For … well … nothing. On the one hand, it’s great to hear that Bill Clinton backs same-sex marriage.
After speaking at the Campus Progress National Conference in Washington, DC, on July 8, the former president was asked if he supported same-sex marriage. Clinton, in a departure from past statements, replied in the affirmative.
Clinton opposed same-sex marriage during his presidency, and in 1996, he signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal recognition of marriage to one man and one woman. In May of this year, Clinton told a crowd at Toronto’s Convention Centre that his position on same-sex marriage was “evolving.”
Apparently, Clinton’s thinking has now further evolved. Asked if he would commit his support for same-sex marriage, Clinton responded, “I’m basically in support.”
… 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].”
On the other hand…
There was a time when hearing something like this from Bill might have made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Now, it’s like hearing an ex-boyfriend admit he was wrong about something when it was glaringly obvious years ago.
And my response is about the same: Why couldn’t you have said this when it might have, I dunno, mattered? When it could have at least done some good? (And in the back of my mind I’d wonder, “What do you think you have to gain by telling me this now? What do you want?”, especially if I’d been burned before with this guy.)
I can’t get excited about this. At least not as excited as I might if it were an elected official with some ability to move policy in the direction of equality.
Much admiration either. It’s easy to (finally) place yourself on the right side of history when (a) there’s no political risk involved and (b) the scoreboard clearly indicates the likely outcome.
But coming from the guy who signed DOMA, which is now an obstacle we’ll have to remove in order to get to equality, this does’t get the same response it might have when I was madly in love with the guy.
I’ve grown up since then, and see things a bit more clearly now.