Though Ms. (Chelsea) Clinton is undeniably close to her father and seems to share his love of public debate, she has also forged her own way on some crucial issues, particularly same-sex marriage.
In May, Ms. Clinton was at the Manhattan nightclub Lavo to attend a benefit for Friendfactor, a gay rights group. There she greeted Andy Cohen, the Bravo executive behind the “Real Housewives” franchise, and the actress Kristen Bell before hugging Brian Elliot, the founder and executive director of the organization.
“I certainly believe that all of my friends, as Marc and I did, should have the right to marry their best friends,” Ms. Clinton later told the crowd. “I certainly believe that those of us who are straight cannot expect our gay friends to do this on their own.”
Mr. Elliot said he first met Ms. Clinton a year ago when a mutual friend suggested that she become involved in the organization. “She made it clear marriage equality isn’t a political issue,” he said in an interview. “It’s about your friends.”
When her father was president, he signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act, saying that while he “strenuously opposed discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans,” he had also “long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages.”
But recently (and with an acknowledgment that he’d been influenced by his daughter’s views), he shifted, announcing in May that he supported passage of a same-sex-marriage bill then being debated by the New York Legislature. “For more than a century, our Statue of Liberty has welcomed all kinds of people from all over the world yearning to be free,” Mr. Clinton said before it passed. “In the 21st century, I believe New York’s welcome must include marriage equality.”
One member of the family remains a holdout, however. Mrs. Clinton, who opposed same-sex marriage during her presidential campaign, recently said her position had not changed.