Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry told
The New York Times this weekend that he believes the Clintons'
early opposition to gay marriage was politically motivated.
Former President Bill Clinton endorsed
marriage equality in 2009. Before that, he said he was opposed to
laws excluding gay couples from marriage. Hillary Clinton reversed
her position in 2013, soon after she left her post as secretary of
In explaining why Bill Clinton signed
the Defense of Marriage of Act (DOMA), Wolfson said it “came down
“It really came down to politics and
the fear that the country wasn’t there yet and he didn’t want to
be ahead of the country on it,” Wolfson
said. “They were also getting some pressure, to be honest,
from many of our partners and allies, including gay activists, some
of whom were right there agreeing that we had to take a hit for
political reasons. And I believe their political analysis was wrong,
not to mention that they were wrong in terms of what was right.”
“Understandably, people felt that
re-electing a generally friendly president was in our interest, and I
certainly understood that analysis,” he said of the allies'
position. “But I didn’t agree that this was going to cost him
the election. At that point, it wasn’t even that he necessarily had
to come out for the freedom to marry; what he had to do was veto a
radical, un-American, discriminatory attack.”
“Did you ever believe that the
Clintons really didn't believe that same-sex couples should marry?”
he was asked.
“No, I personally did not believe
that,” Wolfson answered. “I believed that they knew what the
right answer was. But at the same time, what I’ve always felt is I
don’t so much care what a politician believes in his or her heart.
I care what they do.”
Wolfson, who has been involved in the
marriage equality conversation since 1983, added that he was unsure
of his next career step but is “happy to entertain offers.”