The Last Word | March 18, 2013
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>>> lbgt americans are our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones . they are full and equal citizens, deserve the rights of citizensh citizenship. that includes marriage. that's why i support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. i support it personally and as a matter of policy and law.
>> what may be hillary clinton 's first policy announcement of the next presidential campaign came 11 days after bill clinton who signed the defense of marriage act into law wrote an op-ed piece saying he believes that doma is, quote, incompatible with our constitution. the white house becomed hillary clinton to the majority side of marriage equality today.
>> i can tell you that the president believes any time a public official of stature steps forward to embrace a commitment that he shares to equality for lbgt americans he thinks is a good thing.
>> first of all, who is doing the lighting for that video? more godfather-y than i expected, that dark brooding look.
>> it reminded me of the video she -- when she announced in 2008 , it was that kind of soft, sing songy voice and lighting. listen, i don't think it is a surprise she has come out for same sex marriage. interesting this is her first post secretary of state announcement and now there's a lot of buzz around her possibly running in 2016 . i think we have seen dramatic shift in public opinion . it happened swiftly. i remain shocked how much changed in the last couple years. if you go back to 2008 , bush ran against same sex marriage and that in many ways helped him in states like ohio and florida. now you have potential candidates for president supporters.
>> interesting theory advanced in your huffington post today, sam stein, what nia mentioned, karl rove running against marriage equality provoked democrats into more of a spirited defense of it and more alignment with it, because rove kind of forced the issue.
>> i mean remember, in 2004 in states like ohio, it was such a divisive issue, same sex marriage, you had people very protective on one hand and scared on the other. over four years, what we have had in terms of political conversation is a number of people that had personal experiences with gay members of the family or communities, so it is affecting people not just in democratic circles but republican circles. rob portman this past week, his son is gay, that effected him. we had a number of top conservative donors in the tri-state area that have become devoted to the gay rights cause in part because of family members and are bank rolling candidates on that issue. that as much as anything else has been a huge boost to the lbgt movement.
>> listen to john boehner that insists no matter how many relatives he has who may want marriage equality , he will never go there. listen to this.
>> can you imagine yourself in a situation where you reversed your decision as portman has on gay marriage if a child of yours or someone you loved told you they were gay?
>> listen, i believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. it's what i grew up with, it's what i believe, it's what my church teaches me, and i can't imagine that position would ever change.
>> nia, there was one day working in the senate i came back to my office and said to myself is the difference between democrats and republicans that democrats can actually empathize with situations without experiencing them themselves? because i used to get these things from republican senators. could you put this in the bill, could you put that in the bill, that they weren't going to vote for it because one of their family members had mental health issues. it was like what if -- can't you imagine what it is like for people, even if you don't have this in your family?
>> right. can't you imagine what it might be like to be a struggling single mom who might have to get state assistance for medicaid or food stamps , and it seems that their position is firm in terms of ideology.
>> i think we created a culture in politics where the worst you can do is be accused of flip flopping. but there's a virtue to evolving. there's distinction between flip flopping and evolving. real life experiences affect your policies, that's a good thing. something as big as a civil rights issue as gay marriage or gay rights in general, i would hope our elected officials have open mindedness about the ability to conceive it differently down the road if it effects them personally.
>> you're not going to get any admission of that sort from john boehner . his job there i guess was to give that particular answer, his party would be horrified if he said anything --
>> i mean, we're just about to have the supreme court case, doma , prop 8, we know where he is in support of doma , it would be difficult.
>> if you're a republican operative at this juncture, you can't deny the math. you look at this, say the new poll, 81% under 30 support gay marriage . 40% of seniors. eventually will be well called the majority. maybe it is time to get ahead of the curve.
>> thank you both for joining me tonight.