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View Diary: Bill Clinton, signer of DOMA, says it's 'incompatible with our Constitution' (127 comments)

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  •  Right, Adam -- but I believe that he supported (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CajunBoyLgb, Jay C

    a marriage-equivalent or domestic partnership status.  That was considered to be a vanguard position among politicians (not among academics or GLBT activists) in 2004, and all the more so in 1995-96.

    Uh, when did Obama' first come out for unequivocal gay marriage, if it was such an easy position to take at the time?  Hell, can you compile a list of the earliest any politicians came out for actual marriage equality, as opposed to domestic partnership status?  (I'm guessing that many or even all of the earliest ones would have been GLBTs themselves in safe seats.  Who else came out for it by 1996?)

    This is just not that long ago.  People should still remember.

    Moreover, with the public so overwhelmingly opposed to marriage equality at the time, even a politician who was 100% in favor of it would have been smart to see opposition to it imposed in legislation if it meant holding off the prospect of it being enshrined in the Constitution.

    Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
    -- Saul Alinsky

    by Seneca Doane on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 09:28:23 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Obama backed marriage equality in 1996 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CajunBoyLgb, skrekk

      According to a questionnaire his campaign submitted.

      I'm agreeing with you that politicians generally did not support marriage equality in 1996, which is why they were comfortable supporting DOMA on its merits, and not merely as a way to short-circuit a constitutional amendment.

      •  Oh, yeah, the questionnaire (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KayCeSF, CajunBoyLgb

        Your article continues:

        Obama now says he opposes same-sex marriage, though he backs giving gays and lesbians a parallel package of marriage-like rights, and opposes a federal ban on same-sex marriage.
        As I recall, he also claimed that the questionnaire had either been answered in error, or in a different context (state rather than federal?), etc.  You probably have access to the story.

        Politicians did not want to get so far ahead of the public that they would provoke a deadly backlash.  I didn't favor gay marriage at that time either because at the time it was political suicide and would have grievously wounded the Democratic Party -- and many of us still believed that civil unions (domestic partnerships) would suffice.

        Many of us are fighting for things like medical marijuana bills when we'd just as soon be fighting for legalization of marijuana or of all illegal drugs.  The former doesn't mean that we oppose the latter; it means that we're aware of (now-changing, I hope) political realities.  And if support for legalization of all drugs seriously looked like it would precipitate a constitutional amendment making all such drugs permanently illegal, then you bet your ass we'd back off of it!

        Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
        -- Saul Alinsky

        by Seneca Doane on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 09:49:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm aware of the flip-flop (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CajunBoyLgb, skrekk, Chrislove

          I'm more willing to believe that he was running in liberal Hyde Park and said what he believed at the time, then backed off later for political expediency's sake.

          But you're supporting my point: Dems didn't support DOMA because they thought it would short-circuit a federal constitutional amendment; they supported DOMA because they didn't support marriage equality, period.

          •  There is a third option. (2+ / 0-)
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            CajunBoyLgb, Adam B
            Dems didn't support DOMA because they thought it would short-circuit a federal constitutional amendment; they supported DOMA because they didn't support marriage equality, period.
            I'd guess that some Dems supported it because they thought it would be politically costly to them if they didn't support it.  
          •  As Bill W notes below: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CajunBoyLgb

            they opposed it for political reasons.  The public was overwhelmingly hostile to the idea at the time; the concern was that it would lead to further deep losses in 1996 on top of the disaster of 1994, and that the opposition to it could take the form of a constitutional amendment that would be impossible to undo.

            I'll grant that all three reasons were at issue -- but the last one was the most objectively important and is, I think, exculpatory.  It sure explains why the likes of Wellstone and Mikulski (often outed as a lesbian, but never confirmed as such) could oppose it.

            Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

            "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
            -- Saul Alinsky

            by Seneca Doane on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 10:22:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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