

July 15th, 2009
1:00 pm

In case there was any doubt, I have appointed Bill White to speak for me on this forum.

Dan Coverdale

July 15th, 2009
6:19 pm

Bill’s comment is a classic: “[Clinton]…never led a Christ-centered existence…if you’re gay, you should get it treated like the flu…we should help them through counseling and religious study…I could[n't] care less what you all think…” and then the holy man doth wind up his deranged rant with a sweet “God Bless.” & the real whacko would be…?


July 15th, 2009
6:43 pm

Nooooooooooo! Not my Sean Hannity tapes!


July 16th, 2009
1:44 am

Who cares what Slick Willy thinks? Mostly, people who’d like others to do their thinking for them.

When I thought for myself about this gay marriage issue, and I couldn’t help but notice that those who support legalizing gay marriage usually don’t support marriage itself, i.e. they’re not willing to restore the institution to its former centrality in civil society. And since they’ve so degraded the institution, why not extend it to all comers? (An analogy of this would be one’s willingness to give away a junker rusting in his back yard but not a late model Jaguar XJ9 lovingly ensconced in his garage.)

On the flip side of this coin, most people who support upholding traditional marriage (one man, one woman) certainly don’t favor restoring the requirement of fault to the breach of a marriage contract, thereby maintaining today’s consequence-free ingress and egress to the institution. But this raises the question, “If marriage is consequence-free, why not open it up to all comers?” Good question.


July 16th, 2009
8:56 am

Lavaux, you may have an interesting argument… if I could just figure out what you mean by “supporting marriage itself, i.e., restoring it to its former centrality in civil society.”

Do mean we should outlaw divorce? Because the red states couldn’t survive THAT.


July 20th, 2009
5:49 pm

Bill Clinton is a hypocrite. However, he should have stuck to his first thought that gay marriage must not be legalized. Marriage is a sacred communal between a man and a women. Please don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against gays but marriage is a sacred tradition for a man and women.


September 23rd, 2009
1:13 pm

Bill White
Why should this great nation go against the Bible just to satisfy a few people?

Because the U.S was never founded on the rules of the Bible but on the constitution. The constitution says that church and state are to be separate, and as such you cannot put religious rules into civil law. The constitution also protects minority groups against a tyrannical majority. Just because you say that homosexuality is a mental disorder does not make it so. At one time that irrational view was wide spread but now that view has been repealed. That view hasn’t been accepted by the medical community since the 1970’s. The fact that people like yourself continue to bring this view up time and time again and believe it to be true shows that you are one of those people who cling to a false belief long after its been disproved and laid to rest.

You talk about how you don’t want harm to come to gays but in the same breath you talk about how homosexuals have a mental disorder like they should be hulled off to a mental institution. Sounds like harm to me. You want them to convert to heterosexuality when study after study has shown that homosexuality is a part of who these people are. In a sense you want them to live a lie, pretend they are straight, enter into relationships with the opposite sex that they have no interest or desire in that person thus making both them and their partner unhappy. You can’t wish or pray homosexuality away, you cannot take a magic pill and make it disappear.

You don’t have to agree with homosexuality, you don’t have to like gays and lesbians, but the fact of the matter is it is none on your business what kind of relationship they wish to enter into. They don’t need your blessing or approval and you do not have a right to stop them or block their ability to form such relationships and receive the same civil rights that a heterosexual couples enjoy in their relationships.