June 16, 2014

An Evolution Too Slow?

Hillary Clinton gets the message that dissent from same-sex marriage won’t be tolerated.

For those who believe marriage should be between whoever (or whatever) wants to be called “married,” dissent from the party line is not tolerated. A funny thing when they otherwise beseech people to be “tolerant.”

Some evidence of this was on display when Hillary Clinton sat down to chat with NPR radio host Terry Gross, host of the program “Fresh Air.” Gross asked about Hillary’s views on same-sex marriage, leading off with the question, “So what’s it like when you’re in office and you have to do all these political calculations to not be able to support something like gay marriage, that you actually believe in?” Perhaps Gross recalled it was Hillary’s husband Bill who signed the Defense of Marriage Act and instituted the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the military.

In any case, Gross was dissatisfied with the answer and spent the next several minutes following up, trying to create the “gotcha” moment when she could get Hillary to admit her support of same-sex marriage was solely for political reasons. But Hillary wouldn’t bite: “No, I don’t think you are trying to clarify. I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor, and I did it for political reasons,” she finally snapped.

Yet it’s also worth the reminder that Hillary Clinton was born in 1947, well before the modern homosexual rights movement got its start and even longer before the very idea of same-sex marriage first came into anyone’s head during her husband’s tenure. Simply put, she’s of an age where marriage was just assumed to be between a man and a woman. Even divorce was deemed as scandalous during the time she grew up. For many Americans over 50, it’s a significant amount of inertia to overcome – even with the political pressure from a powerful lobbying group – and in Hillary’s case it was a decade-long change in thinking.

However, to be a contender for today’s Democrat presidential nomination means lockstep support for same-sex marriage. That’s why long-shot 2016 Democrat potential candidates Andrew Cuomo and Martin O'Malley are pushing for it in their states. In an effort to normalize same-sex marriage, even the movement itself has tried to soften its image, generally profiling homosexual couples as generic suburban soccer moms and carpooling dads rather than the in-your-face militants on parade in San Francisco.

So it’s a given that Hillary will support same-sex marriage in some way. The real shame is that this seven minutes could have been used to probe more deeply on more significant and weighty subjects for federal candidates. But Gross was seeking her “gotcha” moment on a candidate the uber-left wing of the Democrat Party has never quite warmly embraced.

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