Skip to comments.Why Bill Clinton is Apologizing for Signing DOMA (Federal Law Prevents Same Sex Marriage)
Posted on 03/08/2013 7:07:22 AM PST by lbryce
"In 1996, I signed the Defense of Marriage Act," says former President Bill Clinton in The Washington Post. DOMA, which prevents federal recognition of same-sex marriage, is up for review at the Supreme Court on April 27, and the justices will have to decide whether the law "is consistent with the principles of a nation that honors freedom, equality, and justice above all," Clinton says. In the 17 years since he signed it, the former president says, "I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution." (He's not alone: Read Dana Liebelson's four reasons DOMA was doomed even before Clinton waded in.)
In the middle of Clinton's explanation on why he signed DOMA times have changed, no states had legalized gay marriage in 1996, he thought it might head off more "draconian" measures like a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage nationwide, only 81 of the 535 members of Congress opposed it he drops in this "bit of a mea culpa," notes Joel Connelly at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
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. [Washington Post]
Gay-marriage advocates have been urging Clinton to apologize for signing DOMA for some time, and it's not like his new op-ed signals "a change of heart from the former president," says Margaret Hartmann at New York. Clinton has "been on the record as pro-gay marriage for years and was never enthusiastic about the law." So why completely disown DOMA now?
There are the obvious reasons: This is the first time the law has come before the high court, and public opinion really has shifted considerably, even in the year since President Obama embraced gay marriage. And he's not alone: Many of the lawmakers who voted for the law in 1996 want to see DOMA overturned or repealed, too.
Clinton has had 17 years to reverse course, and a year of watching Obama pay no political price for his own evolution. This smacks of "cynicism and lawlessness" why did he sign a law he thinks is unconstitutional? says Paul Mirengoff at Power Line. "Does he think that one or more of the five Supreme Court Justices who may be inclined to uphold DOMA will be moved by this op-ed to switch on the issue?"
I doubt it. More likely, the judge Clinton has in mind is History. That arbiter already has him pegged as lawless cynic anyway. So why not try to explain away his endorsement of DOMA, and get on what he assumes eventually will be the prevailing side by hopping abroad the gay marriage express before it arrives at the station? [Power Line]
The gay community Clinton has courted since his first successful run for the White House certainly considers this step long overdue. "Whether he begins to lead on the issue remains to be seen," says New York's Hartmann, "but at the very least his new stance should make things less awkward when Hillary Clinton whatever Democrat happens to run for president embraces gay marriage in 2016." Politico's Maggie Haberman is thinking along similar lines, tweeting that Clinton's DOMA disavowal "helps lay a predicate for when Hillary ultimately supports gay marriage, which activists expect is coming soonish."
Maybe the why isn't as important as the what, and Clinton turning on DOMA is "a BFD, it seems to me," says Andrew Sullivan at The Dish. He obviously knew it was discriminatory legislation when he signed it, "but it's churlish to cavil." If gay-rights advocates "can forgive Ken Mehlman," George W. Bush's recently un-closeted 2004 campaign manager, "we can surely forgive Bill Clinton. And welcome him to the civil rights cause of our time."
What a utter disgrace this man is, was as president during his two terms.
"Bill Clinton is contrary to any principle, and in fact, he is incompatible with our Constitution".
I have one question for you, Mr. Philandering, Felonious, Perjurious, Gay-Loving, Impeached, Con Man President;
When you say, "I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution", wouldn't it depend on the definition of what is, is? And what about the particularly defining characteristic on your private parts that make you so easily indentifiable by everyone you've harassed and victimized so egregiously over the years?
Bill Clinton never had much use for marriage to begin with.
He cheated his wife who is now cheating on him.
marriage never did mean anything to Clint and he signed DOMA because it was politically correct when he signed it. Now queers are taking over and Bubba always with his finger in the political wind swing the other way
Impotence can do that to a man I suppose.
Bill’s reached that time in his life he probably prefers it on the down low.
Because Hillary is running for President in 2016.
“Its too bad we cant impeach Bill Clinton again”
“In a Washington Post op-ed, Bill Clinton argues that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which he signed into law, is unconstitutional. This raises an obvious question: Why did Clinton sign an unconstitutional piece of legislation into law?”
So now there is no chance for a constitutional amendment and DOMA is hanging by a thread. Smooth. And people wonder why we hate the Clintons.
Because Hillary is running for President in 2016
It never ceases to amaze me how low many scabby politicians will go for power and gain. They are the true dregs of society. They need to be purged and disgraced into oblivion for the good of our country.
Slick Willie has “evolved.” Just like Obama.
Bubba has admitted that he will say whatever it takes to get whatever reaction he wants from whatever audience he is addressing.
I did not have signatory relations with that act, Defense Of Marriage.
Don't forget draft dodger in that list. A pathetic POS of a man. I could not believe this asshat beat two war heroes in two elections regardless of their RINO leanings. I knew the country was heading south then and have not been disappointed as the crescendo arrived in 09.
Exactly. The gay lobby within the Democratic Party has a ton of money and I don’t think Hill and Bill like the idea of that money going to an Andrew Cuomo or Joe Biden in 2016.
A nation that honors ‘equality.’ NO, that is not in the Constitution. That is in the French constitution. Here we have a nation that believes all people are CREATED equal, with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
‘Equality’ has slipped its little wormy way into the conversation by leftie intention, much the same as ‘separation of Church and State.’ Now everyone quotes it and assumes it is part and parcel of our founding documents when it is not.
(getting off soap box).
“came to believe”
amazing what threats from fang-toothed feminazis can do to a man’s opinions.
When trying to dredge up some quotable inference to the man’s insolence in my comment, I was rushing to post the article as quickly as possible and came up with the first thing that came to my mind which was’ what is, is’, anybody’s poor, last choice and would have much preferred coming up with something with more of a biting wit, more political creativity, something you did extraordinary well, better than anything I could have managed to come up with. Kudos to you for coming up with that very clever line.
Remember that conservative pro-life democrat from Tennessee: Al Gore?
Remember pro-life congressman Bart Stupak?
They ALWAYS do what they see as politically expedient.
1996? Slick was running for re-election that year and used DOMA to keep up the pretense of being some sort of centrist, and to keep fooling the so-called moderates, among other less than honest reasons.
And he's changing his tune now so his wife can become President. Liberals are so transparent. They only support what's good for their political future...not what's good for the country.
obama has shown the Clintons it’s possible to be liberal and be president. So, they turned from their phony centrist ways to the left. And Bill wants to be the first “first husband”. Plus, as FHOTUS he can get in on in the Oval office while Hillary is away. He loves gettin’ in on in the Oval office. That room will draw the “flies” like honey.