1. gaylib says

    This article wouldn’t have ever been written if she were a man. Just saying. Snapped? Really??

  2. DH94114 says

    I’d rather have Terry Gross for President any day. Clinton totally gamed this issue, like every issue. Clinton A and Clinton B.

  3. Mike says

    I think Terry was acting somewhat petty. Hilary handled her confidently and tactfully.

  4. woodroad34 says

    My ex is an alcoholic manipulator and every argument went exactly like this one. His excuse was very similar to Terry Gross’s…he wasn’t clarifying, he was definitely swinging the argument to his way so that HE’d be right. Hence him being an “ex”.

  5. CAnaive says

    I’m not sure why the editorializing that “Clinton seemed to dodge, duck, and weave around the issue”. Hillary Clinton was absolutely direct, knowledgeable within a historical context and nothing short of amazingly articulate in this interview. No politician I know on the scene could have responded as well. Nearly everyone’s position on gay marriage has evolved from some earlier starting point.

  6. jmartindale says

    She supports us wholeheartedly, and has shown that in her independent actions as Secretary of State and at the UN. History is just that–past. The people that want to cut us off from our allies are NOT our firends. Beware of Koch suckers trying to undermine gay support for our causes.

  7. Ian says

    I’m glad someone tried to challenge her finally, though I agree Mrs. Clinton offered nothing of substance. Either her support or lack of in the early nineties was most likely a career move.

  8. Robert says

    Despite what her record might or might not be, she danced around the question like a prima ballerina. I like Hillary a lot, but I hate when politicians do this kinda crap. She did not directly answer it, but implied that she was both for it, but mostly against gay marriage before it became a popular wedge issue among the democratic party. Evolution takes millions of years, it only takes one moment to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

  9. Jeip says

    I agree with Gaylib here. The characterization of her response in the media so far, even here on Towleroad (eg. “snapped”) portrays her reaction as somewhat hysterical, when in fact it was fairly calm and considered.

    I don’t necessarily believe her when she says she was against it and then she changed her mind, at least not any time recently. Her position on this issue certainly has a significant political calculation, just as Obama’s did.

    That aside, she firmly, but politely, pushed back against Gross’ repeated insinuations (regardless of how fair they were). If she were a man, the kinds of descriptive phrases that are being used to portray how she reacted to these questions would not have ever been considered.

  10. Ajijic Expat says

    I always tell people, I don’t care what you did yesterday, it’s what you do today that counts.

    Besides who else would you like to be the next POTUS?

  11. anon says

    I don’t understand how anyone could listen to this and come away from it saying that she was trying to imply she was both for and against same-sex marriage at the time her stated position was against it. She very clearly states that she was REALLY against it when her public position was against it. You may not believe her, but she wasn’t trying to have it both ways.

  12. Jon says

    I find it interesting how so many on here don’t appreciate the word “snapped” being used because it prejudices the readers about Hillary Clinton. However, these same readers have no problem when other prejudicial-words are used to describe Republicans. THEN it’s perfectly acceptable. Double-standards are so clarifying when so blatantly obvious. And I suspect many of you don’t even realize your double-standards, or won’t concede them even now that it’s been pointed it out. :)

  13. kipp says

    It is possible to like and intend to vote for Hillary Clinton while also acknowledging:

    1. 27% of people were in favor of gay marriage in 1996. It wasn’t only activists.

    2. Hillary Clinton is too intelligent and too sophisticated to have not thought about gay marriage by the late 90’s enough to have come around to the side of social justice.

    Terri Gross wasn’t implying Clinton supports gay marriage only for political reasons (it was a brilliant redirection on the part of Hillary, though). Gross was implying the Clintons supported/signed anti-gay legislation in late 90’s because, even though they personally were LGBT supportive, the country wasn’t. Gross was assuming Clinton was ahead of the curve in 90’s, not that she’s politically callow today.

  14. Chris says


    So if she was living in the south during slavery she would have been ok with slavery because “very few people” were against it back then??

    Please! Wrong is wrong regardless of the time period.

    And the fact of the matter is that Clinton#1 flat out *USED* gay people as a political tool by Signing DOMA into law.
    He never would have carried the South like he did without signing DOMA into law and running adds throughout the South praising his action.
    Even with DADT many in the Pentagon thought gays in the military was inevitable in the early 90’s until Clinton#1 and Colin Powell came up with a “compromise” which really only hurt gay people.
    There are very few politicians that actually look out for the American people and she and her husband are not them, no matter how slick they are at marketing themselves.

  15. anon says

    @KIPP and Clinton answered Terri Gross directly that Gross’ assumption that Clinton was personally supportive of gay marriage in the 90s while publicly against it was wrong.

    Clinton answered directly that her opposition in the 90s was real and she has thought about it, reflected on it and changed her mind since then to support equality now.

  16. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    Hillary Clinton is, was, and will be far better on gay issues than any Republican on the planet.

  17. anon says

    @CHRIS.. Clinton wasn’t talking about the level of opposition to same-sex marriage as a way to say it was correct to be opposed in the 90s. She was asking Gross why Gross couldn’t believe Clinton was personally opposed in the 90s when the majority of people were opposed in the 90s.

  18. simon says

    What is the point? This is a tired argument by the right wing. Politicians make political calculations. If they don’t, they won’t be successful politicians. Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Franklin Roosevelt, Churchill etc etc all did. Of course no one will admit it because it makes them look disingenuous. Thomas Moore was a pious Catholics. He opposed King Henry VIII’s divorce of the Queen. He was beheaded. The Pope canonised More for his faith and courage. The price he paid was his life and political career.

  19. simon says

    And don’t tell me conservative politicians like Reagan or Bushes didn’t make political calculations.

  20. Isaiah says

    Hillary didn’t “snap” and characterizing her response that way is sexist! She happens to be our ally – she deserves better on a gay blog!

  21. Moniker says

    I would rather pick someone who has evolved or evolving on LGBT (even it is for a political gain) rather than someone who is confirmed / planning to or prosecuting us for political gain.

    And can someone name an option? A potential presidential material who supported marriage equality before 2008?

  22. Josh says

    She is right to stand up for herself. She will be taking a lot of shots from the media over the next 2 years because everybody knows she is the overwhelming favorite to be the next Dem nominee and POTUS.

  23. PlaidCat says

    I found this a refreshing exchange. Terry Gross kept pressing her question, and Clinton kept talking around it. Then, finally, Clinton said, “Look, here’s what I think you are driving at, and I repudiate it.” Clinton directly addressed the subtext she thought was going on. Then Terry Gross said, “Oh, no, I was actually coming from this other angle, which is why I kept pressing for an answer.”

    Imagine that. A politician and a journalist going all meta and talking about subtext and intent behind a question. And for all the obvious confrontation going on, it was somehow remarkably civil. This is why I love Terry Gross. And this is why I love Hillary Clinton.

  24. emjayay says

    Nice, Plaidcat. Terry Gross is a great interviewer, and unlike most radio and TV people in the US, while being smart and decent and not generally creating issues out of nothing, is not there to enable the interviewee either. She did seem to go at this like a dog with a bone a bit unnecessarily, but that can happen. And Hillary was up to it. So, great.

    Did Obama and Hillary and a lot of people evolve on the issue? Of course. Did Obama and Hillary carefully consider their official positions on the issue? Of course.

  25. Ian says

    Gross was painting Hillary into an awkward corner—either call yourself a political opportunist or acknowledge that you really were anti-gay-marriage in the 90s. That’s a no-win situation. Ultimately, Hillary took option B, but did so while (rightly) giving herself credit for being a HUGE advocate for the LGBT community (including, she made special effort to note, the trans community—which is by no means politically popular). I think she handled herself excellently and Gross’s after-the-fact attempts to say “Oh gee I didn’t mean to annoy you” lacked integrity. Hilary’s overall stance on LGBT issues in this interview was candid and supportive in a way I have almost never heard from a politician, and Towleroad should be reporting on THAT, not harping on the broader media’s most scandalous soundbite.

  26. Paul says

    Hillary Clinton will be a great president for gay rights – just as Obama has been. These are the good guys. Give them a break. BTW – the manner in which she handled that interview should have all her possible opponents concerned.

  27. JMC says

    Hillary feigned opposition to marriage equality to further her political standings just like literally every other politician that’s been around for more than a few years.. except for the ones that genuinely hate/d us. What’s important is that she’s such an advocate of our interests today.

  28. johnny says

    A good politician HAS to do a bit of dancing to get into the office in the first place. Pleasing many masters is what they’re good at. But it’s for the greater good because they need to get the office TO DO the greater good, by some rather unpleasant means and that sometimes has them looking a bit like a politician at the end of the day.

    Everyone, including myself, has evolved on gay marriage. Why should be split hairs and use words like “snapped” to characterize one of our allies? If this is what Towleroad is going to do to Hillary until the election, than who should we vote for otherwise, Andy? What’s the agenda now?

  29. Marlon Manroe says

    Sensationalism, much? In what world would her answer be considered “snapping?” She sounded completely good-natured and ready to answer.

    Twisting this to make a headline is stupid and misleading.

  30. johnny says

    Another angle:

    Listening again, it may be that Terry is HELPING clarify Clinton’s stance on the issue by bringing up her past and letting her make an all-inclusive statement that covers it once and for all. It didn’t sound like Terry was badgering as much as getting Clinton to sew it up and put it to rest in a clearer way.

    That’s my take-away, at least.

    And Hillary handled this with firm politeness. The “snapped” characterization is nothing more than sensationalism and a bit beneath a good journalist.

  31. JoePuck says

    I seem to remember her marching in NY Pride parade in 2000! Other than that I don’t expect anything from politicians!
    It took years to get a simple civil rights bill passed in NY this with a liberal Democrat base & City Council!

  32. Jude says

    “Barack Obama Snaps at NPR Host”. How does it feel now?

    I didn’t see that choice of words (“snaps”) here, but I did see the headline at CNN.

    If anyone has mother issues, please deal with them before 2016.

  33. says

    It is always a good laugh seeing people defend people who “change” for political expedience after sticking their finger in the political wind to see where it is blowing. People we elect should be leaders and lead on issues. They should shape and move issues even if it means they may not be elected. Leaders aren’t lead by polls. Leaders lead the changing of the polls.

  34. Daniel says

    If Hillary runs for POTUS. She has mine and my husbands full support. So thankful there are Americans like Hillary Clinton in politics and is on our side of history. She has ALWAYS been supportive of the LGBT community and her record proves it without a doubt.

  35. crispy says

    I find it sorta funny that the URL for this story is “clintongross.”

    That’s going to bring a lovely crowd here from Google.

  36. Patrick says

    I remember that like in ’98 I saw her at the gay pride parade, was exciting and cannot wait to vote for her. NPR has a terrible record with the gays.

  37. Chip says

    Ian wins the award for best comment. Totally on point.

    Anyone who thinks Clinton was simply following the political winds is an idiot. Both Clintons were gay rights advocates throughout the 90s and beyond, and did what they could to move us towards equal rights.

    If Hillary or Bill had been outspoken in favor of gay marriage in the 90s, there would be a Federal amendment to the constitution right now, stating that marriage is only between a man and a woman. By delaying the debate for a decade, popular opinion was able to shift enough to protect us from the Republicans who were pushing for that amendment.

    Even DOMA was there to protect us from the more permanent alternative. Bill still takes criticism for signing a bill that made gay marriage possible in Massachusetts in 2004.

    Not to mention Clinton’s Supreme Court appointments that swayed the Lawrence v Texas decision in 2003. Any gay person who doesn’t vote Democratic is either among the wealthiest Americans, is self-hating, or is too foolish to understand how to protect their rights.

    That’s my take on it, at least.

  38. Liam says

    Chris: President Clinton was on our side when he came in office. He tried to give us rights and got his head handed to him. As a result the compromise was DADT and the defense of marriage act. Remember DADT was to keep the Newt Gingrich congress from banning gays in the military completely. SO of course he was very hesitant to go out on a limb for us in the future until he was sure that the public was with him on this.

  39. anon says

    NPR caught a lot of flack during the nineties when they were basically spit polishing Bill’s rather muddy boots every day with their tongues. If Fox glosses over Republican scandals, NPR would only mention the Clintons’ troubles in passing, as if it were a description of the weather. This was unlike PBS, which went after the Clintons with multiple documentaries. If you like your news coverage fawning, then NPR is your go-to place. After 2001, they changed tack and it seems they’re not going to fall for the Clintons again. Perhaps Hillary didn’t get the memo?

  40. Daniel says

    You know, this really bugs me. As much as I like Terri Gross, Clinton’s change on this mirrors the change of a lot of Americans. I don’t like us harping on people who are doing the right thing.

  41. AERES says

    Many excellent comments re: this. But I’d like to add mine to chorus of people who feel like this blog took the low road (i.e. bought into the mainsteam sensationalism nonsense) in portraying what really happened.

    I heard a spirited but at all times pleasant, civil and intelligent exchange. Hillary clearly relished the discussion and handled it with aplomb. Not a “combative”, “tense” exchange where she “disagreed” with “every question” Gross asked as this blog “reports”.

    Shame on Towleroad for emphasizing exactly the wrong points from this interview.

    Instead, we in the gay community have one of the most experienced and talented politicians in the country on our side – and strongly so. Thats support I’m glad to have, regardless of when the supporter joined the cause.

    Can you imagine a GOP candidate saying anything remotely similar? Instead, we pile on with some nonsense “snap” narrative which has the effect (intended or otherwise) of criticizing our allies while our opponents get away without having to respond to the merits of what was actually discussed. Thats a disservice to all of us.

  42. Bill Lundy says

    It’s disingenuous to discount her statements out of hand. It’s TRUE that almost NO ONE was thinking about the concept of gay marriage in the 90’s and that it really only took root on a massive scale in the early- to mid-2000’s. She’s quite right about that factually. While we’ve been calling our same-sex partners “husband” and “wife” for decades and possibly centuries (in private), the concept of same-sex couples marrying didn’t seem to really gel until very recently (the last 10 years) as evidenced by society’s growing acceptance of same.

  43. enchantra hagatha hearne says

    The bottom line is that politicians “evolve” when they think it will get them elected or not cost them votes.

  44. Chuck says

    I don’t know how Terri Gross has stayed on the air so long. I find her a vacuous pinhead.

  45. Larry says

    And this interview is exactly why I’ll be voting for Elizabeth Warren 2016 for President.

  46. simon says

    “Leaders aren’t lead by polls. Leaders lead the changing of the polls.”
    That is very funny. Mitt Romney led his team to believe they are winning though he is behind. That is what Perry meant by “changing of the poll”, changing it to make it look better to themselves.

  47. khaled says

    This clip with Terry Gross just reminds me why I didn’t want her for president in 2008. She can never answer a SIMPLE question with a straightforward and honest answer–EVER. So sad when she’s considered the Left’s ONLY chance of winning the white house. But if she’s the one we have to vote for to change the Supreme Court to a more left leaning court, I think most of us will reluctantly vote for her like when we voted for Kerry. I think Dan Savage says it best here about her recent bout with foot in mouth syndrome (a lifetime condition for her, it appears):

  48. anotherMike says

    Hilary just confirms through her (no content) rhetoric that everything she says and does is political. I am sure that if for some horrific reason the trend for equality shifted against us, her position would follow.