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Hillary Clinton Declares Her Support For Same-Sex Marriage

100401_clinton_hrc_ap_392_regularFormer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come out in support of gay marriage, appearing in a six-minute video of a gay rights advocacy organization. Clinton, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, joined the ranks of high profile Democrats who support gay marriage, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden who announced their support last year. Though Clinton served under the Obama administration until earlier this year, she never made her personal stance on the issue public.

“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,’’ she said in the video by the Human Rights Campaign. She said she supported gay marriage “personally and as a matter of policy and law.”

Clinton said that her work with same-sex couples during her time as secretary of state led her to reconsider her position on the issue. She said that she wished every parent the joy of seeing their child get married, and that denying individuals from freely choosing their partners was equivalent to “deny them the chance to live up to their own God-given potential.”

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin worked with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, during the 1992 presidential campaign. The former president has been more vocal in his support of same-sex marriage since leaving office, but was also responsible for signing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The act allows states to ignore same-sex marriages that were performed in another state, affecting the tax and social security statuses of those couples. Bill Clinton has since said that the law is unconstitutional and should be repealed.

DOMA will be under review by the Supreme Court later this month in the case of the United States v. Windsor. Edith Windsor is accusing the United States of discrimination after she was forced to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes after the death of her partner of 40 years. She and Thea Spyer were married in Toronto in 2007, two years before Spyer’s death.  If the couple had been of different sex, Windsor would not have been required to pay any tax. Oral arguments in the Supreme Court hearing will begin March 27.

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