Hillary Clinton became the most recent politician to support gay marriage in a video statement released Monday by the Human Rights Campaign.
The former secretary of state has shown support for civil unions in the past, but this is the first time she has publicly thrown her support behind same-sex marriage.
"I believe America is at its best when we champion the freedom and dignity of every human being," Clinton said in the video.
She goes on to recall a conversation she had with a young Tunisian boy who asked how America could teach his country to respect the rights of LGBT citizens.
"That's what was in my mind as I engaged in some pretty tough conversations with foreign leaders who did not accept that human rights applied to everyone — gay and straight," Clinton said. "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."
"We are honored to have Secretary Clinton’s moving statement as part of our Americans for Marriage Equality series," HRC President Chad Griffin wrote in a blog post. "Now that she has left office and can speak publicly about the issue that is so important to all of us, Hillary shares her experience as secretary [of state] and what she learned while representing our country around the world, and what she has come to believe."
Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, also came out in support of gay marriage in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post on March 13. While in office in 1996, he signed into law an act defining marriage as between a man and woman; however, he wrote that the measure should be overturned by the Supreme Court.
Last week, Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman made headlines when he reversed his position and announced his support of same-sex marriage, attributing his "change of heart" to his gay son.
The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments against the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act on March 27.