People all over the world are feeling pleased with what went down in Ireland on Saturday, when the Emerald Isle became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. It was a historic referendum, followed by a day of celebration, and one of America's presidential contenders added her voice to the choir — Hillary Clinton tweeted congratulations to Ireland after its marriage equality vote, and her simple message struck the perfect tone.
Obviously, it's huge news when a country decides to embrace marriage equality, so it's no surprise that Clinton would want to weigh in. After all, this is an area where the Democrats and Republicans have a pretty bright, dividing line — as recently as 2012, former Texas Governor Rick Perry (and presumptive 2016 candidate) was cutting ads complaining about gay and lesbian soldiers serving openly in the military.
But it's also fair to feel like it shouldn't be such a big deal that more and more states and countries to be coming around. This is an issue that's seen tremendous social change and progress over the last several years, and really, should treating people fairly be that much to ask? In a short, simple tweet, Clinton sort of encapsulated both tones at once — appreciating how important this is, while keeping things matter-of-fact.
As many of her conservative critics have pointed out, Clinton hasn't always been of this mindset on marriage equality — she didn't support same-sex marriage until 2013, a year after President Obama publicly professed his support. It's an issue that she's butted heads on with at least one interviewer before, in a testy exchange with Terry Gross, longtime host of NPR's Fresh Air.
But even preceding her public avowal of support, she had spoken with considerable moral force about LGBT rights around the world. Her 2011 speech to an assembling of diplomats in Geneva, for example — in which she bluntly stated that "gay rights are human rights," echoing the language of her famous 1995 address on women's rights — represented a huge step for the United States' official stance on LGBT issues.
The tweet's signature, for what it's worth, suggests it was sent by Clinton herself — according to her Twitter account, any tweets signed "-H" are from her, rather than her campaign.
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