Bill Clinton Position ‘Evolving’ on Same-Sex Marriage


ABC News reports on the George W. Bush – Bill Clinton "A Conversation with Presidents" speaking tour that kicked off in Toronto Friday night. One of the topics was gay rights:

"And while President Clinton mostly kept to his promise to 'thwart' efforts to get 42 and 43 to tangle with each other, he offered an interesting insight into his thinking on gay rights.

On the issue of gay marriage — which Clinton, like President Obama, personally opposes — Clinton said of his position: 'Frankly, it's evolving' as he sees more committed gay couples raising kids.

As ABC political director David Chalian has pointed out, Clinton isn’t the only Democrat whose position on gay marriage is moving.

Clinton also expressed optimism that the military’s 'don’t ask, don’t tell policy' — which he helped enact — will eventually come off the books, allowing gay members of the armed services to serve openly. 'I think that time will lead to a repeal of this ban,' Clinton said.

That’s one of many areas where the former presidents disagree. But mostly, this event was a lovefest."

The 6,000-person event at the Convention Centre was sold out, and attracted a few hundred protestors.

(via world of wonder)


  1. Tyler says

    Of course it’s evolving. He doesn’t have to get elected anymore, there for doesn’t have to worry about losing an election over issues such as same-sex marriage. We saw the same thing with Gore.

  2. Mike says

    What a coincidence! My views on Bill Clinton are constantly evolving too! The more I hear from him the more I wish he’d just fade away……

  3. dizzy spins says

    So all we have to do is prove ourselves worthy to him and Bill Clinton will support gay marriage. What a hypocrite! Any straight person who has committed adultery (or heck even gotten a divorce) should not oppose gay wedlock. The sanctity of marriage my ass!

  4. Rafael says

    The more these two talk, the more I realize how irrelevant they are. Listen to yourself Bill, you sound like George Wallace, his views too did evolve, that didn’t make him any less of an idiot.

  5. says

    Whatever you bitter commenter douches. You guys are just up for complaining. If you want ANYTHING to change, get involved in your local party politics. Until then you’ll have to put up with whatever is handed to you.

  6. says

    So nice of Bill Clinton to be “evolving” on same-sex marriage. It was Clinton who set the gay-rights movement back a few notches with his “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and his Defense of Marriage Act.

    Not only does Barack Obama have to clean up Bush’s mess, but he will need to clean up Clinton’s mess as well.

  7. brian says

    ditto Mike’s comment – shuddup Clinton. and Bush. the day we finally have a president who has a pair is still nowhere to be seen. these jokers who think they can tell all of us what we’ll do based on their “evolving” perspectives are more of the same tease we’ve heard for years. send another check and we’ll continue to consider your request.

    can’t wait for Olson and Boies to argue this like warrior attorneys and get their day in the limelight/history books carrying marriage equality as their contribution to US jurisprudence.

  8. says

    Wow. It sounds like a bunch of post-electoral propaganda. You’d think that after serving as President, you could just really say what was on your mind.

    Canada says, ‘Go back to America. Both of ya.’

  9. Rafael says

    Well Derek, I have mobilized, contributed and belong to my local democratic chapter. I have marched, written to my senator and representatives, visited their offices etc. I’m not a politician but I consider myself an active citizen.

    I don’t believe the notion that we need a gay Messiah, I think our cause is greater than the sum of our parts. This movement belongs to each and everyone of us, our unity is our strength.

  10. ricardo says

    aloha andy….
    it’s amusing to read your blog after so many years while knowing where all of this started. kind of like finally seeing a movie about harvey milk — 12 years after bizarre relations with hetrick martin. credit given to delay — like they want to give credit to inertia while being in denial.

    it’s like reading the commentary from the peanut gallery with all of these pseudonyms — it reminds me of the flaccid faggots i’ve had in my life who want to represent something queer but have come to be the biggest pussies — it’s like charity as broadway bares or “jacking off with viagra and rubber band as a cockring”. in consideration of some people i’ve observed over the years, it’s wonderful to see you maintaining this site (sometimes questionable sources of scripting ) — the chicken scratch on celebrity photos albeit prescient to the times is not really cancer surgery — it shouldn’t surprise some that this doesn’t particularly translate well even if donald trump bought your tits.

    the showcasing of abusive alcoholic relations as a caveat to programs for children let alone any semblance of community. i’m still trying to figure out how world-class education is the source of this contemporary culture that maintains denial to a purported crisis and its source. or is that, what’s the difference between issues in mexico removed from your hotel bar’s proximity to playa de los muertos in p.v. — or how those stories translate across the border and impact stories here??

    go figure. thank you.

  11. says

    Oh, fuck you, Bill. You are the worst thing that ever happened to gay rights in the United States of America. Thanks for DADT! Thanks for DOMA! Thanks for advising current politicians to work against our equality! I will be happy when you finally die!

  12. Michael @ says

    @ David Ehrenstein:

    You are far too intelligent to run with the Cretin Hordes and declare “our biggest problems today spring from DADT and DOMA.”
    [And, Landon, “the worst thing that ever happened to gay rights in the United States of America”? Really?]

    I don’t recall gays being able to serve in the military before DADT…or were the 100,000 plus gays and lesbians kicked out before 1993 canned for some other reason?

    And we ALL know how much fun, how glamorous gay wedding ceremonies were before DOMA. All that lavender rice throwing in the White House Rose Garden when Bush pere, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Johnson, Kennedy, Nixon, Eisenhower, Truman, Roosevelt et al. were Prez.

    I STILL haven’t cashed all the pre-DOMA IRS refund checks I got when my husband and I could file as “married.”

    Jessica H. Christ!!! Snap out of it! OF COURSE Clinton sounds like a fool on this, of course, both DADT and DOMA need to be repealed to make way for federally-mandated equality. But, regardless of who shares what percentage of the blame, equating them with a kind of legal version of AIDS when functionally they CHANGED NOTHING is retarded or dishonest.

    Pick your hat.

  13. says

    Rafael, good for you and I hope that the others just haven’t read to respond. If not, my point is ,sadly, proven.

    We sit and bitch and moan about how Bill Clinton or Obama hasn’t done this , that, or the other for us, yet, more of us care about Adam Lambert than our rights. How about instead of spending time voting on AI we spent the same mount of time doing some phonebanking for a candidate who supports us? Or better yet, how about we run for office?

    I don’t mean to be a parade rainer, but, moaning aint doing.

  14. Michael @ says

    PS: As much as I think he deserves the fairness of facts and appreciation for the precedent-making good things he did do for gay rights, his treating Bush fils as anything but pond scum and helping put money in that war criminal’s pockets is insufferable and indefensible.

  15. Geronimo says

    As though Clinton wrote DADT and DOMA. Sure, he should have vetoed them—but the outcome would have been the same under Congress at the time.

    And as though 98% of people have any idea what Ricardo is talking about.

    Gosh, we’d be so much better off with some of you commenters running the show. Are all of you even registered to vote? Much less, do you actually vote? You’re certainly all plenty ready to bitch. Clinton was last in office nearly 10 years ago, and entered office nearly 20 years ago. They are ALL politicians, and if you can’t make a convincing case for them, they aren’t going to make one for you.

    A third of gays still vote Republican, and another third don’t vote. Fix that instead of bitching at Democrats.

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  17. John says


    And because of that apathy, gays are really not in a position to change the outcome of all but the closest electoral contests.

    We’re talking about a shift of around one percent towards the Democrats. If even that in some of the more conservative states, where they’re just as likely to vote for the Republican candidate. Thus, all these threats of “queer power” against the Democratic Party are thus quite illogical and empty.

  18. says

    Ok, look. The best way to change things as of now is to get involved in local politics. I myself am, leading a group here in Las Vegas at the end of June to help figure out how we LGBT folks can get involved from precinct captains on up. PLEASE, wherever you are, go to your local Democratic or Stonewall party office and find out how you can get involved locally. I f’in tired of asking for scraps, I want the full meal. Earn it and no one can deny you a place at the table.

    If you are in Las Vegas and want to get involved, let me know.

    Btw, tonight, our State Senate overrode our Governors veto of The Domestic Partnership Bill! We have to let them know how proud we are. Please write all Nevada legislators who voted to do this and say thanks!

  19. elg says

    “As though Clinton wrote DADT and DOMA. Sure, he should have vetoed them—but the outcome would have been the same under Congress at the time.”

    If Clinton had vetoed DADT and DOMA, Congress had more than enough votes to override his vetoes. He was not going to waste precious political capital on gay people. To what end?

  20. Wayne says

    Bill deserves a bit more credit than some are willing to give. Clinton was one of the first, if not the first, to stand up againt homophobia during the early AIDS epidemic and urge people to show compassion. And DADT was the first and only military program that allowed gay soldiers to serve, it was a bad compramise, but NO OTHER president had even made an effort before then. Was bill the best? NO But he was by no means the worst. Not even close.

  21. andrew says

    does this guy know how much heat pres obama is getting to clean up his mess called DADT, DOMA? Does he know?. Obama has been called all names in the book thanks to the clinton era called DADT and DOMA. he really needs to zip it now.

  22. Davon says

    No anna, Obama is the one who wrote DADT and DOMA 10 years ago, not saint Clinton. Don’t you remember? Clinton is not homophobic. Its Barack Hussein who is the most homophobic president ever, and he ought to know better.

  23. LightningLord says = Michael Bedwell = Leland Frances = Incoherent Bitter Queen on Castro Street #837

    If Obama had signed either DOMA or DADT into law Ms. Leland would sca-REECHING from the rafters, claiming it the most cotemptible thing he had ever witnessed.

    But because Ms. Bedwell (of the house of Leland) simply adores that lilting Southern accent, he handwaves it away because Billyboy did it.

  24. nic says

    people who blame bill clinton for DADT and DOMA betray an abysmal ignorance of recent history and politics. the president is not an emperor, nitwits. 16 years ago, DADT was viewed as a compromise between what clinton wanted (getting rid of the ban on gays in the military) and what congress was willing to do. DOMA was a way to keep from amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. what you should know is that an amendment is much harder to undo than an act of congress.

    together, the clinton’s brought to the fore the conversation on gay rights and universal health care. i think that were it not for them, we might be still be in the dark ages. it is for obama to further those causes. to continue to criticize the clintons is not only stupid, but counter-productive.

    are leland (in all his permutations) and i the only smart people on this thread. wise-up bithches, or stfu!

  25. says


    Clinton did indeed make history for gay rights and that should not be forgotten. But his legacy on gay rights is letting the bigots win every battle. And he certainly agrees with you and Michael and Leland etc. that he was a-okay on gay issues. Obama is certainly following his lead, so apparently the majority of the Democratic party thinks Clinton has been just fine on gay issues.

    He sold us down the river, just like the current Vice President whose primary legacy on gay rights thus far is his vote is favor of DOMA.

    Most significantly, he laid out the gameplay that Rahm is following in the White House’s dealings on gays: promise, delay, betray. Obama is treating us like this because Clinton taught him too.

    He’s just a gift

  26. Michael @ says

    Lightningbladder, I’m sorry to have to, once again, knock that fresh pitcher of Kool Aid out of your hand with a few facts, really, really I am, but please don’t put words…or anything else…in my mouth.

    FACT 1: Though Congress would have overridden his SYMBOLIC vetoes with the same wide margins they passed the bills THEY wrote I have never “waved away” his signing them.

    FACT 2: At THIS point in time, Clinton still has more good things he has DONE for gays on his record than Obama has. NO, Landon, he did NOT let the bigots win every battle. Ask former Asst. Secty of HUD Roberta Achtenberg, whom Jesse Helms fought against as “that damn lesbian”; ask former US Ambassador James Hormel, that the bigots also tried to stop; or US Envoy Bob Farmer; the first gay federal judges he appointed; all the civilian federal employees who were protected by his executive order….AND things he TRIED to do like ending the FIFTY-YR. OLD ban on gays in the military. That could easily change, if Obama takes his promises…and his balls….out of hiding.

    FACT 2b: Before another willfully ignorant Obama apparatchik again squeals that he at least deserves that statue built to him because of the gays he’s hired…Satan er Clinton did it first and most of O’s biggest hires were cribbed from a list of gays who’d worked for Clinton.

    FACT 2c: Before a similar Obambot bleats, “but he hasn’t done the bad things to us that Clinton did,” besides the laughable, pitiable “you luv your husband because he hasn’t hit you?” aspect, let’s deconstruct what those bad things are supposed to be:

    (1) His superfluous signing of DOMA aside…a law that functionally CHANGED NOTHING in that gays never had ANY marriage rights BEFORE it…he’s flamed for “pro DOMA” commercials that ran a few times in the Donnie McClurkin South [ooops, did I say that?]. They were wrong, but not as inexcusable and self-serving as Obama campaigning from sea to homophobic sea for FOUR YEARS [including his Senate race] while preaching against marriage equality because “I’m a Christian…God is in the mix…amen blah blah.”

    No other Dem candidate wrapped their opposition in the Bible.

    It wasn’t a recording of THEIR opposition to marriage that the Yes on H8TERS used to in robocalls that helped pass H8TE; it was OBAMA’s “God” mix tape. And who fought against H8TE in robocalls by the No side?…wait for it…..BILL CLINTON.

    Then there’s that little thingy about Obama going back to the poison well three months ago to insert ANOTHER condemnation of marriage equality in his weak-kneed statement about the Iowa decision. More Kool Aid, anyone?

    (2) Clinton tried to end the ban on gays in the military but was beaten by Congress in a evil alliance with the Pentagon and Antigay Industry.

    16 years later, when most of those Congressional opponents and much of the Antigay Industry are out to pasture or dead, when as much as 81st of voters now APPROVE of gays in the military, Obama hasn’t EVEN tried … BUT….in addition to REFUSING to use the CONGRESSIONALLY-mandated power HE has to freeze discharges….HE is going to DEFEND the ongoing discharges IN COURT.

    FACT 3: One thing Clinton didn’t do…HE didn’t further the career of the most successful preacher in the hate biz Rick “Gay Equal Pedophilia” Warren by annointing his to pray for him at HIS Inaugural.

    That’s some hat er hero ya got there, Harry!

    PS: Allegedly, another “statement” is soon to shoot from deep in the Obama Borg Hive about the 40th Anniverary of Stonewall.

    I suggest a drinking game: one shot for every time he uses a meaningless verb like “supports” or future tense [aka “pie in the sky”] pious phrases like, “We must blah this and blah that.”

    DON’T look for a Presidential declaration of June as LGBT Pride Month, which….wait for it….Clinton did twice, however late.

    DON’T look for the First Lady in a pride parade anywhere even tho Mrs. Satan did that [despite the damage it could do to her plans to run for office].

    BUT based on the “Obama Is the Best President for Gays EVER” title, shouldn’t we look for BOTH Mr. & Mrs. in a pride parade?

    Just asking.

  27. Geronimo says

    ELG, we’re making the same point. Mine was perhaps not clear enough, but when I said, “he should have vetoed them—but the outcome would have been the same under Congress at the time,” I meant that the vetos would have been useless (or, as others have said, merely symbolic).

    No matter how you feel about the Clintons, they are both remarkably shrewd politicians—in the best and worst senses of the word. I’m sure that both are far more liberal than they’re willing to admit, but they also know that to have power, they have to compromise. Timing is everything in politics, and in the early and mid-1990s (DADT, DOMA) the country and Congress was much less gay-friendly.

    As for Bill hanging out with Bush Sr., they’ve been doing that for years. Perhaps not socially, but on causes like the Southeast Asian tsunami and a few other charity efforts. Bush almost certainly realizes that Bill did a great job of redeeming himself by creating a charity that amasses enormous amounts of money and influences policymakers around the world. By comparison, Bush gets to come home to Babs and ruminate on his failures and those of W.

  28. Michael @ says

    “Bill Clinton to lead HIV/AIDS fundraiser
    New York gala to focus on helping black Americans
    NEW YORK (AP)May 29 2009, 1:42 PM

    Former President Bill Clinton will lead a major fundraiser in New York City to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among black Americans.

    Clinton is chairing the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS’ benefit gala next week.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that while blacks represent 13 percent of the U.S. population they account for nearly half of people with HIV/AIDS. They also die more often from AIDS-related illnesses than other racial and ethnic groups.”


    Obama AIDS Budget

    “To the disappointment of some AIDS advocacy groups, Obama’s budget calls for leaving the funding level for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS program, known as HOPWA, at the same level as the current fiscal year – $310 million. The program subsidizes housing for low-income people with AIDS.

    AIDS advocacy groups were also disappointed that the president did not include language in his proposed budget calling for lifting a longstanding ban on federal funds to pay for syringe exchange programs aimed at curtailing the spread of HIV among injection drug users.

    The $107 million funding increase proposed by the Obama administration for CDC and Ryan White related programs falls considerably short of the suggested funding level for the two agencies made last fall by a coalition of more than 100 national, state, and local AIDS and LGBT advocacy organizations.

    AIDS Action, AIDS Institute, the Human Rights Campaign and others called for an $877 million increase in CDC funding for HIV prevention and surveillance programs for fiscal year 2010. The groups called for an overall funding increase in FY 2010 of $614.5 million for the Ryan White program.

    Carl Schmid, director of federal affairs for the AIDS Institute, said the CDC itself came up with the $877 figure as an estimate of what would be needed to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the country by half by the year 2020.

    One organization that advocates for global AIDS relief, Health Global Access Project, said the Obama proposal represents a decrease of $6.6 billion from the funding level authorized by Congress for global HIV and tuberculosis programs when it renewed the U.S. global health program last year.”

  29. says


    Yes, I am right: Rahm is following Clinton’s policies on gay issues precisely. Thanks for acknowledging it!

    I’ll be VERY surprised if we don’t see something that is not quite a proclamation of pride but suggests vaguely that people should perhaps not be mean to gay people. And the Obots will behave as though he actually did something.

    And you will have some interesting and worthwhile things to say, but you will drown them out with volume and bile.

  30. Chitown Kev says


    Thanks for that note of Clinton v. Obama on AIDS. In fact, I knew about the Obama cuts but not the Clinton fundraiser.

    Of course a lot of that, too, has to do with some patching up that Bill needs to do in the African American community too (which has forgiven and has fallen back in love with Hillary Clinton).

    And really, black gay communities are hopping mad about Obama’s decision but it is also entirely possible that decision was influenced both by Rahm and Josh DuBois. Which is so not in keeping with the tradition that Obama would have learned at Trinity here in Chicago.

    The black straight “churched” community? I. Don’t. Want. To. Even. Go. There.

  31. nic says

    so, LANDON BRYCE, when do we stop blaming Clinton for doing what was possible at that time? as the late, great texas gal, molly ivans, used to say, “politics is always half a loaf.” i mention her often because people have short memories and/or short attention spans and they forget out of ignorance or convenience that history is a continuum. no presidential administration exists in a vacuum. if obama has learned anything from the clintons, it is that he cannot force an issue to its crisis as they did with gays in the military and health care. the repugs and people in their own party crapped all over them for that. the fact that the clintons survive, indeed continue to thrive, is a testament to their tenacity, adaptability and intelligence. i don’t like everything about obama. he has to own his missteps and mistakes. but, i will bide my time on judging him. meanwhile, please, let’s stop blaming bill clinton for what’s happening now.

  32. Chris_Yes that one says

    @ Michael @ And your point is??????

    There is no level to who does wrong between Clinton, Bush, and Obama.

    They have all done us Gays wrong so please stop trying measure the wrong doings.

  33. nic says


    are you saying that there is no level in the gravity of harmfulness among the three? you can’t be that obtuse. as i said b4, wise up or stfu.

  34. chocolatebear says


    You’re a true idiot online talking like you can box it out telling folks stfu. Save that vitriol for Mommy! We don’t need folks talking to people like that on here.

  35. 2nd Class Citizen says

    That’s the problem with evolution… it takes too long. What is the timeframe for serious change? Clinton and Obama can
    evolve on this (extended middle finger). Empty promises. Wasted votes. Still cannot be married. Good people are being thrown out of the services.

  36. nic says

    great comment from someone calling himself CHOCOLATEBEAR. alls i’m sayin’, poo-bear, is that empty headed commentary rings hollow. continuing to parrot something dumb-asses say is not beneficial to anyone. if a silly sissy wants to ooh and aah over a picture of a cute, hot guy featured on this site, more power to him. hell, i do that myself. i simply object to idiocy cloaked as political argument. and, i object to people senselessly squawking nonsense about people who have been on ‘our’ side, even if marginally. bill clinton has never been our enemy. to perpetuate that myth 16-17 years later is lunacy and does nothing to further our cause.

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