Politics

Hillary Clinton Wants The Supreme Court To Strike Down Marriage Bans

Update: After initial publication of this report, Clinton’s staff provided BuzzFeed News with a statement on the issue.

Charlie Neibergall / AP

update

“Hillary Clinton supports marriage equality and hopes the Supreme Court will come down on the side of same-sex couples being guaranteed that constitutional right,” Adrienne Elrod, spokesperson, Hillary for America, told BuzzFeed News.

Original report:

WASHINGTON — In two weeks, the Supreme Court is due to consider whether bans on same-sex couples marrying violates the U.S. Constitution — an issue Hillary Clinton has not spoken about in almost a year, when she said a “state-by-state” approach was working.

The Obama Justice Department has argued that such bans “cannot be reconciled with the fundamental constitutional guarantee of ‘equal protection of the laws.’”

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has not said whether she agrees with that position. Spokespeople for her campaign have repeatedly stated since Sunday that an answer is forthcoming on the question, but no answer has been provided.

Since leaving the State Department, Clinton has made a series of statements on the marriage issue. In announcing her support for marriage equality in a video posted on March 13, 2013, she said of LGBT people, “They are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. 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.”

A little more than a year later, Clinton was non-committal on the issue to NPR’s Terry Gross.

In June 2014, Clinton told Gross, “I fully endorse the efforts by activists to work state-by-state. In fact, that is what is working.” Later, she reiterated that point, saying that, after she left her post as secretary of state, “I was able to very quickly announce that I was fully in support of gay marriage and that it is now continuing to proceed state-by-state.”

After Clinton announced this week that she would run for president, BuzzFeed News asked her campaign whether she believes states can ban same-sex couples from marrying or she believes such bans are unconstitutional. The campaign hasn’t yet provided an answer.

All of the declared Republican candidates for president oppose same-sex couples’ marriage rights. Two LGBT groups — Equality California and LPAC, a lesbian PAC — already have endorse Clinton for president.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the cases — out of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee — on the morning of April 28.

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Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.
Contact Chris Geidner at chris.geidner@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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