When President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, First Lady Hillary Clinton’s support was not just implied — it was explicit. She publicly stated that she opposed gay marriage before later explaining that her husband had actually opposed the legislation then saying she’d simply forgotten he’d signed it into law. Understandably, some in the LGBTQ community found all this to be distasteful. No wonder then that news of Hillary Clinton’s accumulation of enough delegates to become the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president was met with muted joy on Twitter, which has served as an effective platform for LGBTQ activists.
Clinton came out in support of gay marriage three years ago and, though she was long amenable to the idea of civil unions, there’s no shortage of comments from her stating that marriage was a thing between a man and a woman. She’s said her views have “evolved,” which may be true but is certainly worse than, say, “weren’t homophobic to begin with.”
She’s also been widely criticized for her attempt last year to spin DOMA as a positive stopgap measure for the LGBTQ community, calling it “a line that was drawn that was to prevent going further” and a “defensive action.” This line of argumentation has been pretty widely debunked. Even if it hadn’t been, it’s impossible to pitch the Act as anything but a failure of progressive leadership. That’s potentially no big deal for centrists, but centrists don’t shine on Twitter, which is a fairly polarized platform.
No surprise then that the news of the first major party nomination ever to go to a woman was not met with unmitigated joy.