On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton has now publicly taken the position that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. According to The New York Times, Adrienne Elrod, a spokeswoman for Hillary for America, made the following statement:
Hillary Clinton supports marriage equality and hopes the Supreme Court will come down on the side of same-sex couples being guaranteed that constitutional right.
Clinton’s statement is the clearest expression to date that her campaign plans to fully embrace marriage equality, and that should she become President, Hillary Clinton would be a strong advocate for LGBT Americans. Her position also contrasts sharply with the opinions held by the entire Republican field. Every announced Republican presidential candidate opposes marriage equality, despite the fact that a majority of Americans now support allowing same-sex couples to wed.
Clinton’s views on gay marriage have evolved over the past decade. Like many other politicians, Clinton took a rather cautious position when public opinion was more divided on the issue. However, as public sentiment has shifted towards wider acceptance of same-sex marriage, Clinton has stepped forward to defend marriage equality more vigorously.
With the Supreme Court likely to rule on a significant same-sex marriage case in June, every presidential candidate will probably be asked to articulate their position on marriage equality this summer. By expressing unequivocal support for same-sex couples, Hillary Clinton has positioned herself well, by being direct, straightforward and unambiguous in declaring the right to marry as a constitutional right.
Her Republican opponents, who like to give lip service to individual liberty and to the U.S. Constitution, will be put in the awkward position of having to defend the untenable position that the government should have the authority to determine which couples should be allowed to marry and which couples should be denied that right. It is too early to predict how the Supreme Court will rule, or how the ruling will play out politically. However, it is clear that Hillary Clinton has made the right decision both morally and politically, by coming out forcefully in declaring marriage equality a constitutional right.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.