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Bill and Hillary Clinton Praise Supreme Court Marriage Ruling

ClintonsFormer President Bill Clinton (who signed DOMA into law in 1996) and Hillary Clinton released a joint statement today on the Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8:

By overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court recognized that discrimination towards any group holds us all back in our efforts to form a more perfect union. We are also encouraged that marriage equality may soon return to California. We applaud the hard work of the advocates who have fought so relentlessly for this day, and congratulate Edie Windsor on her historic victory.


Bill Clinton, Obama Urge Illinois to Pass Marriage Equality

As an Illinois House vote on marriage equality approaches, former President Bill Clinton is speaking out in support of it.

ClintonSaid Clinton in a statement yesterday:

"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. 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 Illinois, with marriage equality. Since the days of Abraham Lincoln, Illinois has stood for the proposition that all citizens should be treated equally under the law. Lincoln himself came to Springfield in search of opportunity, and he dedicated his life to securing equal opportunity for all citizens.  I believe that for Illinois and for our nation as a whole, in the 21st century that must include marriage equality.”

IllinoisThe White House urged Illinois to pass it as well:

"Were the president still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally," spokesman Shin Inouye said in response to a question from POLITICO. Obama's support for the bill comes after former President Bill Clinton endorsed it earlier Tuesday.

"While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect," Inouye said. "As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so."

Earlier this week, lawmakers said that the votes to pass the bill are there. A vote has not yet been scheduled.


Bill Clinton Praises Jason Collins' Coming Out: 'The Straightforward Statement of a Good Man'

Former President Bill Clinton released this statement today reacting to NBA center Jason Collins coming out of the closet:

ClintonI have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea's classmate and friend at Stanford. Jason's announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community. It is also the straightforward statement of a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek: to be able to be who we are; to do our work; to build families and to contribute to our communities. For so many members of the LGBT community, these simple goals remain elusive. I hope that everyone, particularly Jason's colleagues in the NBA, the media and his many fans extend to him their support and the respect he has earned.

Chelsea released this statement earlier on Facebook:

I am very proud of my friend Jason Collins for having the strength and courage to become the first openly gay athlete in the NBA. His decision marks an important moment for professional sports and for our country. I echo what my father said in his statement and similarly hope that everyone, particularly Jason's colleagues in the NBA, the media and his many fans extend to him their support and the respect he has earned.


President Bill Clinton Accepts GLAAD Award in Los Angeles: VIDEO

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President Bill Clinton accepted GLAAD's 'Advocate for Change' Award at the GLAAD Awards in Los Angeles last night and while he did not, as GLAAD had not in its announcement that Clinton would be receiving the award, mention that he was the one who had signed it into law in 1996, one heckler (at 5:35 in the video) reminded the crowd of that fact.

"You signed it!" yelled the attendee.

Clinton, without acknowledging the voice, did promise to keep on the path of advocating for equality:

"I want to keep working on this until not only is DOMA no longer the law of the land, but until all people - no matter where they live - can marry the people they love."

Clinton called for the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA in a Washington Post editorial in March.

He added that there is still work to do:

"You have helped me come to the place where I am today. That's why you are the true agents of change...I believe you will win the DOMA fight, and I think that you will win the constitutional right to marry. If not tomorrow, then the next day or the next day...I supported and tried to pass ENDA without success. We still need to pass that. We still need to fight bullying and we need the right kind of immigration reform that doesn't discriminate against anybody."

And attributed his evolution on gay rights issues to his daughter Chelsea:

"She has had a profound impact in many ways on the way I see the world. It's sort of humbling when you get to be my age when your child knows more than you do about everything....Chelsea and her gay friends and her wonderful husband have modeled to me how we should all treat each other regardless of our sexual orientation or any other artificial difference that divides us. Many of them come and join us every Thanksgiving for a meal. I have grown very attached to them. And over the years, I was forced to confront the fact that people who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concerns for their own identity, not out of respect for anyone else."

Near the end of his speech, Clinton did seem to note that he had some detractors in the audience:

"You are the agents of change. I'm getting this award tonight because I was the object of your affections - or not, as the case may be."

Watch his speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

A full list of GLAAD Award winners HERE.

Continue reading "President Bill Clinton Accepts GLAAD Award in Los Angeles: VIDEO" »


Stephen Colbert Forces Bill Clinton to Join Twitter: VIDEO

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Former President Bill Clinton joined Stephen Colbert at Colbert's 'Galactic Initiative' last night to discuss his philanthropic work.

Said Clinton about why he run's the Clinton Global Initiative:

"It makes me happy. I think after the life I've been given by the American people, I think I'd be a slug if I didn't do it. I think I'm just doing what I should do and it makes me happy."

Later they discussed social networking, and Clinton admitted that it's not something he does much of, explaining that "When I became president there was no email. Then email was largely interoffice." Clinton said that what email did do was create the opportunity for it to be subpoenaed.

Clinton said that while he's on Facebook, he has never joined Twitter:

"I think I'm sort of insecure, like what if you tweet and nobody tweets back? There's nothing worse than a friendless tweeter. You're just wandering around in cyberspace."

So, Colbert told him that he had signed him up.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Stephen Colbert Forces Bill Clinton to Join Twitter: VIDEO" »


GLAAD to Honor Bill Clinton as 'Advocate for Change'

GLAAD announced today that it is honoring former President Bill Clinton at its Los Angeles GLAAD Awards.

ClintonDeadline writes that the first "Advocate for Change" award will also be given to Hollywood attorney Steve Warren:

The event will be held at the JW Marriott on April 20 and there will be more excitement than usual in the air as this is right in the midst of Supreme Court deliberations regarding the constitutionality of Prop 8 and DOMA, which will have profound impact on gay marriage and whether equal protections extend to gays and lesbians. That landmark decision is expected to be delivered in June. Big star power is expected at the event. Among the confirmed presenters so far are Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence. They are all Warren’s clients. Clinton is being honored for a long track record of pressing tolerance. I

In 2011, Clinton advocated for marriage equality in New York, stating that “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.” In 2012, he joined the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families in working against North Carolina’s proposed Amendment One to ban marriage and civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Most recently, he called for the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act in an op-ed for The Washington Post. During his administration, Clinton became the first U.S. President to appoint out gay and lesbian people to all levels of government. He appointed more than 150 including James Hormel as America’s first openly gay ambassador. During the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, his administration convened the first White House Conference on the epidemic, created the national AIDS Policy Coordinator post, and expanded funding for research. In 2002, his Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) began as the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in the developing world.


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