Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton told the nation's leading gay rights group in an unpublicized speech that she wants a partnership with gays if elected president.
Clinton also said she opposes the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military that was instituted during her husband's presidency.
"I am proud to stand by your side," Clinton said in a keynote speech Friday to the Human Rights Campaign. Neither Clinton's campaign nor her Senate office made any announcement that she would be making the Friday address.
Asked twice at a Monday campaign stop in Iowa why she did not publicize her speech to the group, Clinton said: "You'll have to ask my campaign."
In the speech, Clinton joked that she shares the same initials as the group, and pledged to maintain the same close working relationship that last year helped defeat the federal amendment which would have banned same-sex marriage.