Transcript for Hillary Clinton Endorses Gay Marriage
A little over a year ago in Geneva. I told the nations of the world that gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights. And that the United States would be a leader in defending those rights. Now there were some countries that did not want to hear that. But I believe America is at its best when -- -- the freedom and dignity of every human being. That's who we are it's in our DNA. And as secretary of state. I had the privilege to represent. That America. I will never forget the young Tunisian who asked me after the revolution in his country. How America could teach his new democracy. To protect the rights of its LG BT citizens. He saw America. As an example for the world and as a beacon of hope. That's what was in my mind as I engaged in some pretty tough conversations with foreign leaders. Who did not accept that human rights apply to everyone. Gay and straight. When I directed our diplomats around the world. To combat -- -- -- laws and reach out to the brave activists fighting on the front lines. And when I changed State Department policy to ensure that our LG BT families are treated more fairly. Traveling the world these past four years reaffirmed and -- my pride in our country in the ideals we stand for. It also inspired and challenged to me. To -- -- -- about who we are in the values we represented the world. Now having left public office I want to share some of what I've learned. And what I've come to believe. For America to continue leading in the world there is work we must do here at home. That means investing in our people our economy our national security. It also means working every day as citizens. As communities as -- country. To live up to our highest ideals and continue. Our long march to a more perfect union. LG BT Americans. Our our colleagues. Our teachers our soldiers our friends. Our -- ones. And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage. That's why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I supported personally and as a matter of policy and law. Imbedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LG BT Americans and all Americans. Like so many others my personal views have been shaped over time by people I have known and loved. By my experience representing our nation on the world stage. My devotion to law and human rights and the guiding principles of my faith. Marriage after all is a fundamental. Building block of our society. A great joy and yes a great responsibility. A few years ago bill and I celebrated as our own daughter married the love of her life and I wish every parent that same joy. To deny the opportunity to any of our daughters and sons solely on the basis of who they are and who they love. Is to deny them the chance. To live up to their own god given potential. Throughout our history as our nation has become even more dedicated. To the protection of liberty and justice for all. More open to the contributions of all our citizens. It has also become stronger. More competitive. More ready for the future. It benefits every American. When we continue on that path. I know that many in our country still struggle to reconcile. The teachings of their religion the poll of their conscience. The personal experiences they have in their families and communities. And people of goodwill and good faith will continue to view this issue differently. So I hope that as we discuss and debate whether it's around -- kitchen table or in the public square. We do so in a spirit respect. And understanding. Conversations with our friends our families our congregations. Our coworkers. Are opportunities to share our own reflections. And to invite others to share there's. They give us a chance to find that common ground. And a path forward. For those of us who lived through the long years of the civil rights and women's rights movements. The speed with which more and more people have come to embrace the dignity and equality. -- LG BT Americans has banned breath taking. And inspiring. We see -- all around us every day in major cultural statements. And in quiet family moments. But the journey is far from over and therefore we must keep working to make our country freer and -- And to continue to inspire the -- the world puts in -- leadership. In doing so we will keep moving closer and closer to that more perfect union promised to us all. Thank you.
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