Bill Clinton

William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president from the baby boomer generation. Before becoming president he was the Governor of Arkansas, serving two non-consecutive stints from 1979 to 1981 and from 1983 to 1992. He was also the state’s Attorney General from 1977 to 1979.

During his presidency, Clinton implemented “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, a policy prohibiting openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. armed forces. The controversial policy was repealed in 2011. In 1996, Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Section 3 of DOMA had codified the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes. More than ten years later, Section 3 of DOMA was found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and on June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court declared Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional.

Despite “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and DOMA, Clinton, who was the first President to select openly gay persons for Administration positions, is generally credited as the first President to publicly champion gay rights. [ Wikipedia ]

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Astronaut Dr. Sally Ride (left) and civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.

Obama honors Bayard Rustin, Sally Ride with Medal of Freedom

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday posthumously honored LGBT and civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, and Dr. Sally Ride, the first known LGBT astronaut, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. [ Read more → ]

Clintons welcome Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Former President Bill Clinton is welcoming the Supreme Court decision striking down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, which he signed into law in 1996. In a joint statement with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former president said... [ Read more → ]
Kwaku Alston, Sports IllustratedJason Collins

Obama reaches out to Jason Collins, says he’s impressed by his courage

Monday, April 29, 2013
WASHINGTON -- A groundbreaking pronouncement from NBA veteran Jason Collins - "I'm gay" - reverberated Monday through Washington, generating accolades from lawmakers on Twitter and a supportive phone call from President Barack Obama. [ Read more → ]

White House, Bill Clinton, pro athletes hail Jason Collins on coming out

Monday, April 29, 2013
WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday joined the chorus of praise by commending NBA veteran Jason Collins for becoming the first active male player in the four major American professional sports to come out as gay. [ Read more → ]
Bill Clinton

GLAAD to honor Bill Clinton as ‘Advocate for Change’ on LGBT rights

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
GLAAD, an LGBT media advocacy organization announced Wednesday it will honor former President Bill Clinton with its first ever "Advocate for Change" award at its 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles later this month. [ Read more → ]

Clinton: I signed DOMA to ‘defuse a movement’ toward ban on gay marriage

Thursday, March 7, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Former President Bill Clinton is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a law he signed that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages. [ Read more → ]

Bill Clinton delivers rousing speech at Democratic Convention (Video)

Thursday, September 6, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A rousing speech from former President Bill Clinton that capped off Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention was well-received by attendees, although the day wasn’t free of controversy. [ Read more → ]

Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi bring AIDS conference to a close

Sunday, July 29, 2012
Former President Bill Clinton on Friday called for a more effective use of resources in the fight against HIV/AIDS. “We need a new level of openness about how every last dollar is spent by countries, by governments, by NGOs,” he said during the International AIDS Conference’s closing session at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. [ Read more → ]

Bill Clinton urges N.C. voters to reject ban on same-sex marriage

Saturday, May 5, 2012
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has recorded a "robo call" to mobilize North Carolinians to vote in opposition to Amendment One, a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]

The Democratic Party is embracing marriage equality

Saturday, March 24, 2012
While I would absolutely love for the President to support marriage equality, it is not the end of the world if he waits until a second term. Michele Obama is correct to suggest that the most critical component in securing such rights is ensuring fair-minded judges sit on the Supreme Court. If any one of the current GOP candidates were elected, it would almost guarantee that the high court would include an intolerant majority hostile to LGBT rights. [ Read more → ]

Bill Clinton announces support for New York marriage equality

Thursday, May 5, 2011
Former President Bill Clinton, who in 1996 signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, has announced his support for marriage equality, joining the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York state. [ Read more → ]
Tracy Thorne

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ — The Ghost Is Slain

Sunday, December 26, 2010
Anti-gay activists have long considered 1993’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" compromise one of their most prized victories. In one fell swoop, they humiliated President Bill Clinton, flexed their political muscle, and put lesbian and gay people in their place. [ Read more → ]
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