Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday offered her approval of New York’s just-passed same sex marriage law.
Calling Friday’s vote by the New York state legislature “historic,” the former New York senator was careful in her remarks not to overstep her bounds as an Obama administration appointee.
But the legalization of gay marriage, Clinton said at a State Department event hosted by Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, “gives such visibility and credibility to everything that so many of you have done over so many years.”
Clinton opposed same-sex marriage and back civil unions during her time in the Senate and while running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Earlier this year, she said in an interview that her views on the issue had not changed.
While Clinton did not offer an outright endorsement for gay marriage — something still publicly opposed by her boss, President Barack Obama — she did suggest she’s supportive of New York’s new law and she cited the changed vote of one New York Republican who said it was no longer fair for him to treat one set of his constituents differently than another.
“We have to continue to stand up for the rights and the well-being of LGBT people,” she said.
While the secretary of State has held back from a full endorsement of same-sex marriage, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, has emerged as a public supporter.
Though he signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996, the former president has in recent years acknowledged a changed view. As gay rights activists lobbied for New York’s law last month, he joined the Human Rights Campaign’s effort to get the law passed.
“Our nation’s permanent mission is to form a ‘more perfect union’ — deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community,” the former president said at the time. “That mission has inspired and empowered us to extend rights to people previously denied them. Every time we have done that, it has strengthened our nation. Now we should do it again, in New York, with marriage equality.”
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