Clinton: The U.S. 'search for a more perfect union' inspires his stance on gay marriage.
Bill Clinton, the man who signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law as president, is joining the campaign to get gay marriage legalized in New York.
In a statement released by the Human Rights Campaign on Thursday, Clinton said that the next step in the expansion of rights in the United States should be same-sex marriage in his adopted home state. While Clinton opposed gay marriage while in the White House, he has in recent years shifted his views, something he makes clear in backing the bill in New York.
"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," Clinton said. "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. For more than a century, our Statue of Liberty has welcomed all kinds of people from all over the world yearning to be free. In the 21st century, I believe New York's welcome must include marriage equality."
Clinton has had an evolving stance on the issue since the 1990s. "I changed my position," he said in 2009. "I am no longer opposed to that. I think if people want to make commitments that last a lifetime, they ought to be able to do it."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opposed gay marriage during her time as a senator from New York, and in her 2008 presidential campaign. Earlier this year, she said her position has not changed, even as her husband's has. But the Clintons' daughter Chelsea has made clear she supports the legalization of gay marriage.
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