January 30, 2016 at 10:00 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Log Cabin video hammers Clinton for gay marriage opposition
Hillary Clinton, Log Cabin Republicans, gay news, Washington Blade

Hillary Clinton in 2004 (Image via C-Span)

With the Iowa caucuses days away, the Log Cabin Republicans unveiled an online video Saturday hammering Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her earlier opposition to same-sex marriage.

The 46-second video focuses on three clips of Clinton expressing her opposition to same-sex marriage, which she didn’t publicly endorse until 2013.

“I believe that marriage is not just a bond, but a sacred bond between a man and a woman,” says Clinton in one the clips showing her on the U.S. Senate floor.

It should be noted that clip was part of a 2004 floor speech in which Clinton was explaining her opposition to the Republican-led Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have made a ban on same-sex marriage part of the U.S. Constitution and prohibited it nationwide.

Another clip shows Clinton telling MSNBC’s Chris Matthews simply “no” when asked if she thinks New York should legalize same-sex marriage. (When New York finally legalized marriage equality in 2011, she praised the state at a Pride event at the State Department even though she had yet to publicly back same-sex marriage.)

Following the Clinton clips, another clip is shown of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” in which Bernard Sanders says consistent leadership on LGBT rights is important for a presidential candidate.

“We live in a tough world and leadership counts,” Sanders said. “It’s great that people evolve and change their minds. I respect that. I’m not being demeaning to her. But it is important to stand up when the going is tough, and that was a particularly tough vote.”

(In that same interview, Sanders defended his opposition to same-sex marriage in 2006, when he told a Vermont newspaper “not right now” in response to a question about whether his state should legalize gay nuptials.)

The clips in the video stand in contrast to Clinton’s 2013 Human Rights Campaign video in which she declared support for same-sex marriage for the first time.

“I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples,” Clinton says in the video. “I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and all Americans.”

Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, said in a statement the Log Cabin video serves as a reminder of Clinton’s past on LGBT rights when other groups are keeping silent about it.

“Not everyone in the United States Senate supported marriage equality in 2004, but few took to the floor of the chamber to hammer home the point the way Hillary Clinton did,” Angelo said. “Democrats and members of the LGBT community have given Hillary Clinton a pass on past transgressions and even allowed her to rewrite the history of the gay rights movement; Log Cabin Republicans will not. It’s time for the people of Iowa — and the country —to know that when it mattered, Hillary Clinton was wrong on gay rights.”

The video comes days before the caucuses on Monday in Iowa, where polls show a close race between Clinton and Sanders on the Democratic side.

In an interview with the Blade, Angelo said the video was intended to influence the outcome of the Iowa caucuses, but said it’s not limited to that.

“We’re not just looking to influence the Iowa caucuses,” Angelo said. “We’re looking to influence the New Hampshire primary, the South Carolina primary, and I personally think and Log Cabin Republicans thinks that voters should be aware of Hillary Clinton’s past, specifically on marriage equality. We felt that urgency to do so now, obviously, with the Iowa caucuses looming, but also because other LGBT organizations have not done due diligence regarding Hillary Clinton’s past, and we felt we were in a unique position to step up in that regard.”

Angelo said Clinton’s views on marriage at the time of the clips should be important for voters to consider if they cast their ballot based on a candidate’s strength of support for LGBT rights.

“Hillary Clinton has not led on the marriage-equality issues,” Angelo said. “Not only has she not led on the marriage-equality issue, but she let so many other Democrats and even so many other Republicans get out ahead on this issue.”

Angelo said as marriage was moving through the courts, Republicans like Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Lisa Murkowksi (R-Alaska), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) were leading on the issue while Clinton was not. When the Blade pointed out Clinton beat all those Republicans to the punch on marriage with the exception of Portman, Angelo insisted “that’s not the case” because Clinton didn’t clearly say gay couples had a constitutional right to marry until weeks before the Supreme Court arguments on marriage last year.

(It should be noted only Kirk and Collins signed a Republican friend-of-the-court brief calling for a nationwide ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, not Portman and Murkowski, so Clinton beat the latter two on that position as well.)

Asked if Log Cabin believes Sanders has been consistent on gay rights unlike Clinton, Angelo said he thinks everyone in the country over the age of 50 has gone through some evolution on the issue.

“But many have evolved, especially on the Democratic side, faster than others,” Angelo said. “Essentially the point that we’re making with our video is that it’s a little disingenuous, especially for supposed LGBT advocates, to celebrate and coronate someone as late to the game on the marriage-equality issue in particular as Hillary Clinton is and was.”

Angelo added Sanders wasn’t perfect “out of the womb” on LGBT rights, but was “still leading at a time when Hillary Clinton was not.”

Each of the Republican presidential candidates shares the opposition to same-sex marriage expressed by Clinton in those clips, and in some cases want to go further than her views at that time by enshrining a ban on same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution. But Angelo nonetheless said he doesn’t think the video is disingenuous.

“Log Cabin Republicans is not going to stop urging Republicans to stop opposing marriage equality, Log Cabin Republicans is not going to stop lobbying Republicans to support full equality for LGBT individuals — marriage equality, non-discrimination and otherwise,” Angelo said. “But we can do multiple things at once and one of the activities we’re in a unique position to execute is calling out past hypocrisies and holding Democrats’ feet to the fire, especially one who seems to be the heir apparent to the party’s presidential nomination.”

Clinton addressed her evolution on the issue of same-sex marriage in October, saying her views changed as a result of “personal relationships.”

“Yes my views did evolve, and I think most people my age would say the same thing — there might be some exceptions,” Clinton said. “But largely because of my strong opposition to discrimination of any sort and my personal relationships with a lot of people over the years, I certainly concluded that marriage equality should be the law of the land, and I was thrilled when the Supreme Court made it the law of the land.”

The Log Cabin Republican video isn’t the only one by Republican groups critical of Clinton ahead of the Iowa caucuses even though she’s running in an exclusively Democratic contest. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super PAC has attacked Clinton with an ad in Iowa calling her a tool of Wall Street for accepting campaign contributions from financial institutions.

Angelo said the only Republicans Log Cabin consulted for the video before making it public were its members across the country who “shared their ire over Hillary Clinton’s politically motivated and convenient evolution on marriage equality.”

The Blade has placed a call to the Clinton campaign seeking a response to the Log Cabin video and to the Sanders campaign asking if Sanders is OK with his presence in the clip compilation.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Ally

    She may have been ‘against’ it until 2013, but she did evolve on the matter. There are still millions who have not. Political reasons, or not.

    • Denny hill

      Among the millions who have not evolved are all of the Republican candidates for president, one of whom the Log Cabin Republicans will support for that office. They are either misguided, hypocritical or both.

  • rachel

    as
    a trans woman; people change like members of my family; not everyone
    but people change; as Marine and trans woman she has my vote

  • Denny hill

    I fail to see the point The Log Cabin Republicans are trying to make about Hillary Clinton, who was late to endorse same-sex marriage, but has a history of supporting gay rights. It’s clear to me that The Log Cabin Republicans are only trying to erode her support, so that they can bolster the candidacy of one of the Republicans running for the presidency, all of whom currently oppose same-sex marriage and are committed to carving our religious exemptions for those who want to continue to discriminate against the LGBT community. Some have been vowed to either have marriage equality overturned by SCOTUS or outlawed by a Constitutional ban. Greg DeAngelo needs a reality check.

  • Denny hill

    Why aren’t the Log Cabin Republicans “hammering” the Republican candidates for president, who are ALL anti-marriage equality even now?

  • gaylib

    This will likely unify support behind Hillary. I don’t think their is an element of the lgbt community so loathed as these toadies.

  • ShadrachSmith

    All the Rs share one overwhelming advantage: they aren’t Hillary.

    The Clinton Foundation is a towering achievement of political corruption, Hillary is the serial enabler of politics’ highest profile sexual abuser, and she never met an immigrant group she didn’t like better than American citizens.

    Hillary is running on anti-corruption, Rs won’t stop sexual abuse, and she cares about people like you. That just doesn’t work. So pick a Pub and keep Hillary out of the White House.

    • Sorry, but I don’t agree with you. Hillary DOES care about the gay and lesbian community, and I grant her kudos for this. And as Bernie Sanders said, I am sick of hearing about Hillary’s “damn emails!” I cannot, in good conscience, vote for a candidate such as Cruz, Huckabee, Rubio, or any of the other right-wing crackpots who hate the gay and lesbian community and who have expressed their desire to overturn, or to ignore, Obergefell.

      PHILIP

  • MikeinBaltimore

    So the ‘log cabin republicans’ (lcr) expressly state that the Clinton video is anti-GLBT. Does that mean they are FOR what her speech was against? Are the lcr FOR for US Constitutional amendment banning GLBT marriage?

    It is easy to explain that they are for the amendment, it is difficult to impossible to explain that they are not.

    And as very typical for the GOTP, things are knowingly taken out of context, and a weak ‘who me’ is given when pointed out.

    • Rather like the Planned Parenthood video which was revealed to be a brazen fake, leading to the indictment of the two “filmmakers” responsible by a Harris County jury!

  • daniwitz13

    Most People do not separate discrimination and SSM. Discrimination is one thing, Marriage is another. They are not synonymous. We can empathize with someone’s plight but that does not mean that one needs to give that Person the Lamborghini. A person that needs food, does not mean that they should access to your kitchen and icebox. It is two separate issues. Yes, they should never be discriminated against but No, they cannot get marriage (get the Lamborghini). One has to understand that Homosexuals are NOT denied to love, live and the ‘other’ things that is done in our Society. They are in a way equal to all others. Consider the high percentage in our Society that are NOT Married. They even have more of a Family with biological Children to boot. Aren’t Homosexuals equal to them? They do not get Rights and Benefits too. Why not be compared with them? Or is it a wanting to be compared to Bill Gates? Pity

    • MikeinBaltimore

      So, let’s, see.

      Are, you, for, GLBT, marriage, or, are, you, not.

      Hint – there is a time and place for commas, and there is a time and place for no commas.

      • daniwitz13

        What part of, no, they cannot get Marriage, that you can’t understand? And, why not compare themselves with the not Married? Your concentration on comas, make you lose concentration. Pity

  • 51franco

    So what are these loser Log Cabin Republicans wants us to do vote for
    a Republican? Ha!! not a single Republican still in the race supports
    marriage equality. Drop dead GOP, what part of F___K Y_U don’t you
    understand. And what about the Caucus Room Conspiracy that Frank
    Lutz put together with 15 other Republican leaders in an attempt to
    deny Obama a legacy? Yet another reason not to vote Republican,
    And should we thank the GOP for a 40 year culture war against our rights?

  • JackNasty

    People in glass closets…I mean glass cabins shouldn’t throw stones.

  • 51franco

    The third time is the charm.
    2016 is the year we must turn out to give the GOP the mortal blow that they
    so richly deserve. Denying the GOP the White House for the third time in a row
    will further divide the Republicans and cause them even more damage. Carthage
    must be destroyed.

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