Tuesday, March 19, 2013
White House on Clinton's Same-Sex Marriage Support: 'It's A Good Thing'

White House on Clinton's Same-Sex Marriage Support: 'It's A Good Thing'

The White House has responded to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent support for same-sex marriage, calling it "a good thing."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Monday that although he has not heard an official statement from President Barack Obama regarding Clinton's recent announcement, he can say that the Commander-in-Chief supports Clinton's decision.

"The president believes that any time a public official of stature steps forward to embrace a commitment that he shares to equality for LGBT Americans, he thinks it's a good thing," Carney told reporters at a Monday press briefing.

"I know that's what he feels in general when major figures in our society make their views known. It's testimony to how far this country and how quickly this country has traveled," Carney continued.

The White House press secretary went on to say that Clinton had the right to announce her support for same-sex marriage as a private citizen, regardless of whether she had informed Obama of her plans beforehand.

"She's obviously a private citizen," Carney told reporters, adding, "and her views are in concert with the president."

On Monday, Clinton, 65, announced via a 5-minute video posted by the Human Rights Campaign that she officially supports 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 video.

"That's why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law," Clinton added.

Clinton's announcement comes one week before the Supreme Court prepares to hear two cases relating to same-sex marriage.

The first case challenges California's Proposition 8, a 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage in the state as being between one man and one woman.

The second case challenges the Defense of Marriage Act, which on a federal level describes marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The former secretary of state's husband, Bill Clinton, signed DOMA into law in 1996 while serving as the President of the United States.

Earlier this month, however, the former president expressed his desire that the law be overturned, writing in a letter that he now believes DOMA is incompatible with the principles found in the U.S. Constitution.

Although the media claims there is a large shift in approval for same-sex marriage among political leaders, many prominent Republicans continue to stand by their belief that marriage should be reserved to be between one man and one woman.

House Speaker John Boehner recently said in a Sunday interview for ABC's "This Week" that he can't imagine his belief regarding same-sex marriage to ever change.

"Listen, I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman," Boehner told host Martha Raddatz.

"All right. It's what I grew up with. It's what I believe. It's what my church teaches me. And I can't imagine that position would ever change," Boehner added.

Additionally, in reference to an amicus brief recently signed by lesser-known Republicans in the California Proposition 8 Supreme Court case, Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, asserted that no prominent Republicans support same-sex marriage.

"None of these people are actively in politics. They are not running for office because they know … supporting same-sex marriage will end your career if you're a Republican," Brown told NBC.

"There's overwhelming support for traditional marriage in the Republican Party, that's why it's part of the party platform, and any attempt by the establishment to redefine marriage and redefine what it means to be a conservative will mean the death of the Republican Party," Brown added.

Opening arguments for Proposition 8 will be heard March 26. while opening arguments for the DOMA case will be heard on March 27.


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