In accepting an award for his gay
rights advocacy on Saturday, President Bill Clinton credited his
daughter Chelsea Clinton for leading him to support gay marriage.
At the 24th Annual GLAAD
Media Awards in Los Angeles, Clinton was presented with the group's
inaugural Advocate for Change Award.
“You have helped me come to the place
where I am today,” Clinton said in accepting the award. “That's
why you are the true agents of change. But we have all learned in
our interdependent society, in our increasingly interdependent world
that whenever people anywhere are denied any rights, it diminishes us
all. That's why we were so gripped to our television after those
bombs exploded at the Boston marathon. That 8-year-old child was our
child. And the same is true here.”
“I believe you will win the DOMA
fight. And I think you will win the constitutional right to marry.
If not tomorrow, then the next day, or the next day,” he said to a
round of applause.
Clinton, who as president signed the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), joined his daughter Chelsea in
lobbying for passage of a marriage law in New York and opposing a
constitutional ban in North Carolina. He credited his daughter for
changing his mind on the issue of marriage equality.
“Chelsea and her gay friends and her
wonderful husband have modeled to me the way we all ought to treat
each other without regard to our sexual orientation, or any other
artificial difference that divides us.”
“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 concerns for their own
identity, not out of respect for anyone else,” Clinton added. (The
video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)