One of the most obscene parts of President Bill Clinton’s presidency was his signing of the detestable Defense of Marriage Act. When you go back and think about it, the measure was introduced by thrice married Bob Barr (R-GA), shepherded through Congress by the philandering House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), and signed by the womanizing Bill Clinton. I’m so glad they saved the institution and made it safe for heterosexual monogamy!
To be fair, Clinton was not an anti-gay bigot and was prodded into signing the measure by radical Republicans who hoped he would veto the measure, giving them a powerful campaign issue. So, Clinton was guilty of political cowardice and lacked leadership on this matter — but to be clear — the bill would never have been introduced if not for the culture war-stoking GOP.
Former Clinton appointee, Richard Socarides, has a terrific, astute, and accurate article that explores why Clinton signed DOMA. I strongly suggest our readers check it out.
Later this month, the Supreme Court will hear a case to overturn DOMA, which prompted former-President Clinton to pen an op-ed for the Washington Post calling for SCOTUS to declare the odious measure unconstitutional. Here is a sample:
When I signed the bill, I included a statement with the admonition that “enactment of this legislation should not, despite the fierce and at times divisive rhetoric surrounding it, be understood to provide an excuse for discrimination.” Reading those words today, I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should be overturned.
Thank you Mr. President for working to undo some of the damage. The timing of this op-ed was impeccable and it will add to the chorus of serious Republican and Democratic politicians, business leaders, and sports heroes who have come out in favor of marriage equality. Although, I’ve always appreciated you feeling our pain, Mr. Clinton, hopefully DOMA will be dumped and we will have a lot less pain to feel.