by Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
If there were any lingering doubts that Hillary Clinton is running for president in 2016, she dispelled them in a six-minute video released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on March 18.
In the video, Clinton returns to the pro-Gay themes she stressed as Secretary of State, but adds a specific endorsement of marriage equality, bringing her public stance into line with those of her potential rivals for the 2016 Democratic nomination, Vice President Joe Biden and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
LGBT Americans 'are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship,' Clinton says in the HRC video.
'That includes marriage. That's why I support marriage for Lesbian and Gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law.'
Cuomo ran for governor in 2010 openly supporting marriage equality, and shepherded his state's Marriage Equality Act through the legislature. Biden famously blurted out his endorsement of equality on Meet the Press in May of last year, nudging President Obama into open support for same-sex marriage.
AN EVOLVING VIEW
In her video, Clinton discussed the evolution of her position on marriage, which in some ways paralleled that of the president. Her views, she says, were influenced in part by her time in the State Department representing U.S. policy - which, as she articulated it, included explicit advocacy of LGBT rights.
'Like so many others, my personal views have been shaped over time by people I have known and loved, by my experience representing our nation on the world stage, my devotion to law and human rights, and the guiding principles of my faith,' she said.
'Marriage, after all, is a fundamental building block of our society, a great joy and, yes, a great responsibility.'
Her views have also been influenced, she said, by her daughter Chelsea's marriage.
'A few years ago, Bill and I celebrated as our own daughter married the love of her life, and I wish every parent that same joy,' she says in the video.
'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.'
While the HRC video may be Clinton's first step in courting the LGBT community for a 2016 run, longtime Democratic Party strategist Tad Devine told Politico that she more likely wanted to go on record with views she has held privately.
'Hillary probably felt the same way the president did - that this was an issue she wanted to get public on to match her own private feelings,' Devine said. 'She's in a position to kind of do what she wants on issues.'
As Secretary of State, Devine added, Clinton may have felt she was not able to take positions on controversial domestic issues.
YOUTH VOTE IS KEY
Whatever the reasons Clinton decided to go public with her endorsement of marriage equality, the video positions her to capture younger voters who may be the key to the Democratic nomination and eventually the presidency. According to a new ABC/Washington Post poll, a whopping 81% of Americans under 30 back same-sex marriage.
Polls on the 2016 presidential race show Clinton well ahead of her potential rivals. A PPP poll released in January showed Clinton with 57% support, compared to Biden with 16% and Cuomo with less than 5%. She also polled far ahead of potential Republican candidates Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Paul Ryan, and slightly ahead of Chris Christie.
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