There’s a lot of love out there for Hillary Clinton, and there’s about to be a lot more now that she has announced via a video for the Human Rights Campaign that she supports marriage equality.
More than that, the former Secretary of State appears to be laying out a message that would not be out of place in a presidential nomination speech. Watch below:
You’ll notice this video comes with a lot of declarative statements that sound broader than those made by someone content to confine themselves to public life rather than public office. A few of the highlights include:
But 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.
For America to continue leading in the world, there is work we must do here at home. That means investing in our people, our economy, our national security. It also means working every day, as citizens, as communities, as a country, to live up to our highest ideals and continue our long march to a more perfect union.
As the Guardian has been swift and right to point out, most other likely Democratic candidates for 2016 all endorse marriage equality, including Joe Biden, Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and New York governor Andrew Cuomo.
In fact, with support for marriage equality now firmly entrenched in the Democratic platform, one could take the view that supporting gay marriage will be a must-have quality of the 2016 nominee because the Democratic Party has made a great show of going through the Obama process of evolution, irrevocably setting itself out as the party that, unlike the Republicans, not only supports marriage equality but touts that support as a defining feature.
Even if we don’t speculate on whether this video has wider implications about Hillary Clinton’s future ambitions, her public statement is in itself an edifying contribution to the marriage equality push.
Clinton, like President Obama, did not publicly support same-sex marriage during the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee race. During her time as Secretary of State, she would not be drawn on the specific issue of her personal opinions about marriage equality but, as the video above highlights, she spoke often and very definitively on her own belief, and the administration’s, that equal rights for gay and lesbian people must be a priority.
Now, Clinton’s public affirmation of support, that “LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones,” who are “full and equal citizens and they deserve the rights of citizenship,” including marriage, comes at a historic moment for gay rights as we approach the end of the month and prepare for the Supreme Court of the United states to take up two marriage equality-related cases, Windsor v United States and Hollingsworth v Perry.
Says Clinton in the above video:
Marriage after all is a fundamental building block of our society, a great joy and yes, a great responsibility. A few years ago, Bill and I celebrated as our own daughter married the love of her life, and I wish every parent the same joy. To deny that opportunity to any of our daughters and sons solely on the basis of who they are and who they love is to deny them the chance to live up to their own God-given potential.
Throughout our history, as our nation has become even more dedicated to the protection of liberty and justice for all, more open to the contributions of all our citizens, it has also become stronger, more competitive, more ready for the future. It benefits every American when we continue on that path.
While Clinton’s words alone won’t sway the Court, this is yet another voice to add to the chorus of people who have come out publicly in support of marriage equality, and that shift in thinking is important as it serves to the Court that equal access to marriage is no longer just an issue important to a fledgling minority but rather a wider issue related to how America recognizes and upholds the right to equality.
Image taken from HRC's public video, no infringement intended.