A week before the Supreme Court takes on two important cases that can decide the future of same-sex marriage, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a video in officially declaring her support for same-sex marriage.
"LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends and our loved ones, and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage," Clinton said in the 5-minute video posted by The Human Rights campaign.
"That's why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law."
The former secretary of state explained that defending everyone's full rights, including that of LGBT people, is what makes America a respected and trusted authority in the international community.
"I believe America is at its best when we champion the freedom and dignity of every human being. That's who we are. It's in our DNA."
Clinton, who was President Barack Obama's main rival for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, said – not unlike the current president – that her personal views on gay people have been shaped over time.
And much like Obama, she explained that her decision to speak out in favor of gay marriage was also guided by her Christian faith.
"I know that many in our country still struggle to reconcile the teachings of their religion, the pull of their conscience, the personal experiences they have in their families and communities. People of good will and good faith will continue to view this issue differently," Clinton stated.
She described the speed of which LGBT have gained acceptance in society as "breathtaking" compared to the women's rights and civil rights movements, but noted that the discussions and debates are far from over.
Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, recently said that the law is unconstitutional and should be overturned. The Supreme Court is set to review in the final week of March both DOMA and Proposition 8, the 2008 bill that banned gay marriage in California.
The former president explained that when he signed the law, America was living under "very different times."
Clinton wrote in a letter: "As the president who signed the act into law, I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution."
A number of conservative religious groups have warned against the legalization of same-sex marriage, saying that it would have negative consequences to the establishment of the family in America.
"We should get rid of the idea that mommies can be good daddies and daddies can be good mommies," wrote author Ryan T. Anderson of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.
Dr. Richard D. Land, executive editor of CP, argued in an editorial that the Supreme Court should not force all 50 states to change their laws on traditional marriage, and instead allow voters to continue expressing their own views on the issue. Currently, only nine U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized same-sex marriage.
"If the Court were to make a similarly sweeping and divisive decision on gay marriage and seek to impose a one-size fits all solution on a deeply divided country, it would create a similarly tremendous backlash," Dr. Land wrote, referencing the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the country, which he says only served to divide the people even more.
"Same-sex marriage would immediately return to the boiling point in American politics and the Supreme Court would become similarly controversial in ways it currently seems to abhor," he added.
Watch the Human Rights Campaign video of Hilary Clinton explaining her support for same-sex marriage below: