Sen. Clinton gets hit from the left

Some in the LGBT community are tired of Clinton's conservatism on issues like gay marriage.

Published February 23, 2006 6:44PM (EST)

Earlier this week, the New York Observer's political blog published a leaked memo in which possible 2008 presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is slammed by the executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, a gay rights group. In the memo, ESPA director Alan Van Capelle laments Clinton's continued opposition to same-sex marriage, calls her political career a "complete disappointment" and, as PlanetOut writes, raises "the prospect that some in the LGBT community may stop supporting her."

According to PlanetOut, as first lady, Clinton "supported the Defense of Marriage Act, a law preventing the federal recognition of same-sex marriage." For the record, the senator opposes gay marriage but supports civil unions between members of the same sex. Still, though others in LGBT politics have quickly come to her defense, Van Capelle's remarks shed light on some of the challenges Clinton will be up against should she make a bid (when she makes a bid?) for president.

Over the past few years, many have watched Clinton depart from some of her liberal stances, such as on abortion and on the war in Iraq, in what seems to be an effort to appeal to a more mainstream base. And of course, no one can please all the people all the time. But with the 2008 election edging ever closer, Clinton's campaign may need to take a closer look at whom it is pushing away.

By Sarah Goldstein

Sarah Goldstein is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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