The Clintons’ DOMA history thoroughly debunked

Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner just poured a gallon of cold water on Hillary Clinton’s claim that the Defense of Marriage Act was itself a “defensive action” that prevented a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage from passing:

There is no contemporaneous evidence…to support the claim that the Clinton White House considered a possible federal constitutional amendment to be a concern, based on a BuzzFeed News review of the thousands of documents released earlier this year by the Clinton Presidential Library about same-sex couples’ marriage rights and the Defense of Marriage Act. In the documents, which include correspondence from a wide array of White House and Justice Department officials, no one even hints that Bill Clinton’s thinking or actions regarding DOMA were animated by the threat of a federal constitutional amendment.

Instead, as Geidner notes, those operating within the White House at the time simply assumed Clinton would support DOMA, given that he had already expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage by the time the bill came up for consideration in 1996. As he writes, “While some of the few out gay employees and their strongest straight allies worked in the spring of the year to find a way to keep Clinton from supporting DOMA, the internal conversation surrounding the bill mostly concerned when Clinton would announce his support.” As he continues:

And Clinton ended up announcing his support sooner rather than later. On May 23, 1996 — less than three weeks after the bill was introduced in Congress — Clinton announced that he would sign the bill if it came to him as he understood it.

Through it all, though, no one discussing the bill in the Clinton administration — from the White House senior staff to gay staffers and their strongest allies to the press office to Justice Department lawyers — ever mentioned any concern about a federal constitutional amendment.

That’s because conservatives weren’t throwing around the idea of a constitutional amendment in any serious way. At the time, conservatives were freaking out over the prospect of having to do exactly what DOMA said they wouldn’t have to do: recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was not the go-to policy response to states like Hawai’i legalizing same-sex marriage; DOMA was.

This jives with a guest post Elizabeth Birch wrote here at AMERICAblog in 2013, explaining that the Clintons’ assertion that DOMA was passed to “defuse a movement to enact a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage” simply isn’t supported by the discussions that took place at the time. As she wrote:

In 1996, I was President of the Human Rights Campaign, and there was no real threat of a Federal Marriage Amendment. That battle would explode about eight years later, in 2004, when President Bush announced it was a central policy goal of his administration to pass such an amendment. (President Bush made such an announcement even while his right hand man, Vice President Cheney, had a lesbian daughter).

The only threat in 1996 — the year DOMA became law —- was a marriage case making its way through the courts in Hawai’i, and that case was only construed under the Hawai’i Constitution.

Geidner’s account traces the White House’s train of through throughout 1996, as DOMA was introduced and considered in Congress. While White House memos initially suggested that allowing the states to hold different definitions of marriage would violate the Equal Protection Clause, but they quickly backed off that view and took a more generous interpretation of the bill:

The Clintons, via stocklight / Shutterstock

The Clintons, via stocklight / Shutterstock

Even then, though, nothing in the voluminous communications among members of the White House staff or between the Justice Department and White House mention any concerns about or even consideration of the possibility of a federal constitutional amendment that might explain support for DOMA.

The story detailed in the discussions is simpler: Clinton opposed same-sex marriage and opposed federal recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages. Ultimately, then, he supported the substance of the bill — and efforts to get him to oppose the bill on federalism grounds or due to constitutional concerns were shut down within a week of the bill’s introduction.

This stance was continuously affirmed by White House staff in public, as well as in private, with Press Secretary Mike McCurry responding to a question about DOMA by saying that “[President Clinton] believes this is a time when we need to do things to strengthen the American family.” Shortly thereafter, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Fois informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde that the White House believed DOMA would hold up under constitutional scrutiny.

Shortly thereafter, the White House adopted a position in favor of DOMA based not on Clinton’s begrudging nod to federalism, but rather on his opposition to same-sex marriages being recognized by the federal government, with talking points that read: “[S]ince the president does not believe that the federal government should recognize gay marriage, he does not believe it is appropriate for federal resources to be devoted to providing spousal benefits to partners in gay and lesbian relationships.”

Geidner’s account is comprehensive and thorough, leaving no doubt that when Hillary Clinton says that her husband’s support of DOMA was actually pro-LGBT, as it was a calculated political decision aimed at preventing something worse, she’s simply wrong. You can read the whole thing here.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Bill_Perdue

    Correct. It’s bigots in both parties vs the LGBT communities.

  • Bill_Perdue

    He knew nothing of the sort. He was a bigot then and he’s a rebranded bigot now. What you or anyone believes about what was ‘in his heart’ is immaterial, unprovable and unimportant.

    What is important is that he acted as a bigot when eh signed DOMA and then boasted about it in ads on on cult/cracker radio station claiming that
    “Protecting religious freedom. It’s the foundation of our nation.
    When the Justice Department went after a church to gather the parishioners’
    tithing money, the government was stopped cold because President Clinton
    overturned the government’s policy and protected us. It’s not the only time
    he’s defended our values…President Clinton wants a complete ban on late term abortions… The President signed the Defense of Marriage Act, supports curfews and school uniforms to teach our children discipline.President Clinton has fought for our values and America is better for it. Paid for by Clinton/Gore
    96”

  • Bill_Perdue

    That’s a lie. I’m a socialist and we leftists have always opposed efforts by anti-trans bigots like Barney Frank who bitterly attacked trans people as part of his effort to gut ENDA and appease his brother Republican bigots.

    bill perdue | September 29, 2007 12:22 AM

    ABOUT THE ENDA BETRAYAL; Do Democrats imagine we’re so jaded that we won’t bat an eye when Pelosi and Frank do this little Quisling dance? We know that bargaining away our rights is nothing new for Barney Frank s; he took the same backward position on samesex marriage to provide cover for Democrats scrambling for votes in the presidential follies. It just seems to be asinine for him to flaunt it.

    The Democrats seem all too willing to pass bills that splash a cosmetic whitewash over the harmful effects of bigotry but precious little else. If they were serious they’d start by repealing the Clintons DADT and DOMA. Then they’d change ENDA and the Matthew Shepard act to give them real teeth.

    As it stands, the Democrats and liberal Republicans are going to continue their duplicity until we give them the heave ho. They’ll tell anyone silly enough to believe them that, “God knows we tried, really we did, but our hands are tied.’’ They’re cynical abandonment of the’ T’ in our equation downgrades transgendered people to second class citizens. The murderers of Gwen Araujo were aware of that when they lynched her.

    In a dangerous move, the hate crimes bill is a rider on a war appropriations measure. It’s dangerous because Democrats always cave to Bush on the war in spite of their promises to end the war, i.e. the war appropriations bill. According to Pelosi ‘impeachment is off the table’. If the hate crimes bill gets lost in the House/Senate conference committee or vetoed by Bush they can claim they fought the good fight. These stage managed dramas are a sham to create the illusion that these cynical sell outs are on our side. More and more of us know it’s a lie.

    ABOUT THE ELECTORAL STRATEGY OF HRC, STONEWALL, AND LOG CABIN ETC; as the GLBT communities get fed up they’ll quit squandering votes on Democrats and Republicans and support their allies in leftwing parties or in the union led US Labor Party.

    This latest treachery calls into question the value of an electoral strategy and the pitfalls of making deals with politicians.

    The truth is that even our best organizations like NLGTF and some of state Equality groups are essentially powerless, not for want of hard work and commitment but for want of clout. We,like the unions, groups representing African Americans, immigrants and Latinos, AARP, environmentalists etc. don’t have it. But the ruling rich and the politicians who belong to them to them have it in spades.

    Beyond that, we need to begin seriously questioning our allegiance to a social and political order that requires imperial wars of aggression to sustain itself and bigotry to divide and rule at home.http://www.bilerico.com/2007/09/guest_post_on_enda_from_congressman_fran.php

  • neenerpuss .

    You are a divisive Republican trying to scapegoat Trans People and have LGB people turn on them. It’s not happening. We don’t leave soldiers on the battlefield!

  • Bill_Perdue

    Clinton didn’t pause anything. He acted on his bigotry, promoting and signing DADT and DOMA and gloating about DOMA.

    Obama caused the turnaround that insured the passage of Prop 8. He and Bill Clinton, as well as Biden and HRH HRC are rebranded bigots. None of them are all that bright. The number of people they can fool is rapidly declining. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6K9dS9wl7U

  • neenerpuss .

    I would rather have Clinton press “pause” and allow us to organize (BTW…it WORKED) than have him drive the nail in the coffin and piss them off and try to undo a constitutional amendment. I hold no grudge against Clinton. He was one of the smartest politicians in American history….followed closely by Obama.

  • Bill_Perdue

    No excuses.

  • Butch1

    It was my understanding that he signed it in the dead of night so it would draw less attention. What does that tell you?

  • neenerpuss .

    Both were by veto proof majorities in a REPUBLICAN House and a REPUBLICAN Senate. Had he vetoed either….they would have just re-passed without his signature….probably within 24 hours. That is the REALITY of politics.

  • neenerpuss .

    You mean like Republicans who say they will end Obamacare and reverse gay marriage if you elect them? They know better and should know it is politically impossible to do either. That is what pandering is. But to do something as a political move is not always pandering. Bill Clinton was not pandering….he might have done the political expedient thing but I believe in his heart he know it would be reverse by the courts anyway.

  • neenerpuss .

    Those state constitutional bans were put in place after Massachusetts judge ruled a ban unconstitutional. Which panicked people. Why?…I don’t know.

  • neenerpuss .

    And 6 Republicans have expressed support for gay marriage. The issue is not Dems vs Reps.

  • Bill_Perdue

    FMA was introduced by a Democrat in 2002. There was no talk of it in 1996. Period.

  • Julien Pierre

    Those state constitutional bans happened long after the federal DOMA.

  • Julien Pierre

    They are not pandering to bigots now, but they were in 1996.

  • Bill_Perdue

    DOMA and DADT are the only realites given us by the bigoted Clintons.

  • neenerpuss .

    Politics is the art of knowing WHAT is possible and HOW to achieve it. Sometimes to achieve your goal you take a step back so that you may take 3 steps forward later on. I don’t believe that Bill or Hillary are pandering or are bigots. They have actively courted the LGBT community for all of their careers. Your “facts” are not supported by reality.

  • neenerpuss .

    Gay marriage was already banned….with the exception of New Mexico in EVERY state through statute. Then they wrote DOMA into US law. Then they placed mini DOMAs in 31 state constitutions. Gays were block….doubly blocked…and triply blocked from a civil right. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the next step was a constitutional ban.

  • Bill_Perdue

    That’s fiction. There is no proof for that. People have looked for years and the only evidence is that Bill Clitnon is a funcional bigot, one who panders to bigots.
    only thing

  • neenerpuss .

    Bill Clinton saw that there was momentum. He cut them off at the pass by signing something that could be undone. And literally if laws hadn’t been written to deny gays the same rights they would still be able to do it.

  • Guyzer

    Videotaped evidence says otherwise

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  • Bill_Perdue

    I’m not a supporter of BS. As soon as he became a Democrat he became just another right centrist – he votes for war budgets, supports zionism and is bed with war industries.

    The DP and the RP are not open to reform. They’re both political entities owned by rich people, the MIC, banksters and other criminals. They run the show.

    This is not a democracy.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Thanks, I’ll look at it. I mean conditional in the sense that he supported civil unions.

  • Don Chandler

    Bill, you and others would do much better pointing out how Bernie opposed Iraq 2 and Hillary supported Iraq 2. I think Nicho pointed out how Hillary supported the death penalty as a NY senator. Those are the areas where Hillary looks like a republican. BTW, Bernie is running as a democrat and he is very appealing to me in his socialist context. So you are wrong, a socialist can run as a democrat. Not sure if he can win the primaries or the general election but he is a decent candidate. You might try and get out and vote for Bernie. He might transform the democratic party. You have to start someplace, Bill.

  • Andrew

    Bill, you are mistaken. His vote against DOMA in 1996 was not conditional. But the Clinton campaign has put out much disinformation about this I understand why you are mistaken. Here is a link to the very recent Rachel Maddow interview with Bernie Sanders where this will be cleared up for you. http://electberniesanders2016.blogspot.com.br/2015/10/rachel-maddow-show-bernie-sanders-full.html

  • Bill_Perdue

    Sanders vote against DOMA was conditional. Others here are reporting that at the time he favored civil unions. Civil unions are for second class citizens.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Democrats and Republicans have lots in common , among them hatred for socialists. Cruz is a candidate of one of the two right wing parties. Clinton is a candidate of the other one. History doesn’t’ lie, they have the same politics.

    In fact, I’m being ‘led’ to believe that there were no folks at all pushing for a Federal Amendment concerning marriage in the 1990’s. The pretense by Clinton supporters that there was discussion of an FMA in 1996 is unproven because there are no – zero, nada, zip, nary a one – references to a FMA in that period except in the minds of partisans who desperately need to undercut the widespread belief in the LGBT communities that the Clinton’s are simply bigots.

    DOMA is the child of Republicans and Democrats with the same politics.”

    “By the time Clinton arrived in Chicago for his party’s convention in August, nothing that hinted at liberalism was left hanging on him. When the President, who had begun his term advocating the rights of gays in the military, came around to supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition for gay and lesbian unions, Dole was wide-eyed. “Is there anything we’re for that he won’t jump on?” Dole asked. The answer, essentially, was nothing… http://www-cgi.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/analysis/time/9611/23/kramer/ via Americablog

    Bill Clinton promoted, championed and promised to sign DOMA. Then he gloated about it. “Months earlier, May 23, 1996, Clinton made his first comments on DOMA, jumbling the specific effect of the bill but echoing comments from his press secretary that he would sign it. On July 11, 1996, the administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy: ”The President … has long opposed same sex marriage. Therefore, if H.R. 3396 were presented to the President as ordered reported from the House Judiciary Committee, the President would sign the legislation.” http://www.metroweekly.com/2011/09/becoming-law/

    This thread is about the Clinton’s and their lies and their bigotry.

  • Andrew

    I agree with andyou. Hillary Clinton deliberately and intentionally lied to make her self look less abhorrent and to diminish the significance of Bernie Sanders vote against DOMA, not to mention DADT in the 90s. For those of you that don’t recall, David Geffen, who had been a fan of the Clintons famously said something to the effect that “while all politicians lie, the Clintons do it with such ease”. Buyer beware.

  • andyou

    Hillary Clinton’s statement about DOMA is a boldfaced, self-serving, politically-calculated lie. How many lies does she have to tell before people think it’s unacceptable? Shouldn’t one be enough?

  • Don Chandler

    Yeah Bill, the other day, I was following your party’s only candidate for president, Ted Cruz. Like yourself, he can see no difference between the moderate republicans and the moderate democrats. They look identical to Ted. During this election season, he has been using the acronym RINO a lot to demonstrate the striking similarities between many of his republican colleagues and the Democrats, especially on social issues. So, if you looked at the numbers back in 1996, 66% of US citizens didn’t support the idea of same-sex marriage. The Democrats and Republicans formed a consensus that matched the public’s sentiment and passed DOMA. It was a politically safe ‘yea’ back then. So public opinion guided politicians back in 1996–imagine that! By 2011, Public Opinion changed enough (like to 50%) so that there was no longer an effective consensus for a stronger constitutional amendment preserving marriage for man and woman only. Fortunately, back in 1996, there were fewer radicals like Ted Cruz. In fact, I’m being ‘led’ to believe that there were no folks at all pushing for a Federal Amendment concerning marriage in the 1990’s. Whew! Of course, by 2014, we had like 60% public support for marriage equality, so public opinion paved the way for a new consensus favoring of marriage equality. The courts made it the law of the land. Still, there are many in the republican party that would like to rollback the rights gays have achieved. The point is this, public opinion does matter. Policy can be effectively made depending on where public opinion is situated. You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t go to all the other issues you like to bring up. It’s overwhelming. Besides, this thread is about DOMA and the possibility of a federal amendment back in 1996.

    Here:

    2006: 202 republicans 34 DINO’s for.

    27 RINO’s 159 democrats independent 1 against.

  • Bill_Perdue

    And the historical fact that DOMA had nothing to do with any constitutional amendment or the prospects for one. The internet provides hundreds of thousands of citations for real political developments and not one about a proposed constitutional amendment and even if there was one what the Clinton did was an inexcusable act of bigotry.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The are no credible differences between the parties or you would have mentioned them in relation to repealing their own DOMA, gutting ENDA in 2007, passing ENDA in 2009 or 2010, wars of aggression, pauperizing workers, busting unions or creating a police state. There are any number of cosmetic differences but they don’t count.

    That lack of real differences is why your party been on a long losing streak. In 2012 Obama got 66 million votes out of a total of 126 million cast and 222 million eligible voters. That’s a very poor showing. In 2012 Obama got 52% of the actual vote and a mere 29% of the eligible vote. Voter turnout dipped from 62.3 percent of eligible citizens voting in 2008 to an estimated 57.5 in 2012. That figure was also below the 60.4 level of the 2004 election… Despite an increase of over eight million citizens in the eligible population, turnout declined from 131 million voters in 2008 to an estimated 126 million voters in 2012 when all ballots are tallied. Some 93 million eligible citizens did not vote. http://bipartisanpolicy.org/press-release/2012-election-turnout-dips-below-2008-and-2004-levels-number-eligible/

    Rebranding didn’t stop Democrats from losing the House and then the Senate and it didn’t slow the bleeding from his party. Nor will it slow the political demise of his brothers and sisters the Republicans. Both are parties of losers and both are parties of NO when it comes to LGBT equality in the form of ENDA or a federal Constitutional Equal Rights Amendment.

    In 2012 Obama got 52.% of the actual and a mere 29.% of the eligible vote. Voter turnout dipped from 62.3 percent of eligible citizens voting in 2008 to an estimated 57.5 in 2012. That figure was also below the 60.4 level of the 2004 election… Despite an increase of over eight million citizens in the eligible population, turnout declined from 131 million voters in 2008 to an estimated 126 million voters in 2012 when all ballots are tallied. Some 93 million eligible citizens did not vote. http://bipartisanpolicy.org/press-release/2012-election-turnout-dips-below-2008-and-2004-levels-number-eligible/

  • Bill_Perdue

    A liar and a bigot.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The truth has to be told. The truth about middle-of-the-road LGBT factions like Stonewall, LCR and GOProud is that their attempts to shackle the LGBT communities to the electoral fortunes of the twin right centrist parties, the Democrat and Republicans, has been a disaster for our communities.

    The net effect of their efforts has be make it easier for anti-gay ‘leaders’ like the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama to disarm our struggle at decisive periods and has led to many demoralizing defeats like the Clinton’s DADT and DOMA, state DOMAs, and the passage of Prop 8 and worst of all allowing them to ignore ENDA and similar anti-discrimination bills for the last 40 years. “ENDA has been introduced in every Congress since 1994 except the 109th. Similar legislation has been introduced without passage since 1974.” (Wiki)

    We, that is to say the LGBT communities and not Stonewall or LCR, did manage to win three victories. The first was the passage the timid and largely unused Hate Crimes Bill. In 2009 Democrats hurried to enact it after seeing the anti-Democrat, anti-Obama rage expressed at the 200,000 strong 2009 National Equality March on DC. That dose of mass action thoroughly terrified the Democrats. The second was the legislative repeal of DADT which was the result of direct actions by GetEQUAL and others. And the third was the pressure of mass actions against the Clinton’s DOMA and the pressure of well thought out legal interventions against it, which was knocked down in two major decisions in spite of the fact that Obama’s DoJ spent much of his first term defending DOMA in the courts.

    These court victories can be important but they’re not dependent on which party controls federal and state supreme courts as much as they’re dependent on the pressure put on those courts. Republican dominated state supreme courts in Massachusetts and California voted to allow marriage. The Chief Justice in the California decision was first appointed as a judge by Reagan who became one of the arch enemies of the LGBT communities and who was directly responsible for the isolation we faced as the plague devastated the gay community.

    Everything we’ve won has been by our own efforts to overcome the bigotry of Democrats and Republicans. The rebranding of Biden, the Clintons and Obama and even a few Republicans was the result of our pressure, not any principled changes on their part. All they’re ever interested in is votes and money.

    While we’ve seen some anti-discrimination gains locally and on the state level nothing has been gained on the federal level, including the two-year period when Democrats controlled both Houses and the WH.

    With that in mind, larger and larger numbers of activists who supported Obama in 2008 have left and are leaving the Democrat Party and not gravitating towards the other right wing party, the Republicans. They moved towards political independence and built the short lived Occupy movement and now can be found in the various movements to unionize low wage workers and in the burgeoning fight for decent wages and benefits. If we’re serious about winning that has to be the direction that the LGBT left takes as well. Joining Stonewall or LCR or giving up on mass action in the forlorn hope that Democrats or Republicans will be on our side is a proven way to lose. Engaging in mass actions and direct actions independent of the Democrats or Republicans is the proven way to win.

  • Laverne Bartholomew

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  • FLL

    Some readers have shown an interest in any possible cause-and-effect relationship between Bill Clinton and Congress when the notion of passing DOMA was first proposed. You can only find that kind of information in the DOMA timeline. Republican Bob Barr introduced DOMA in the House in May of 1996, and Republican Senator Don Nickles introduced it in the Senate. DOMA passed overwhelmingly in the House on July 12, 1996. Bill Clinton’s August 1996 letter, which was quoted by Rex Wockner (staff writer at Chicago’s LGBT newspaper, Windy City Times), is a typical example of Bill Clinton wanting to have his cake and eat it too, as can be seen in this excerpt:

    “…In 1992, I stated my opposition to same-gender marriage, and recently, when the issue was raised in Congress, I said that if a bill consistent with my previously stated position reached my desk, I would sign it. I strongly believe, however, that raising this issue is divisive and unnecessary…”

    …and so on in that vein. On July 13, 1996, the New York Times reported that:

    “At the White House today, the President’s press secretary, Michael D. McCurry, called the bill “gay baiting, pure and simple,” and “a classic use of wedge politics designed to provoke anxieties and fears.” (The link to the 1996 NYT article is here)

    After the Senate passed DOMA overwhelmingly in September, Bill Clinton signed it. The timeline, however, shows that it was congressional passage that was the cause and Bill Clinton’s support of it that was the effect, not the other way around. Bill Clinton’s decision to go for a few more evangelicals votes by touting his signature of DOMA on radio stations with evangelical listeners is another matter. DOMA’s history will always be interesting. The best we can do is dig for historically accurate answers and call it as we see it.

  • FLL

    Below is a link to a 2006 video clip of Bernie explaining his states’-rights rationale for having voted against DOMA in 1996. If that were the extent of the problem, it wouldn’t been that bad. But in addition, Bernie was against introducing a law for marriage equality in Vermont in 2006. His reasons were that Vermont was the first in the U.S. to introduce same-sex civil unions in 2000, that the proposal for marriage equality in Vermont was still “too divisive” in 2006, and activists needed to give Vermont a little more time. Here is the link to Bernie’s 2006 clip.

    Our fellow commenter, Bill Perdue, is of the opinion that every elected office-holder lacks all sense of fairness and justice (in contrast to himself, presumably). May I remark that elected office-holders in the U.S. do not arrive here from outer space. They are put in office by the folks who show up around everyone’s dinner table on Thanksgiving, including the dinner table Bill sits at on Thanksgiving.

  • Bill_Perdue

    He’s a Dixiecrat but his DLC included Democrat leaders from other sections of the country.

  • Bill_Perdue

    She rebranded and accepted marriage equality early this year.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The Clinton’s stand on equality is ever so much better than those of
    Van Buren, Harding and Truman.

  • Bill_Perdue

    HRH HRC was in full agreement with DOMA. She rebranded at the last minute.

    “Hillary Clinton evolved on same-sex marriage within the first 72 hours of her presidential run, as her campaign said Wednesday that the former secretary of state now backs marriage equality as a US constitutional right.

    The about-face, dropped as Clinton was preparing the second of two progressive-leaning appearances in Iowa, represents a significant – if not completely unexpected – shift from her previous statements that same-sex marriage should be legislated state-by-state rather than on the federal level.” http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/15/hillary-clinton-gay-marriage-presidential-campaign?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

  • Bill_Perdue

    He got DADT wrong. It was military bigotry codified into federal law.

  • Bill_Perdue

    DOMA passed overwhelmingly because Bill Clinton promoted it.

  • Bill_Perdue

    He’s as bad as HRH HRC or Obama until they rebranded to get votes.

  • Bill_Perdue

    “Past behavior is not a measure of future behavior, especially not among Democrats.”

    Yes it is. Where is ENDA?

  • Not snark, just responding to what you actually said: “I’m done here.” You did not say “I’m done with you.”
    But if you are unhappy with the moderation on this blog, of course, you are welcome to absent yourself. Or not.
    It is up to you.
    Either way, this blog will survive.

  • cleos_mom

    Our first nonwhite President thought it was good enough for gays though presumably not good enough for him and his own family.

    But of course we’re not supposed to mention that.

  • cleos_mom

    And notice that no one seems aware that Bill isn’t running this time.

  • Don Chandler

    Have you ever looked at the breakdown/roll call?

    2006: 202 republicans 34 democrats for.

    27 republicans 159 democrats independent 1 against.

    So 236 to 187. Dems controlled in an vote over amendment (sorry ;) don’t tell BillP…there really is a difference.

    2004: 191 republicans 34 democrats for

    27 republicans 157 democrats against

    So 227 186. Dems controlled in a vot over amendment.

    The other’s were stopped via cloture or committee.

    I came out in 1980. Doesn’t matter. I was not politically attuned until 2000…sexually overwhelmed ;) The internet helped me out too. Lots of gaps. I remember being very unhappy with DOMA and with the 1986 sodomy ruling. My memory needs jogging though. I appreciate your diligence.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Marriage_Amendment follow the links to the roll calls.

  • Sorry, but no on that last point. Republicans controlled the House from 2000 until January 2007, and the Senate from 2003 until 2007. The only time the FMA/MPA was submitted during Democratic control was May 2008. Every single other time, the Republicans were the majority party, including the 2002 submission in the House.

    I actually believe I have a pretty good memory of the LGBT-related events of the mid 1990s because that’s when I came out of the closet. (And when my memory fails me, I go look up the details, including the Wiki page for the Federal Marriage Amendment.) My recollection of the time was the LGBT community all but begging the White House not to lobby Congress in support of DOMA. Or at least stay neutral.

    But Clinton endorsed and said he would sign the bill even before it had been voted on. The other angle which infuriated LGBT activists at the time was because Clinton was so keen on announcing his support so early, it completely negated any possible leverage he might have had to use pro-DOMA for a pro-ENDA concession. Toward the end of the proceedings, there was a short-lived attempt to link the two votes, but the Senate majority Republicans gave it a hearty ‘fuck you’ and kept the votes separate. After ENDA failed in the Senate, the House didn’t even bother to vote on it.

  • Don Chandler

    I said 1990’s, not 1996. It was conceivable after the first court ruling, but not likely.
    The Baehr case is 1991–1999. I remember my housemates and I were very surprised that a court sided with gays in 1991. The details are vague in my memory. But Hawaii was pretty shocking. Bush Sr was president then. So no news was good news…cept this was good news. So there was a referendum that eventually led to a state marriage ‘defense’ amendment in Hawaii making marriage between man and woman only.
    I just don’t think we can blame the Clinton’s for our woes, especially if DOMA was inevitable. I’m afraid that same-sex marriage was an evolution for all of us. Funny thing is we were States Rights at some point because we had no chance for a supportive federal amendment or ruling in 1996. It’s possible that there was a movement towards a Federal Marriage Amendement prohibiting same-sex marriage around 1996. Well, Hillary and Bill should provide us with some info that supports her ‘revision’. If she came clean, I wouldn’t blame her or Bill for DOMA. So when did “WE” move from states rights to federal support? I think the idea was hatched when DOMA was passed. I mean, what is good for the goose…. But many folks felt you needed a 50% threshold of support among the populace–we only got that in 2011.

    So much has happened in this internet age. Maybe Hillary needs to show us some proof of the assertion that a federal amendment was in the works–i’m all eyes and ears.

    You know, if FProtectionA died in committee or in the chambers, it’s probably because the Dems had control ;)

  • Indigo

    The more you stir it, the stinkier it gets.

    Bill seemed gay-friendly when he was elected, then he got either weird or got re-oriented in one of those private conferences with the Pentagon Bullies that supposedly never happen. And after that, he was amenable to their bigotry. But those days are gone (for now) and we’re on a happier, more inclusive page (for now).

    Let’s not turn back the hands of time. Past behavior is not a measure of future behavior, especially not among Democrats.

  • Me too, down the line.

  • You said it yourself: Same-sex marriage was inconceivable in early 1996.

    The instant it looked like one state — Hawaii — might possibly have it through a court case which was going to be addressed in August or September. And as a consequence, if the plaintiffs won, there would be legal questions raised about whether there’d be a gay migration to that state for a marriage the feds would have to recognize nationwide. So both the Democrats and Republicans agreed on the solution: DOMA.

    Federal legislation to ensure no matter what the courts decided, there was no chance whatsoever of same-sex marriage suddenly becoming legal throughout the country.

    The vote from the Democrats wasn’t overwhelmingly in favor of DOMA because they were looking to stop a constitutional amendment. It was in favor because that was the official Democratic party position at the time: No same-sex marriage rights of any kind. No domestic partnerships. No civil unions. Yes, on individual gay rights; emphatic and unequivocal No on any recognition of rights for same-sex couples or their families. This was a very bright and clear line for them.

    It was a moment of bipartisanship: Both parties agreed there needed to be federal legislation to prevent an inadvertent nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage. Those in opposition to this proposal either wanted the courts to decide or else really did think it set a terrible precedent to be passing such obviously anti-gay discriminatory laws. I don’t doubt there were probably a few progressive Dems who thought gays and lesbians should be afforded couples and family rights. But the opposition was clearly in the minority.

    The history of the FMA was just about as you said: It came into existence in 2002 and no earlier. The Republicans introduced it in the House, whereupon it was immediately referred to the Judiciary committee where it died. The GOPers did it again in 2003 (although with a revised FMA which was much more intentionally and explicitly anti-gay, since heteros might’ve suffered under the 1st version). That was when Frank voiced his objection because it was going to interfere with Massachusetts’ upcoming experiment in marriage rights for same-sex couples. He basically said that if DOMA allowed states to ban marriage or civil union or DP rights, it was also supposed to allow states to enact it if they wanted to. Anyway, that attempt also died in committee, this time in both the House and Senate.

    2004 was also the year when passage of the FMA became part of the GOP platform. That time, they just couldn’t get enough votes. (They also changed the name to the Marriage Protection Amendment.) They tried several more times in 2005, 2006, and 2008 to pass it, but each time it either died in committee, failed to win enough votes, or failed to defeat cloture.

    There were no more attempts after that until 2013 and 2015, when Rep Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas, obviously) submitted the same MPA language. In ’13, it died in committee. It’s expected the same thing will happen to this current attempt, too.

  • mf_roe

    I have issues with Sanders, but still support him based on the totality of his agenda. His support of Israel would for me be the tie breaker. But none of the alternatives are any better. You vote for the best option not a projection of your desires. Funny that some advocate for “look how my candidate has evolved” but fail to extend the same courtesy to others.

  • mf_roe

    Feed not the troll

  • mf_roe

    A broad brush is not a tool for fine detail. But the question truly reduces to the sympathies of the Clintons and the lengths they will go to conceal same.

  • martin

    I was done with the person that I was commenting with, after this snarky comment from you, a moderator, maybe I’m done with this website.

  • Unfortunate, but entirely true.

  • mf_roe

    Separate but equal—blame Bill’s southern roots.

  • You previously said that you are “done here.” Apparently not.

  • Please cite a single instance of anyone in politics or in the media in 1996 saying “If not DOMA, it will be a constitutional amendment instead.”

    Not a citation of anyone saying now or since 2011 that’s what it was, but any single contemporaneous editorial, remark, or statement suggesting a federal marriage amendment was the alternative being prevented by DOMA.

    Heck, I’ll be generous and allow anything up through the 2000 election, where someone says it was DOMA or an amendment.

    As Geidner in the Buzzfeed article noted, the words “constitutional amendment” were never part of any of the deliberations. And DOMA was cited by the Clinton administration not as an unfortunately necessary compromise, but as their preferred policy outcome.

    You’re the one who is mistaken if you think gay and lesbian couples were not deliberately thrown under the bus, in large part because President Bill Clinton wanted it abundantly clear that he personally opposed same-sex marriage and indeed anything else resembling it, including domestic partnerships.

  • Don Chandler

    Maybe it was Jefferson ;)

    In 1779, Thomas Jefferson wrote a law in Virginia which contained a punishment of castration for men who engage in sodomy.[2] Jefferson intended this to be a liberalization of the sodomy laws in Virginia at that time, which prescribed death as the maximum penalty for the crime of sodomy. It was rejected by the Virginia Legislature.[3]

    edit: Thomas, Not William.

  • martin

    So which President prior to Clinton was better, and what did he do that made him better at handling gay rights?

  • Don Chandler

    Sometime between 1990 and 1999, over half the states had anti-sodomy laws on the books.The setting wasn’t ripe for marriage equality. After all, It wasn’t until 2003 that anti-sodomy laws were struck down nationwide by the 6-3 in Lawrence vs Texas ruling. We were more concerned with decriminalization of homosexuality and with gays in the military back in the 1990’s. Ofc we were also fighting for the passage of hate crime legislation. Even Civil Unions were not a given back then. So it was not all about Marriage Equality yet. Yeah, Clinton would have said he was for DOMA in that 1996 climate following the DADT debacle. You’re right.

    I know many of us imagined same-sex marriage in the 1990s but it was not a likely event. You mentioned Hawaii previously…yeah, it probably set off an alarm among some religious conservatives and led to passage of DOMA. In 2002, the Federal Marriage Amendment was crafted and put before a congressional committee and ignored for a few years until it was resurrected. I guess Barney Frank actually objected to it being brought up because it would interfere with Massachusett’s plan to test same-sex marriage starting in 2004…which probably got religionists panties in a bunch anyways. So, in 2004, the Federal Marriage Amendment failed in the House:

    Passage of the proposed Amendment failed 227 yea votes to 186 nay votes, where 290 yea votes (two-thirds) are required for passage of a proposedConstitutional amendment.[14] –wiki

    That is 2004! After Lawrence V Texas in 2003 and only a few years after the Netherlands was the first country to approved same-sex marriage in 2001. It was a politically hot issue. Much had changed by 2004. But in 1996, there was 66% of citizens against same-sex marriage….

    I believe there is a right time to try and get legislation passed. You need support among the people. In 1996, the religionists might have won a marriage Amendment. Like Doug, the earliest I can find on it is 2002…you can bet it was considered earlier.

  • timncguy

    Now, can we put this same amount of effort into historical scrutiny of Bernie’s claims that he voted against DOMA because it was discriminatory when he actually voted against it because he supported States’ rights on the issue of marriage and he still supported civil unions over marriage equality as recently as 2006, after MA had legalized same-sex marriage? Supporting States’ rights means you support a state banning same-sex marriage just as much as support a state legalizing marriage equality. Let’s hold everyone to the same level of scrutiny.

  • FLL

    Homophobia was definitely more widespread during in 1996. Becca’s research is correct in the sense that conservatives were not specifically talking about a constitutional amendment in 1996. What Rush Limbaugh et al were doing in 1996 was pounding their fists on the table an screaming “DOMA now! DOMA now!” So what was it that might have worried the four senators quoted above about the events of 1996? I think it was the fact that the far right wing and fundamentalist Christians are never satisfied. DOMA might have been their Sudetenland. They might have thought “We just gobbled up Sudetenland, but are we satisfied? Hell no! Let’s rustle up support for a constitutional amendment.” I can’t show that the momentum was there, but given the dominionist mindset of the fundie Christians, I can certainly understand why those four senators and other congressmen were worried.

  • neenerpuss .

    The DOMA vote was 342-67 in the House and 85-14 in the Senate. After DOMA was passed 33 states went on to pass mini DOMAs in their states constitution. This was at the height of the AIDS crisis and gays were easily vilified for political gain. The momentum was definitely there to have passed a constitution amendment….and anyone that says there wasn’t momentum is lying.

  • Adios.

  • Indeed and agreed.

  • FLL

    I’m trying to suggest that not everyone shares the same motivation since we’re talking about many different people. It’s entirely possible that Bill and Hillary are being dishonest about their motives back in 1996 and 2004 (like that 2004 Hillary video from the Senate), whereas other actors in Congress in 1996 may have had honestly held fears about the future course of events. As much as Bill Perdue may add occasionally valid points, I don’t go along with his theory of Democratic candidates or voters being like identical cans of Coca-Cola that roll off the assembly line. People are different.

  • Ditto. I love what you’re adding to this discussion because it’s challenging me to to think.

  • FLL

    Multiple “likes.”

  • Like I’ve said elsewhere, it’d be better if she (and Bill) just came clean about their adamant “no same-sex marriage” position in the 1990s. (I know they aren’t the same person, but in 2004, HRC also made it clear she thought DOMA was good law and good policy.) There was no ambiguity about it. The one crack in the door was they thought it’d be okay if individual states wanted to experiment with something “marriage-like” for gay and lesbian couples. But there was no question whatsoever about their documented opposition — back then and right up until 2013 when both Clintons publicly changed their previous positions — to any federal recognition of same-sex relationships, regardless what name was on them (DP, civil union, etc).

  • martin

    Basically, your blaming him for the actions of others. I’m done here.

  • Upvoted for definitely contributing to the debate and raising perfectly valid questions. :-)

  • FLL

    It sure looks a lot worse for someone who’s currently campaigning for office, like Hillary, than for retired senators. I definitely share your suspicions about Hillary’s motives.

  • Yeah, and 20/20 hindsight always tends to paint events in a different light.

  • FLL

    You are right to say that no one was talking about a constitutional amendment in 1996. In their 2013 amicus brief, those four senators were claiming that they and others in Congress believed that—based purely on overwhelming congressional support for DOMA—there was a possibility of a constitutional amendment absent DOMA. You might conclude that, by 2013, some of those congressmen had taken to lying about their 1996 motives, but I don’t think that’s true for all of them. I’m sure some of them honestly held that belief in 1996, even though it was erroneous. It’s rarely the case that everyone on one side of an issue is insincere. As I said, it was a different time.

  • President Clinton supported DOMA. Before it was passed, he signaled to Congress that he would gladly sign it because it represented his own views regarding same-sex marriage. From the final talking points:

    Gay Marriage Talking Points
    – The President has long opposed gay marriage based on his belief that the institution of marriage should be reserved for unions between one man and one woman.
    – The President strongly believes that gay and lesbian individuals should not be subject to unfair discrimination, which is why he has endorsed legislation outlawing discrimination against gays and lesbians in the workplace. But he does not believe that the federal government should promote gay marriages.
    [If asked about domestic partnerships or providing federal benefits to partners in gay and lesbian relationships–]
    – These decisions are best left to state and local governments and private institutions. But since the President does not believe that the federal government should recognize gay marriage, he does not believe it is appropriate for scarce federal resources to be devoted to providing spousal benefits to partners in gay and lesbian relationships.

    People keep saying, “Well, his veto would’ve have been overridden.” Well yeah, but a veto wasn’t even considered — not because it would have been overridden, but because in 1996, President Bill Clinton agreed wholly with the substance and the goals of DOMA.

  • You have a point, but that brief was filed in 2013, the time by which the “DOMA was passed to prevent an amendment” meme had long become the agreed upon revisionist history.

    If anyone can produce a contemporaneous statement from ’96 wherein anybody on either side — pro- or anti-gay — is recorded as saying “it’s DOMA or it’ll be an amendment”, I am fully prepared to eat my own words. Until then, all I’m seeing is a mutual agreement to revise that history.

  • You could be right. However, it’s clear enough from the trove of information collected by Geidner over at Buzzfeed, directly from the Clinton administration records, the words ‘constitutional amendment’ were never in the minds of anybody there. Not in the White House and not on the Hill.

  • FLL

    We don’t have citations from conservatives who proposed a constitutional amendment in 1996. What we do have is the amicus brief from four senators who supported the plaintiffs in Windsor stating their belief that a constitutional amendment was possible. (See my comment above.) Maybe those four senators, and other likeminded congressmen, were worried about 5 or 10 years down the road—like in 2004, when George W. Bush used the idea of a constitutional amendment as grandstanding for votes rather than an actual possibility. Back in 1996, it would be hard to predict the course of events.

  • 2karmanot

    Exactly

  • After DADT, we still had institutionalized exploitation of gay and lesbian servicemen and -women. DADT was used throughout the military to protect anti-gay bigots and to punish the gays who nevertheless complied with its restrictions.

    Women were raped and coerced to have sex under threats of being reported as lesbians. And men suspected of being gay could be abused and brutalized with impunity. Don’t believe it? Here you go:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/09/AR2009100902570.html

    Both before and after DADT was enacted, many superiors looked the other way. (A former relative of mine served in the Navy in the 1970s. He said everyone knew he was gay. His superiors looked the other way.) They often played games with ‘stop-loss’ provisions — keeping gay and lesbian servicemembers right up until they were no longer needed, then would be kicked out. Many were sent into combat, and then kicked out upon returning home. Many were charged with DADT violations mere months before they were due to retire, because a dishonorable discharge and denial of pension benefits saved the DoD money.

    You don’t get it: A quarter bucket of shit still has shit in it. Just because there’s another bucket next to it that is overflowing with shit doesn’t negate the shit in the first one.

  • 2karmanot

    We know our history junior and it’s clearly not Clintonbot revisionism.

  • Doug105

    If I didn’t think I remembered It I wouldn’t say it. I’m not the only one, but no, I haven’t been able to find a link. The internet wasn’t as far along and since no real effort was put into it I’m not sure if I’ll ever find one.

  • 2karmanot

    “Presidency Clinton was by far the most gay friendly President we ever had.” Oh please, seriously? Simply wrong. The damage Clinton caused individual lives and communities was devastating. Clinton got every thing wrong when it came to gay rights!

  • Trust me, Doug — love your work (esp. the amazing graphics you find) and I am not calling you a liar or anything like that. But so far to date, I haven’t seen anyone report actual remarks from conservatives from back then mentioning a constitutional amendment. Not one actual example. If such exists, I’d love to see a citation. (Trust me, I’ve worked Teh Googly repeatedly to try to find anything, and keep coming up dry.)

    It makes me wonder if in fact collective memories have indeed been altered by nearly 20 years of revisionism on the part of Dems who don’t want to be held to account for Clinton’s actual mixed record on gay rights (a record where it is not unreasonble to suggest it was more net negative than net positive, given DADT and DOMA and no ENDA or hate crimes legislation). It’s like Democrats and progressives are desperate for it not to have been the plain fact that President Bill Clinton didn’t think gay and lesbian couples deserved any civil rights at all associated with their relationships and marriages.

    “These decisions are best left to state and local governments and private institutions. But since the president does not believe that the federal government should recognize gay marriage, he does not believe it is appropriate for federal resources to be devoted to providing spousal benefits to partners in gay and lesbian relationships.”

    This was one of the pro-DOMA talking points from the Clinton White House. It was drafted as a response in case anyone asked whether, in the Administration’s opinion, federal rights and benefits could be extended for civil unions or domestic partnerships. They wouldn’t even grant the language indicating commitment or sworn vows — it was “partners” in “relationships.”

    Here’s a link to the talking points, including various drafts: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2494287/051496-talkingpoints.pdf

    DOMA wasn’t a compromise. It was the desired policy outcome for the Clinton Administration. Their official position was Clinton supported civil rights for gay and lesbian individuals but not one iota of civil rights protections when we wanted to marry and have a family. President Clinton wanted DOMA to serve as proof to the centrist and center-right Democrats that while he did support gay rights in general, there were very strict limits to that support. And that he was adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage and anything else that resembled it — such as DPs and civil unions — at the federal level.

  • FLL

    Hillary’s claim on the Rachel Maddow show was that “there was certainly evidence to support” that “there was enough political momentum to amend the Constitution of the United States of America.” That claim is wrong because Hillary states that “there was certainly enough evidence to support” this. A more reasonable claim would be that some congressmen and senators in 1996 believed this. This second claim does not go so far as to state that the belief of some congressmen and senators constitutes evidence to support “enough political momentum”—merely that some in Congress held that belief. Did anyone make that second, more reasonable claim? Yes. In 2013 four senators who voted for the 1996 DOMA law filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in the landmark Windsor cause that was before SCOTUS. (The link to the amicus brief is here). Those senators are: Bill Bradley, Tom Daschle, Christopher J. Dodd and Alan K. Simpson. Here are quotes from their amicus brief:

    In that time of uncertainty, DOMA enjoyed broad support, but for reasons that varied widely. Some who supported it fervently opposed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in other areas. They pushed for protection against discrimination toward gays and lesbians in employment, adoption, and the military. They nonetheless supported DOMA’s stated purpose of leaving the debate on gay marriage to develop in the states. And they believed that passing DOMA would defuse a movement to enact a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which would have ended the debate for a generation or more.

    Some supported DOMA even while staunchly opposing discrimination against gays in employment, adoption, military service, and other spheres. Some believed that DOMA was necessary to allay fears that a single state’s recognition of same-sex marriage could automatically extend to all other states through the Full Faith and Credit Clause. And they believed that enacting DOMA would eliminate the possibility of a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage—an outcome that would have terminated any further debate about same-sex marriage, potentially for generations. [emphasis mine]

    Clearly there were a number of congressmen and senators who held the erroneous belief that there was a possibility of an anti-gay amendment to the U.S. Constitution succeeding. Using 20/20 hindsight, we can see that those congressmen and senators who believed that were mistaken, but of course, being mistaken is part of life.

  • Don Chandler

    You do know that DOMA would have passed with or without a Clinton veto? “Initially introduced in May 1996, DOMA passed both houses of Congress by large, veto-proof majorities”–wiki. What you don’t know is if Clinton could have been reelected president had he vetoed DOMA. And actually, nobody knows if a Constitutional Marriage Amendment would have have ensued were a republican president to have been elected in 1996. So, Was Clinton courageous to sign DOMA? No. Was he pragmatic? Yes. Would a Republican President from Kansas, Bob Dole, have put forward a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman? Well, he was the first co-sponsor of DOMA in the senate version. The political blowback from a Clinton veto of DOMA could have been disastrous. Public Opinion was strongly against Same-sex marriage.

    Well, there is a tendency to judge people not by the times they lived in but by the present, but to do so is to ignore the sentiments of those earlier times.

  • martin

    DADT, of course, we all know, awful piece of legislation. Prior to it, we had a policy of absolute exclusion. What was first mentioned by our president was an end to the ban completely, that was met with 100 percent resistance from congress, and Schwarzkopf. The very fact that we had, after Reagan and Bush, a president who vocally was in favor of reversing the ban was amazing Not to mention the march on Washington in ’93, in which Clinton supported of and actually met with organizers, the first president to be involved with an event that was showing the gay community in a good light. Then to transition to Bush, who’s white house staffers met a gay group and wore gloves, so not to have to touch a gay person. That’s a homophobic President and Administration. The Clinton white house, not perfect, but not nearly as bad as it is being represented in hindsight. And I stand by my prior criticism.

  • Less discriminatory than conservative fundamentalists and Republicans does not mean no discrimination.

    President Clinton got many things very wrong when it came to gay rights. From his administration, we ended up with DADT, DOMA, and the RFRA — the last of which has been used in the courts recently to argue that bigots should be allowed to discriminate against LGBTs in employment, housing, and even business and public accommodations. Also, no ENDA and no hate crimes legislation, and in the year 2000, it was still perfectly legal for states to charge people with felonies for being gay.

    It wasn’t all negative — to be fair, the Clinton Administration did hold the line against a number of anti-gay measures and did enact several helpful anti-discrimination regulations and executive orders, but his record was very mixed and the big items hurt way more people than the nibbling around the edges helped.

    And lay off the ad hominem attacks just because others doesn’t happen to have the same opinion you do. The average age and education level of the commenters here is far higher than you think.

  • martin

    You’re either too young, or just too dumb, either way, you don’t know your history.

  • mf_roe

    Yeah, bill & hill wouldn’t support public stoning of Gays when a large segment of the population WOULD. The fact that they moderated their dislike shouldn’t be read as support. ALL Clinton actions are based on one principle, what’s in it for the Clintons.

  • mf_roe

    If a lie is your go to method, FU. If you honor truth that is offense to me, well maybe we can find common ground and mutual goals. As an opinionated SOB I hate the Clinton Empire not for its abuses but because of its methods and values.

  • Doug105

    There were simply no better choices at that time, something many overlook today.

  • nicho

    The lives of a lot of people were adversely affected because of what the Clintons did. At least let her own up to it instead of lying about it. No, I will not give it a rest. She’s a liar.

  • martin

    It’s funny that the Clinton’s are now viewed as almost “Anti-Gay”, at the time of his Presidency Clinton was by far the most gay friendly President we ever had.
    His support of DOMA was wrong. But he didn’t get everything wrong when it came to gay rights.

  • Doug105

    A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was talked about by conservatives back then, maybe they didn’t feel the need to be serious about it cause they were already getting what they wanted, as for Bill it was one of a couple of great disappoints I had from him.

  • nicho

    If we have to abstain from sex when a politician tells the truth, let them keep lying.

  • emjayay

    As Hillary once said “WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?” She championed gay rights to a UN audience in Geneva back when she was Secretary of State. You know, the UN, made up of nations where gay people are routinely killed for being gay and marriage is in the far distant future. DOMA was a long time ago, eons in terms of everything gay in mainstream America. Every Republican is still back in 1955 on all gay issues, not to mention most of the others. She came around years ago. Give it a rest.

  • gratuitous

    Here’s how to do it: “Yes, I supported DOMA in 1996. It was wrong then, it’s wrong now. I was wrong to support it then. In the last 20 years, I have become more educated on the subject, replacing my previous ignorance. Toward that end, I have changed my mind and support the full inclusion of all citizens to the rights, privileges and responsibilities afforded by our wonderful country. One of the best things about life and about the United States is that we have the ability to change course and correct past injustices. That doesn’t excuse or paper over the injustices of the past, but let’s move ahead together, binding up the wounds inflicted then, and offering our support going forward. We all make mistakes; it is a grave mistake not to correct a mistake.”

  • Ol’ Hippy

    Stop the presses when ANY politician tells the whole truth, that would be a day to celibate. Times change, in the 90’s LGBT wasn’t in the spotlight as much as in the 2000’s. Some day atheists will have their day too and be recognized as full citizens, not just fringe constituents.

  • dcinsider

    I read it.

    HRC and Bill need to just own up to what they did once and for all. They threw us under the bus because it was politically expedient. It was also a very different time, and they can easily defend their actions by apologizing for the law, acknowledging in retrospect it was the wrong decision, but that it was reflective of a different era.

    How is it they simply cannot deal with things like this in a straightforward manner? Why do they always opt to lie when the truth is easier and far more advantageous?

    Gays and lesbians are NOT going to hold this issue against them if they would just apologize and move on.

    But don’t pee on my leg and tell me its raining.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Exactly how I feel.

  • nicho

    The Clintons lied? Of course, the Clintons lied. Wake us up when one of them tells the truth.

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