Conservative news outlet Breitbart reported yesterday on emails dumped by Wikileaks indicating that lead Hillary Clinton speechwriter Dan Schwerin believes the Democratic presidential nominee and former secretary of state “still believes in traditional marriage.”
“WikiLeaks: Hillary Clinton Is Still Against Gay Marriage,” the Breitbart headline reads.
Is this headline accurate? Was Hillary Clinton ever actually “against” gay marriage? What does the public know about Hillary Clinton, gay marriage, and her views concerning LGBTQ rights?
The Inquisitr has previously reported on the Democratic nominee’s participation in the 2016 New York City Pride March.
Much has been written and reported on former President Bill Clinton’s 1996 signing of the Defense of Marriage Act, as reported by the former president in a 2013 Washington Post opinion piece. The leaked Clinton campaign email chain contains a reference to the Washington Post piece as potentially being “helpful” at diffusing criticism that either of the Clintons have flip-flopped on the issue.
Former President Clinton described the climate surrounding gay marriage and LGBTQ rights in 1996, writing that no state permitted same-sex unions, though he allowed that some jurisdictions were “moving in that direction.”
Quite different than what may seem to be the motivation behind a bill protecting traditional marriage, is Bill Clinton’s explanation, which may illustrate how signing it into law may have actually set the stage for the 5-4 Supreme Court decision finally normalizing gay marriage in all 50 states in June, 2015, as reported by the Inquisitr.
Bill Clinton cited a bipartisan group of politicians who believed the DOMA “would defuse a movement to enact a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which would have ended the debate for a generation or more.”
The former president also signed into effect “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” legislation affecting LGBTQ members of the military.
Hillary Clinton was quoted by the Washington Blade speaking with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in October, 2015, describing “political momentum” enjoyed by a 1996 Republican Congress that could have resulted in an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriage, described as being “more draconian.”
Clinton stated when he signed the DOMA that he specifically included a statement that his action should not be “understood to provide an excuse for discrimination.”
“Reading those words today, I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should be overturned,” Bill Clinton wrote in 2013.
Rachel Maddow and Hillary Clinton both described Bill Clinton’s actions as “defensive” to the LGBTQ community.
Breitbart writes that Hillary Clinton “publicly flipped” her stance on gay marriage to “shore up” liberal support.
In 2004, then-Senator Clinton stated that marriage is a “sacred bond between a man and a woman.”
In the emails released by WikiLeaks, Dan Schwerin wrote that there is “no way we have friends” who were present in 1996 who could “back up” this defensive interpretation.
Schwerin favored a Clinton campaign strategy of “evolution, opposition to DOMA when court considered it, and forward-looking stance” as opposed to Hillary Clinton attempting to “re-state” her position, “double-down” on it, or even repeating it.
The email thread was started when Clinton campaign LGBT Outreach Director Dominic Lowell asked the campaign for guidance, explaining that he was receiving requests from the media and that the issue was gaining a “head of steam.”
Hillary Clinton currently appears to fully support gay marriage. Despite the fact that Bill Clinton signed at least two pieces legislation that opposed LGBTQ rights, both the former president and the former first lady have explained that this was the best course of action at the time for the gay community. Is it still possible that Hillary Clinton previously frowned upon same-sex unions and his since flipped?
By contrast, despite Republican nominee Donald Trump’s attempts to reach out to the LGBTQ community in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, the Huffington Post reported in February that 31 percent of his supporters believe that gay people should be banned from entering the United States.
Further, Politifact reports that Donald Trump has suggested that he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would reverse the 2015 decision allowing gay marriage, that he believes individual states should be permitted to decide on the issue for themselves, and that he has “consistently opposed same-sex marriage in interviews since 2000.”
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