- The Washington Times - Friday, June 13, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a rather testy interview with NPR: I did not hold back endorsement of gay marriage as a political consideration.

The likely 2016 White House candidate made the remarks in response to a direct question from NPR’s Terry Gross over whether she declined to give a thumbs-up to same-sex marriage until she fully tested and vetted the political winds, The Hill reported.

“No, that is not true,” Mrs. Clinton said. “I did not grow up even imagining gay marriage, and I don’t think you probably did either. This was an incredibly new and important idea that people on the front lines of the gay rights movement began to talk about and slowly but surely convinced others of the rightness of that position. And when I was ready to say what I said, I said it.”

Mrs. Clinton made her views of gay marriage known in March of 2013, after she left the State Department and at a time when numerous congressional members — including Republicans — were coming forward in favor of the unions. The Supreme Court was also set to consider a couple of cases related to the issue. But Mrs. Clinton said that just because she was late to the game of announcing her views — that doesn’t mean they’re any less valid or truthful.

“Somebody is always first, Terry, somebody is always first and thank goodness they are,” Mrs. Clinton said, The Hill reported. “But that doesn’t mean that those who joined later — in being publicly supportive or even privately accepting that there needs to be change — are any less committed.”

Still, NPR’s host kept up the questioning — to Mrs. Clinton’s great angst.

“I think you are being very persistent but you are playing with my words, playing with what is such an important issue,” she said. “No, I don’t think you are trying to clarify. I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I’m in favor and I did it for political reasons, and that is just flat our wrong.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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