NY: Pres. Clinton voices support for marriage equality

NY: Pres. Clinton voices support for marriage equality

From Politico: President Clinton said the next step in the expansion of rights in the United States should be same-sex marriage in his adopted home state. While Clinton opposed gay marriage while in the White House, he has in recent years shifted his views, something he makes clear in backing the bill in New York.

“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,” Clinton said. “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 New York, with marriage equality. 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.”

The former president’s statement in support of the New York bill comes as advocates push for its passage ahead of the end of the state’s legislative session in June. It’s passed the state Assembly three times in previous years, but failed in the state Senate the one time it came to the floor, in 2009.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that legalizing gay marriage is a priority for his administration, though the current Republican majority in the state Senate is largely opposed to it.

Clinton is the highest-profile political figure to sign onto the Human Rights Campaign’s lobbying efforts, but not the only one. In January, Barbara Bush, the 29-year-old daughter of former President George W. Bush, appeared in a video voicing her support for same-sex marriage in New York.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., have also spoken out in support of the bill.