Remember how Hillary Clinton said that she'd only support repealing Section 3 of the DOMA at the HRC/Logo Presidential Forum last week and we got into a big discussion of whether Section 2 was necessary or not to satisfy those who want the Federal Marriage Amendment? Well, gay former Clinton adviser David Mixner is calling her out on her convenient retelling of history to support the idea that DOMA was needed to prevent FMA:
I understand any candidate’s desire to spin the past to cover up mistakes, but our community cannot create a better future by forgetting its past.
First, Clinton’s claim that DOMA was passed so it could help defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) eight years later is absolutely false. As we all know, the FMA wasn’t really a threat until 2002, and the two pieces of legislation had distinctly separate origins. While having DOMA on the books might have been a factor in the FMA’s defeat, it was passed for political reasons in an election year. In fact, after proclaiming to the community how painful it was for him to sign it, President Clinton’s reelection campaign had ads up in the South touting the legislation within two weeks!
Just think about this for a moment – Clinton essentially said that it was good to pass and sign an oppressive and discriminatory law in order to avoid something worse eight years later. I simply cannot accept this version of history or policymaking strategy.
Then, while spinning its genesis, Clinton failed to advocate the overturning of DOMA, as both Edwards and Obama did earlier in the program. She stated that she supports only a partial repeal of the law, a glaring difference which the panel should have honed in on. Additionally, I think the panel could have questioned her position on published reports that her husband advised John Kerry and other candidates to support state and federal amendments banning marriage in 2004.
He also calls her out for trying to spin DADT as a "transitional step":
I have written before about Clinton’s spinning of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as a beneficial “transitional step” towards full integration of gays and lesbians in the military. But I hardly think that the 11,000 men and women who have had their military careers ended and their personal lives damaged since 1993 view Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as sympathetically. As I recall, the policy was never discussed as a transitional step. It was hastily produced and passed, by a Democratic President and Congress, to extract the new administration from of a political mess of its own making.
Let’s also remember what this destructive policy requires of LGBT service members today, 14 years later. They must lie about their personal lives to their co-workers and friends and cannot even mention a partner or lover back home. They must hide pictures of shared intimate moments that every couple, straight or gay, cherish so much. They can’t take leave to care for an ill partner. Most troubling, they must live in constant fear of being exposed. And if they slip up and disclose any of these things, they risk expulsion and a dishonorable discharge that may affect their future employment as a private citizen.
This was simply a dreadful policy from the very beginning, and I personally feel that any claim otherwise is just as hurtful as the policy itself.
Too bad for Hillary: people have memories.