Hillary Clinton, at one time in her life, sought to do “all we can to strengthen traditional marriages,” according to a recently republished 1996 interview she had with the San Francisco Chronicle — which was then called the San Francisco Examiner.
The Chronicle reprinted the interview in its entirety on their site Tuesday. In her interview back then as first lady, Clinton was to visit San Francisco shortly after the city began endorsing wedding ceremonies for gay couples, notes the Chronicle. The article states, “Hillary Rodham Clinton says that ‘children are better off if they have a mother and a father.'”
Her words in 1996 are a departure from the ones she uttered at a CNN town hall on Tuesday, when she said, “I evolved over time and I’m very, very proud to state that I’m a full supporter of marriage equality right now.”
Recently, questions have surfaced surrounding Clinton’s “evolved” purview of gay marriage as to whether the shift in her sentiments on the issue has anything to do with political expediency. Clinton is presumed to be eyeing the presidency come 2016.
This question was put to her just a few days before Tuesday’s town hall, when Clinton appeared on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” Seemingly exasperated, she snapped at host Terry Gross during a testy back-and-forth between the two about her reasons for changing her position on same-sex unions.
Clinton insisted she did not change her mind due to political reasons and that “I did not grow up even imagining gay marriage and I don’t think you did either… This was an incredible 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 about the rightness of that position. When I was ready to say what I said, I said it.”
The ’96 article mentions she acknowledged that “there are people who are able to fulfill the functions of child rearing who don’t fit into the traditional pattern.” She also noted that “Whether they are grandparents or neighbors or unrelated to a child – we have to look to see what is best for the child.”
In an interview last week with the New York Times, Clinton announced that the Holy Bible is the book that made her who she is today. “At the risk of appearing predictable, the Bible was and remains the biggest influence on my thinking,” Clinton said. “I was raised reading it, memorizing passages from it, and being guided by it.”