Better late than never

Bill Clinton Comes out of the Closet for Marriage

President Clinton with advisors, including the now openly gay Richard Socarides.

It’s popular to hate on the HRC, but they delivered the goods today: an endorsement from Bill Clinton for the impending marriage bill in New York. Here’s what he says:

Our nation’s permanent mission is to form a ‘more perfect union’ – deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community. That mission has inspired and empowered us to extend rights to people previously denied them. Every time we have done that, it has strengthened our nation. Now we should do it again, in New York, with marriage equality. For more than a century, our Statue of Liberty has welcomed all kinds of people from all over the world yearning to be free. In the 21st century, I believe New York’s welcome must include marriage equality.

Yes, it would have been nicer if it had come 20 years ago when he was first running for President. (Related: Jesus, can you believe it was 20 years ago that Bill Clinton was running for President?) And yes, he’s caused our  community plenty of problems by signing DOMA. And yes, on this issue he’s behind plenty of pro-marriage Republicans, including Laura Bush and Dick Cheney for heaven’s sake.

But that’s what makes this announcement so lovely: he’s had to travel a long way to get here, and now he’s joined the nearly 60% of New Yorkers who want marriage to happen. Okay! Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.