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Hillary Clinton endorses same-sex marriage

11:42 AM, Mar 18, 2013   |    comments
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on American leadership Jan. 31 at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.(Photo: MANDEL NGAN, AFP/Getty Images)
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Former and perhaps future presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton endorsed same-sex marriage in a video released Monday.

"I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law, embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and all Americans," Clinton said in the video posted by the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

Clinton's declaration puts her in line with other potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidates, and with President Obama.

Earlier this month, Clinton's spouse -- former president Bill Clinton -- endorsed gay marriage in a Washington Post op-ed urging the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which he had signed into law in 1996.

The Supreme Court justices are expected to rule by June on the Defense of Marriage Act, which among other things defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

The gay marriage issue is also changing Republican politics. Last week, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a finalist for the Republican vice presidential slot in 2012, announced he now supports same-sex marriage after learning that his son is gay.

During their 2008 battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, both Clinton and Obama supported civil unions for same-sex couples, but not gay marriage. Obama endorsed the latter in 2012.

In the Human Rights Campaign video, Clinton said, "like so many others, my personal views have been shaped over time by people I have known and loved."

Clinton cited her work as secretary of State, saying the United States has become a leader in defending gay rights worldwide.

Gays and lesbians "are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones," Clinton said. "And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship -- that includes marriage."

Clinton -- who also announced her 2008 presidential bid bid via video -- has not said she whether she intends to run again in 2016. But the gay marriage video is likely to stoke even more speculation.

Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf said he doesn't know if Mrs. Clinton will again seek the presidency, but any one who does has to favor gay marriage to be successful in the 2016 Democratic primaries. Elmendorf said the issue has taken on great symbolic significance for many voters, particularly young ones.

"It's become a civil rights issue," he said, "a progressive issue."

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