Hillary Clinton long took positions against gay rights until her recent flip-flop — that fact surfaced again in an email released by the State Department on Wednesday.
Four years ago, when Clinton was still the secretary of state, she exploded at staffers in an email regarding the suggestion to replace the terms “mother” and “father” on passports with “parent one” and “parent two,” to reflect non-traditional families.
Not only did Clinton have a fit, she also refused to defend the plans to the right-wing opposition.
“I’m not defending that decision, which I disagree and knew nothing about, in front of this Congress,” she wrote. “I could live w letting people in nontraditional families choose another descriptor so long as we retained the presumption of mother and father. We need to address this today or we will be facing a huge Fox-generated media storm led by [Sarah] Palin et al.”
The email, sent to top aides Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan, was quickly responded to by Mills, who promised she would be “reaching out to folks to find out.”
Days later, the new gender-neutral labels were dropped from all passport applications.
Clinton has previously received criticism for her intense opposition to gay marriage up until 2013, when her views suddenly changed.
Recently, Taylor Branch, a close friend of Bill Clinton’s, recounted a conversation where the former president explained that his wife experienced discomfort around gay people.
Branch recalled Bill Clinton saying Hillary was not “comfortable around gay people who were kind of acting out, or pushing her to the limit. She did have general discomfort.”
Branch also recalled Bill explaining that the 2016 Democratic frontrunner had a “general discomfort” with gay-rights issues and was “really a little put off by some of this stuff.”
In contrast, the race’s second place contender, Bernie Sanders, has a long history of defending gay rights, even declaring a gay pride day during his time as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1983 — 32 years before SCOTUS would make its federal ruling on gay marriage.
He also voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which defined marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman,” and gave states the right to refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.
“Back in 1996, that was a tough vote,” Sanders told the The Hill. “Not too many people voted against it, but I did.”