Clinton praised for stance on marriage equality
Marriage equality advocates have welcomed Hillary Clinton’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, saying Australia’s leaders are increasingly “out of step”.
Clinton made headlines overnight with a video posted by the Human Rights Campaign in which she states: "I believe America is at its best when we champion the freedom and dignity of every human being."
Formerly in favour of civil unions, while saying marriage was a state issue, Clinton said her work as Secretary of State had inspired her to “think anew”.
"LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones, and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship: that includes marriage," she says in the six-minute video.
“Marriage, after all, is a fundamental building block of our society, a great joy and yes, a great responsibility,” she continues.
“To deny the opportunity to any of our daughters and sons solely on the basis of who they are and who they love is to deny them the chance to live up to their own God-given potential.”
Australian Marriage Equality Rodney Croome told gaynewsnetwork Clinton’s support was important for three reasons.
“Her rationale for supporting equality is a compelling one because she stresses both the importance of full and equal citizenship, and the importance of marriage as an institution,” Croome said.
“Given her high profile as former secretary of state her words will carry weight throughout the developing world.
“For Australians, Clinton's support will highlight just how incredibly out-of-step Julia Gillard is on this issue.”
Australian Greens spokesperson on LGBTI issues, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young told gaynewsnetwork Australia was becoming more and more isolated in the international community by failing to act on marriage equality.
“Hilary Clinton has added her voice to the long list of political leaders from around the world who support marriage equality and I commend her for that,” Hanson-Young said.
“It is high time our parliament brought equality to Australia.
“Conservative politicians in England and New Zealand have shown great leadership on this issue and Tony Abbott should do the same.”
Recently Clinton’s husband ex-president Bill Clinton urged the repeal of the Defence of Marriage Act which he himself signed into law in 1996, claiming it to be discriminatory.
The Act bans the federal government and its agencies from recognising same-sex marriages, even in states where same-sex marriage is legal.
The couple’s daughter Chelsea has also spoken in favour of marriage equality recently.
Hillary Clinton in the video speaks of Chelsea’s recent wedding, saying, “I wish every parent the same joy.”
The US Supreme Court is about to hear two landmark gay rights cases that advocates hope will make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
Meanwhile the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll has found that 58 per cent of Americans now approve of same-sex marriage, up from only 32 per cent less than 10 years ago.