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Clintons’ Progress: Bill and Hillary Clinton Embrace Gay Marriage

Bill and Hillary Clinton, October 11, 1975

Bill and Hillary Clinton, October 11, 1975

Bill and Hillary Clinton have endorsed gay marriage, completely reversing their support of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton calls herself a “progressive.” It’s funny, I wrote an entire book on Hillary Clinton, and never once heard her call herself a “progressive.”

Well, that’s just as well. The progressive tag fits best. After all, that’s what she and other liberals are doing: they are ever evolving, changing, progressing along to something. Their positions are forever in flux, with the only commonality being that they favor more government centralization to handle perceived injustices. The evolution across issues is so vast, so unceasing, that no progressive can tell you where they will stand years from now. They merely know they’re progressing.

The marriage issue is an excellent case in point. No progressive 100 years ago could have conceived of gay marriage. In fact, merely a decade-and-a-half ago, the entirety of the Democratic Party supported traditional marriage, codified under law. And yet, Democrats turned on a dime in faithful obedience to Barack Obama’s mountaintop-message sanctifying gay marriage a year ago.

Obama promised “change” and “fundamental transformation.” His faithful supporters roared approval, projecting upon his blank screen whatever they had in mind. In Obama’s mind, this included bestowing unto himself the monumental ability to literally redefine marriage, granting himself and his government a power heretofore reserved for the laws of nature and nature’s God.

As for the Clintons, consider their change, their fundamental transformation, their progress on this bedrock issue:

As noted, in 1996, Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act. The Arkansas Baptist stood for marriage as always understood.

As for Hillary, the lifelong Methodist was firmly in the camp of not rendering under government the ability to redefine marriage. Her youth pastor and mentor, the Rev. Don Jones, once said: “She is for gay rights…. But I think both she and Bill still think of heterosexuality as normative.”

Yes, they did. Campaigning for the Senate in 2000, Hillary insisted: “Marriage has historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.” In 2003, she reaffirmed: “marriage … should be kept as it historically has been.” She continued that position throughout the 2008 Democratic primaries.

Alas, jump ahead to last week, where Hillary proudly proclaimed: “LGBT Americans are … full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes gay marriage.”

Gee, what happened?

Well, if you’re confused, you need to unravel the illogic of progressive ideology. By progressive thinking, the Hillary and Bill of, say, 5, 10, 15, or 50 years ago were not finished progressing. This should also mean that the Clintons were in fact wrong at each way-station in their journey to today’s progressive “truth” on marriage. Thus, too, it should mean that every Democrat who agreed with them was wrong. Current progressive ideology asserts that only current progressives are currently “right” on marriage.

Are you with me?

But here’s the kicker: How can the Clintons — or any modern progressive — know they’re right now? How do they know they’ve progressed to the “correct” point on marriage? Progress, after all, never stops progressing.

And so, for progressives, where’s their next redefinition in the ongoing process of redefining marriage? Does the evolution end with one man and one woman, or one man and one man, or one woman and one woman? Why could it not next progress to one man and multiple women? Could it involve an adult and a minor? Could their evolving redefinition include first cousins or a parent and child? Could it include multiple heterosexuals or homosexuals in single or even joint or group spousal relationships?

The answer: progressives, by their very definition, cannot answer you.

We do know, however, that progressives are happy to do with marriage what they do with everything: hand it over to the federal government. Render under government what is government’s. And what is government’s province? It’s anything progressives decide.

As for Bill Clinton, who once assured us “the era of big government is over,” he’s on board for the grand project.

Progressives might disagree with conservatives, but at least they know where conservatives stand: we look to tradition, to Biblical law, to Natural Law, to time-tested things worth conserving. We see marriage best as it has been since the Garden of Eden. We can tell you our end-goal, our ideal. Progressives cannot.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a train-wreck of an ideology, with literally no end to its havoc. It is currently careening into the most fundamental building block of human civilization: the family.

[Editor’s note: A longer version of this article first appeared at American Spectator.]


Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. He is also co-author (with Patricia Clark Doerner) of The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007).
  • goral

    The US is a runaway train. We will have a train wreck of colossal proportions.
    The nation is ruled by moral perverts, psychopaths and little nazi twerps who want everything mandated from the top down.

    This is entirely against the Constitution for which they have no regard. A full blown culture war is upon us.

  • Goral. Culture war? I’m wondering — God knows; I’m unsure — whether it will take blood and fire to cleanse a nation as degenerate as America has become.

    • goral

      The prospects of a cleansing campaign are now very real. We would hope and pray that it would be of the moral variety but that looks rather bleak.
      The language that I’m hearing in the media, from our officials and the so called elite of this country is every bit as hypocritical as what I heard today at the Good Friday service:

      The Jews would not enter the Preatorium for fear of being defiled?!
      Pilate washed his hands of the whole outrageous scheme etc….
      This is what the people who swore on the bible to uphold the Constitution are doing. I’ve never seen the landscape this corrupt before.
      We know full well the outcome of such blatant disregard for the truth, morals, Natural Law and the laws of the land.

      The outcome is too predictable. It will be destructive, probably disastrous and yes, even deadly.

  • Noel Fitzpatrick

    I see that Goral has written “The nation is ruled by moral perverts, psychopaths and little nazi twerps who want everything mandated from the top down.” One must agree Goral is consistent. But do many in CL believe Gorals opinions?

    As I have said on so many occasions the US is not among the most evil and corrupt
    countries on earth. It is not governed by moral perverts etc. I have great
    memories of the good decent people we knew in the US.

    My grandson today is undergoing a major operation and the treatment was developed in the US. I may give details later. Our surgeon here in Gdansk, Poland, where we have come to from Ireland, discussed the operation with his colleague in
    Boston/Harvard yesterday and they agreed on a program.

    Please if you think America is corrupt and evil say so here. If you think America is not evil, corrupt and ruled by perverts let us hear from you.

    Please pray my grandson.

    • goral

      I will keep you grandson in my prayers, Noel. There is a lot of good in this country, in Ireland and in the land of my forefathers – where you are now.
      There was a lot of good on Calvary. It wasn’t enough to prevent the murder of an innocent Man. It’s not going to be enough to stop the demise of our nation. The nation itself is far from evil but I can’t make the same claim about our ruling elite.

      Not to associate myself with Pilate but I do stand by what I have written.
      A blessed Triduum and Easter to all CL contributors.

  • Chelsea Zimmerman

    Prayers for your son, Noel. And, yes. There are good and decent people here…LOTS of them. Just as there are good and decent people everywhere. And our doctors and scientists are top notch. But, that doesn’t change the fact that we have a society that’s festering and a Government that is slowly taking away our rights.

  • Noel Fitzpatrick

    Hi Chelsea and Goral,

    Many thanks for your posts. I appreciate very much your support and that
    of my friends who live in the Lane. CL is a great support for me and I feel I have good friends here.

    Jamie had his major operation on Friday, and I was very concerned, as on Thursday there were difficulties. Bur a phone call between Gdansk and Boston
    decided not to have the emergency operation on Thursday, but to have it on
    Friday as planned. Everything on Friday went wonderfully, but it was a long and stressful wait for us.

    I feel Jamie’s life so far has been like an Easter story. As soon as he was born he went to our National Children’s Hospital, then when he was 6 months old on Good Friday he underwent a kind of death. He is now in a coma/paralysis, and we hope that after Easter he will awake to a new life, where he will be able to eat and drink though the mouth for the first time.

    In CL I have read criticisms of American medical personnel. But the hopes of my grandson’s life will be due to a treatment developed in the US. My son emailed the world’s expert in Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard University, and immediately got a very positive reply with a recommendation to have the treatment in Poland. Please see http://longgapatresia.org/

    You might also like to look at babyjamie.ie which gives Jamie’s story.