Have the Clintons and Gay Activists Made Up?


Richard Socarides, the former adviser to Bill Clinton on gay and lesbian issues, has staunchly defended the former president on gay issues. He maintains Hillary Clinton has carved out her own political identity on gay-rights issues and that Bill Clinton's signing of DOMA is not an issue for gay activists, donors, or voters when it comes to Hillary Clinton's political future.

"I think most fair-minded people understand what happened, and understand the context and are willing to move on," Socarides told ABC News. "I don't think they hold it against him, and I certainly don't think they hold it against her, including the fact that she's a separate person with a terrific record of her own. There are people who will never let it go, and they might support someone else."

Clinton has offered her endorsement relatively late in the game - three and a half years after her husband, nearly a year after President Obama, and three days after Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who announced his opinion has changed after experiences with his gay son.

But according to Cathcart and Socarides, gay-rights supporters understand that Clinton restrained herself from commenting on gay marriage while serving as secretary of State.

"I think people understand that it was not really appropriate for her to comment on domestic political matters as Secretary of State, and moreover I think that she did not want to get out in front of President Obama," Socarides said. "I can tell you that friends and supporters of hers, myself included, had urged her to say something while she was secretary, and she was not prepared to do so because she did not want to wade into this."

"I actually think she'd have a lot of support in the LGBT community" if Clinton runs for president in 2016, Cathcart said.

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