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9 Hillary Clinton Quotes About LGBTQ Families Show Her Growing Support

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Saturday is the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court of the United States decision to rule that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional in the United States. The SCOTUS 5-4 decision was historic, important, and celebrated across the country, and rightfully so. Though LGBTQ communities are still systemically marginalized and face many barriers and discrimination, the SCOTUS decision allowed same-sex couples the same, and long-overdue, marital legal rights as heterosexual couples. So, in honor of the anniversary of the same-sex marriage decision, and the presidential campaign, here are nine Hillary Clinton quotes about LGBTQ families that show the complicated history of the presidential candidate's and the country's public opinion on LGBTQ rights. Because it's certainly been a long journey, with still a lot of work left to be done – one unsettling example being that transgender people of color are disproportionately marginalized and more likely to become victims of hate crimes.  

When SCOTUS ruled to legalize same-sex marriage last year, Clinton tweeted in support of the decision and released a statement that celebrated the victory:

But this wasn't always Clinton's stance on same-sex marriage. In fact, the former Secretary of State has somewhat of a shaky history, to say the least, when it comes to support for same-sex marriage. Clinton has previously stated her support for civil unions, not same-sex marriage, and has advocated for it to be a state issue, not federal. She didn't announce her full support for "marriage equality" until three years ago in 2013.

In 1996, her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, signed the Defense of Marriage Act (which SCOTUS overturned in 2013) that defined federal marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Clinton has since received backlash for her recent explanations on why DOMA was enacted, labeling it as a defensive action at the time, to stop Republicans from going further with an anti same-sex marriage amendment.

In Clinton's 2000 New York Senate race campaign, and years following, Clinton spoke in favor of civil unions and "domestic-partnership measures," which granted same-sex couples health and financial benefits. According to USA Today, then-New York Sen. Clinton introduced legislation in 2003 that would grant homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. But she voiced and maintained her position that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Clinton's 2008 presidential bid, she, along with President Obama, voiced opposition to same-sex marriage. Surely, the country and public opinion has evolved and changed for the better when it comes to LGBTQ issues over the last decade. A Pew Research report shows polling data revealing 39 percent of American adults were in favor of same-sex marriage in 2008 compared to 55 percent in 2016.

But Clinton's and every candidate's history on LGBT issues, is important to consider in order to hold leaders of the United States accountable in the future.

1. "Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman." - 2000 Washington Post

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BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 07: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a primary night event on June 7, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. Hillary Clinton surpassed the number of delegates needed to become the democratic nominee over rival Bernie Sanders with a win in the New Jersey presidential primary (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

2. "I don't support gay marriages, but I do support extending benefits to couples, domestic partner benefits." - 2000 Washington Post

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 10: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (2nd L) talks to DC Councilmember Anita Bonds (R) as DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (4th L) looks on during a visit to Uprising Muffin Company June 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Clinton had a meeting with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today after Warren has officially endorsed her to be the next president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

3. "Well, marriage means something different. You know, marriage has a meaning that I think should be kept as it historically has been, but I see no reason whatsoever why people in committed relationships can’t have many of the same rights and the same respect for their unions that they are seeking, and I would like to see that be more accepted than it is.” - 2003, New York Times (explaining the difference between marriage and civil unions)

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RALEIGH, NC - JUNE 22: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds on June 22, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Clinton discussed her vision for America in the future and the issues she would tackle if elected president. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

4. "I am very much in favor of civil unions with full equality of benefits." - 2007, New York Times

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HAMPTON, VA - JUNE 15: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton participates in a round table conversation on national security at the Virginia Air and Space Center June 15, 2016 in Hampton, Virginia. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) met with Clinton Tuesday night after Clinton won the final primary in DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

5. "Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights." - 2011 The Huffington Post

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a meeting of the Action Group for Syria at the United Nations office, in Geneva, on June 30, 2012. International envoy Kofi Annan warned divided world powers today that history 'will judge us all harshly' if no deal was struck to end the bloodshed in Syria and chart a transition. As the West pointed to persistent opposition from Beijing and Moscow to a transition deal, Annan told a meeting in Geneva that the world would be partly responsible for further deaths if it failed to agree on a roadmap. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Laurent Gillieron (Photo credit should read LAURENT GILLIERON/AFP/GettyImages)

6. "LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones, and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage." - 2013 New York Times

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PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 14: Presumptive Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters at the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Hall on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the wake of the shooting in Orlando, Florida, Clinton is campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania to present her vision for a stronger and safer America. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

7. "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." - 2014 Terry Gross Interview NPR

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CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 13: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters at the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center on June 13, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. In the wake of the shooting in Orlando, Florida, Clinton is campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania to present her vision for a stronger and safer America. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)

8.  "For me, marriage had always been a matter left to the states. And in many of the conversations that I and my colleagues and supporters had I fully endorsed the efforts by activists to work state by state..." - 2014 New York Times

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US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives on stage for the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on April 14, 2016, in New York. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders take their increasingly acrimonious battle for the Democratic White House nomination to a debate stage in Brooklyn on Thursday ahead of the key New York primary. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

9. "Every loving couple & family deserves to be recognized & treated equally under the law across our nation," - 2015 Clinton's Twitter account

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA- JUNE 28: Dwayne Edwards salutes City Hall after the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, June 28, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The 2015 pride parade comes two days after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

Clinton has still hit some recent bumps on LGBTQ issues. The former Secretary of State received backlash for a past email that showed her grievance with using gender neutral terms for "mother" or "father" on passports, and for her misguided praise for Nancy Reagan's "low key advocacy" on HIV and AIDS. Clinton's full and unequivocal support of same-sex marriage today is important, but it continues to be important to push and hold all candidates, elected officials, and anyone who aims to be a leader, accountable on their support for LGBTQ rights and all human rights. There's still a long road ahead to equality.