Bill Clinton: DOMA needs to die | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bill Clinton: DOMA needs to die

Posted By on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 9:38 AM

CLINTON.jpg
The always-insightful Bill Clinton took to the Washington Post yesterday with an impassioned editorial calling on the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which he signed in 1996. The constitutionality of DOMA will be considered by the court on March 27, when the SCOTUS reviews two cases involving same-sex marriage — one from California and another from New York.

Clinton said he signed DOMA, which defines legal marriage as a union between one man and one woman, at a time when the country's attitude toward gay marriage was different, with only 81 of the 535 members of Congress voting against the bill. He cites a recent amicus brief to the Supreme Court that says the passage of DOMA helped head off what was then a serious movement "to enact a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which would have ended the debate for a generation or more."

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.

We are still a young country, and many of our landmark civil rights decisions are fresh enough that the voices of their champions still echo, even as the world that preceded them becomes less and less familiar. We have yet to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, but a society that denied women the vote would seem to us now not unusual or old-fashioned but alien. I believe that in 2013 DOMA and opposition to marriage equality are vestiges of just such an unfamiliar society.

Saying that America is at a crossroads with respect to the civil rights of gays and lesbians. Clinton adds: "[W]hile our laws may at times lag behind our best natures, in the end they catch up to our core values."

Tags: , , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by David Koon

  • Blue smoke

    Since 1983, Little Rock's Nichols & Simpson Organbuilders has built a reputation for uncompromising excellence.
    • Mar 2, 2019
  • It's the Best and Worst 2018

    Our annual salute to weird, worrisome, wonderful Arkansas.
    • Dec 20, 2018
  • Fast forward in Blytheville

    The East Coast Timing Association held its Arkansas 1-Mile Challenge in September, where racers from all over the country mixed gasoline, steel and passion in the pursuit of raw speed.
    • Oct 11, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation