As the politics of same-sex marriage have shifted, Hillary Clinton has periodically been confronted with her comments from 2004, when she said on the Senate floor "I believe marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman" and "the fundamental bedrock principle that exists between a man and a woman."

She also supported the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton, which banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages even when legalized by states.

She has since repudiated those positions and wholeheartedly backed equal marriage rights. Now she hopes to defuse attacks from Republicans like Marco Rubio calling her the candidate of "yesterday" by advertising her support for the modern institution.

Candidate Of "Yesterday" Looks Forward On Marriage


In her latest political ad "Equal," audio of a speech celebrating the history of equal rights is intertwining with scenes from same-sex wedding ceremonies from different cultural backgrounds. One emotional wedding vow is prominently featured, in which one of the grooms says at the altar:

"I remember all the thoughts that ran through my head when I started to realize that I was gay. Why me? What am I going to do? Will anyone love me? I'll never get married. That's the one that really hurt. I'll never get married ... I'll never feel love."

A montage of ceremonies, receptions and proposals whizzes by, as we hear snippets of other vows, such as "I was able to find my prince" and " You know I don't have the words to describe what it was like to fall in love with you." We see military veterans and tattooed hipsters get married. We see Jews break the glass and African-Americans jump the broom.

And at the end we hear Hillary say, "Being LGBT does not make you less human, and that's why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights." The ad closes with the now ubiquitous "H" logo splashed with rainbow stripes.


Can Hillary Get Past Her Old Position On Marriage?

Will the pivot work to wash away the memory of her past position? Hillary is buffeted by two factors. One is that her loyal supporters recognize that both Clintons had long tried to push the envelope on gay rights, beginning with Bill's 1992 campaign pledge to allow gays to serve in the military.

Some accept the political calculation acknowledged by her 2008 campaign spokesman, "Sen. Clinton backed the Defense of Marriage Act because it enabled us to fend off right wing attacks like the Federal Marriage Amendment."

The other is that the Republican candidates have yet to follow suit on same-sex marriage. Even if gay rights supporters are unhappy about her past position, it is doubtful they would punish her by voting for someone who still holds that position. With "Equal" she is staking a claim that her rivals refuse to contest.

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