This weekend, the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards were held in Los Angeles, bringing out several major stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Chaz Bono, Charlize Theron and Kelly Rowland. But it was former president Bill Clinton who stole the show when he gave a moving and personal speech about his journey to embracing same-sex marriage.
During his acceptance speech for the Advocate for Change Award, Clinton credited his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, with inspiring his turnabout on same-sex marriage.
“She has had a profound impact on the way I see the world,” Clinton told the crowd. “It’s sort of humbling when you get to be my age and your child knows more than you do about everything.”
Clinton’s own experience when it comes to the world of LGBT rights has been an up and down journey. Although Clinton appointed more than 150 gays and lesbians to a variety of government posts during his presidency. He also increased funding for HIV/AIDS research; he signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and denies marriage rights to same-sex couples.
Because of this Clinton was, of course, heckled by angry crowd members. But earlier this year, both Clinton and his wife, Hillary, announced that they were in support of same-sex marriage. He told the crowd that his daughter and her gay friends were the ones who opened his eyes to acceptance and equality.
“Chelsea and her gay friends have modeled to me how we should all treat each other regardless of our sexual orientation or any other artificial difference that divides us. Many of them come and join us every Thanksgiving for a meal,” he said. “I have grown very attached to them. And over the years, I was forced to confront the fact that people who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concern for their own identity, not out of respect for anyone else.”
“I want to keep working on this until not only is DOMA no longer the law of the land, until all people – no matter where they live – can marry the people they love,” Clinton added.
True, Clinton may not have always been progressive when it comes to LGBT rights but his honesty in speaking of his changing personal views are commendable and inspiring.
Check out some other politicians who changed their views on marriage because of their kids. – nicholas robinson