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WH Challenges Clinton Narrative On Marriage Position Evolution

- October 20, 2015

WH Challenges Clinton Narrative On Marriage Position Evolution

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White House Spokesman Josh Earnest Said He Wasn't Aware Of Any Reason Why Hillary Clinton Could Not Support Same-Sex Marriage While Serving As Secretary Of State." QUESTION: "At a recent town hall in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton acknowledged her evolution on the issue of same sex marriage, saying personal relationships persuaded her to support marriage equality. The secretary didn't declare her support for same sex marriage until 2013, after she left the administration. Are you aware of any reason why Secretary Clinton couldn't have endorsed marriage equality during her time as secretary of state?" EARNEST: "I'm not, but I didn't work at the state department. So I wouldn't have-sort of the most keen sensitivity to what pressure she may have been under in that role. But you can certainly check with her campaign, and they can give you a better sense of that." (White House Press Briefing, 10/20/15)

As Recently As July, Clinton Said She Couldn't Weigh In On Domestic Issues Like Same-Sex Marriage While Serving As Secretary Of State

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Clinton Said She Was Not "Free" To Comment On Domestic Politics While Serving As Secretary Of State. HILLARY CLINTON: "But the more I thought about it-and I had a chance as secretary of state to enact some rules that really created much more equal treatment between our LGBT employees at the state department and others, so I was very much in the forefront of trying to end discrimination. But the more I thought about it, and the more I realized that this should be viewed as aright not to be given or taken away by states-as soon as I was free to do so, leaving the state department and getting back into domestic politics-which, as secretary of state, I was not, I said this should be a right. And I was very pleased when the Supreme Court decided it was." (Hillary Clinton, Interview With WHO-TV Des Moines, 7/27/15)

While Promoting Her Memoir Hard Choices In 2014, Clinton Also Suggested She Wasn't "Free" To Support Same-Sex Marriage While Serving As Secretary Of State. NPR's TERRY GROSS: "This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross back with Hillary Clinton. Her new memoir 'Hard Choices' is about her four years as secretary of state during President Obama's first term. When we left off, we were talking about her efforts to bring LGBT rights into the international community's framework of human rights. She also made it easier for Americans to change their gender on their passports. Were there positions you believed in as senator but you couldn't publicly support because you felt that it wasn't time yet? That the positions would have been too unpopular? That the public wasn't ready in regards to LGBT rights? And, you know, I often think that there are politicians who, you know, in their heart really support it but don't publicly support it." HILLARY CLINTON: "Well, I was fully on board with ending discrimination in the workplace on behalf of the LGBT community. I did not support gay marriage when I was in the Senate or running for president, as you know, and as President Obama and others held the same position. But it, for me, became an opportunity to do what I could as secretary of state to make the workplace fairer - something I had always supported and spoke out about. And then when I was out of the secretary of state position and once again free to comment on domestic matters, I very shortly came out in favor of fully equality, including gay marriage." (NPR's "Fresh Air," 6/12/14)


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