As we all know, there's nothing like an election to get politicians to change their minds (at least publicly) on hot-button issues. One of the recurrent hot-button issues over the past two decades has been same-sex marriage. This culminated in the June 2015 decision from the United States Supreme Court which ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the U.S. and that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. Here is a map that shows which states had same-sex marriage laws prior to the 2015 SCOTUS decision:
Now that we have a bit of background, let's look at what one of the current presidential candidates had to say about same-sex marriage and whether it should be recognized in her "home state" of New York back in 2002 when she was being interviewed by Chris Matthews:
That's pretty clear, isn't it?
Here's what she had to say in 2004:
Here it is in writing:
"I believe marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman. I have had occasion in my life to defend marriage, to stand up for marriage, to believe in the hard work and challenge of marriage. So I take umbrage at anyone who might suggest that those of us who worry about amending the Constitution are less committed to the sanctity of marriage, or to the fundamental bedrock principle that it exists between a man and a woman, going back into the midst of history as one of the founding, foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principal role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults."
Now, let's see how her opinion had morphed ever so slightly in 2007 when she appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show during her first campaign to become president:
Her anti-same-sex marriage opinion had softened somewhat, however, given that her host is openly gay and married, she still states that gay couples should only be allowed to have "civil unions with full equality of benefits", particularly equal federal benefits. She also states that she's had the same opinion on same-sex marriage for years and that the final decision, for or against, should be left up to state legislatures.
Here is an interview that Hillary Clinton gave to NPR's Terry Gross in June 2014:
Here's her quote responding to whether her view on same-sex marriage has evolved since the 1990s and whether the public evolution on the issue had allowed her to state her real views:
"I think I'm an American. (Laughing) And I think we have all evolved, and it's been one of the fastest, most sweeping transformations."
She blames the change in her opinion on the speed at which the change has taken place in society as a whole. She notes that politicians are not "100 percent set" in their opinions and that they "constantly re-evaluate" their positions on many items, including same-sex marriage. No kidding.
Now, let's look at the 2015 version of Hillary Clinton:
In 2015, her opinion on this very divisive issue has evolved to the point where she believes that lesbian and gay couples should have the right to marriage. She also notes that "her personal view has been shaped over time". One wonders if this is a last ditch effort to pander to her liberal base since this is likely her last "kick at the presidential campaign can" given that by the time the next presidential campaign cycle begins, she will be 72 years old.
Can we say "political opportunist"? Apparently, there's nothing like political desperation to make one's opinions on hot-button issues evolve.