Michael Crawford

Is Bill Clinton Defending DOMA?

Filed By Michael Crawford | March 24, 2008 7:51 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Bill Clinton, DOMA, gay marriage, gay rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton, MTV

Bill Clinton gets more than a little testy with MTVu reporters when asked about the Defense of Marriage Act which he signed into law. Clinton claims that it was a "reasonable compromise."

He later says that Melissa Etheridge was "rewriting history" when she said at the HRC/Logo Presidential Forum that he "threw gays under the bus" by signing DOMA into law. Despite what Bill says, Hillary Clinton does not support the full repeal of DOMA.

Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Michael Bedwell | March 24, 2008 9:03 PM

Has Obama changed his position on supporting, as Sen. Clinton unfortunately does, a state's right to ban any kind of legal recognition of gay relationships, either occuring within that state or others, regardless of the existence or repeal of federal DOMA?

Does Obama no longer believe, that "states should be under no obligation to recognize same-sex marriages from other states...that a long-recognized public policy exception to the Constitution's Full Faith and Credit Clause exempts a state from having to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state which runs counter to its own public policies"?

Does he now disagree with his Constitutional law advisor Lawrence Tribe that, "Same-sex couples ... are neither better nor worse off with DOMA repealed"?

If so, you'd better inform ABC News.

- http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3468949&page=1

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 24, 2008 9:20 PM


Are you trying to change the subject? you said nothing about Bill and his McCain-like behavior in the video clip.

i do admire your sass though.

That's silly. And the answer to his question is "no."

Exactly as I thought; Bill Clinton is a sleezy , dishonest bully who absolutely will toss you under the bus and tell you it's for your own good and to grow up and join him in the "real world" where , one must assume, cow-towing to Republicans and right wing religious fundamentalists is a brave and noble thing to do . He is lying though his teeth and distorting his own record and his wife's position , oh and being an abrasive jackass and bully to the young reporter who is asking an honest question and expecting an honest and forthright answer. Her only mistake was in assuming that Bill Clinton would be honest in his discussion when the topic of LGBTQ issues comes up. I will never forgive him for allowing that law to pass. It tarnishes everything (yes, everything) he has done, as far as I am concerned .
Let me also say, it should be plainly clear (even to the most die-hard of those in the "Hillary or Death" side of this primary , that it is most definitely BILL Clinton who is attempting to rewrite history here . And may I add, "Shame on you Bill Clinton!"
"Melissa Etheridge for POTUS!"

He is so OLD! And he stutters a lot. What was Monica thinking?

Reasonable compromise...such cynical, "egomaniacal pondscum" (to borrow the amusing words of Michael Wall of Text Verbose Bedwell).

Let's keep the discussion on the intended purpose of this post, which the title defines, instead of rehashing the Obama/Clinton dead horse, please.

Michael Bedwell | March 24, 2008 10:32 PM

Forgive me for getting confused when I read patented "Obama Speak" buzzwords like "full repeal of DOMA" and smell, perhaps erroneously, Obama Mud that could be interpreted as an effort to yet again indict Mrs. Clinton for the sins of her husband either through this week-old interview story or endless disputes about what happened/did not happen a dozen years ago.

"McCain-like"? Did Bill "start to look pissy and purse his lips like he's ready to burn Wolf Blitzer's beard with his laser eye beams or like he's going to wrestle John Edward's hair"? Wait, that wasn't McCain but Jerame's characterization of Obama.

Earth to all: Bill Clinton STILL not on ballot. Nevertheless, from this point forward I'll be happy to hold the little Missus responsible for everything her husband says if you agree that:

- it was candidate Obama who blamed the US for 9/11 and whites for trying to kill all blacks with AIDS not his former pastor and hero Jeremiah Wright.

- it was candidate Barack Obama who said this was the first time in his entire life he's been proud to be an American not Mrs. Barack Obama.

- it was candidate Obama who said that gays are trying to kill the country's children not his campaign's gospel concert star Donnie McClurkin.

- it was candidate Obama who said that being gay is an "evil sickness" and not his other "spiritual advisor" the Rev. James Meeks.

- it was candidate Obama who voted against the gay rights bill in Illinois and not his pal Meeks.

- it was candidate Obama who called Sen. Clinton a monster and not his former foreign policy guru Samantha Power.

- it was candidate Obama who said that he has no intention of keeping his promises about withdrawals from Iraq and not Samantha Power.

- it was candidate Obama who called Sen. Clinton a sleazy liar and frustrated thief of White House treasures and not former Obama gay advisor Maxim Thorne.

- it was candidate Obama who lied when he said he passed the gay rights bill in Illinois and lied when he said he passed another bill regulating the nuclear industry and Obama who used dirty political tactics to prevent anyone from running against him for the Illinois senate Dem nomination and Obama who lied when he said he would serve out his first Senate term before running for President and Obama who lied when he said he is a law professor at the U of Chicago and not just a lecturer rather than....er, wait, all that was Obama. Sorry.

hilliary this, bill that, obama this, wright that.

I know I am not the only one who is sick of this tit for tat back and forth. (I said 'tit' hehe, hehe).

To quote my favorite crack addict cum philosopher;

"can't we all just get along?"

I agree with Serena, he is old and he stutters, what Was Monica thinking? No accounting for some peoples taste I guess.

Full repeal of DOMA, while of no legal significance in comparison to a partial one, has symbolic significance, as I'm sure you'll be aware of considering your love of the written form. Nevertherless, that's better discussed in other posts that have already been made for that purpose.

I see no reason to get defensive over this. When Bill Clinton says things like this along with distorting the history of DADT, which SLDF called him to task on, I'd like to see him crucified. There's no place for letting his web of lied continue, for there are less informed people (hello, heterosexual America) who will more than likely accept this as truth.

Anyways, I do understand your apprehension, as some people may illogically extend his actions to his wife. However, it is the responsibility of people to be logical; criticism of Bill's triangulations should not be censored out of the fear that some short-sighted people might tack this on Hillary's campaign. Crawford's bias can be obvious, true; but I'm certain that those who frequent this blog will already be aware of that, allowing them to distill his bias to form their own opinions.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 25, 2008 5:08 AM

Forget all about his support for the union busting NAFTA, his last minute pardons of scores of millionaires and coke dealers, the Iraqi children murdered by his embargo on food and medicines and the fact that his deregulation bills are a primary cause of the deepening financial crisis. Bill Clinton attempt to ‘explain’ his signature on DOMA while ‘forgetting’ that he bragged about it in ads broadcast on religious-bigot stations is Slick Willie at his sleaziest.

Bigots didn’t raise the idea of DOMA as a constitutional amendment until Bush2’s first term. Anyone who says otherwise, including Bill or Hillary Clinton or one of their shills, will have to prove it - there is NO record of an amendment being proposed until years later. Clinton is a bold but not particularly skillful liar – he didn't inhale, didn’t have sex with Monica and didn’t really support DOMA. His rewrite of DOMA history was repeated when he claimed that Kerry lost in 2004 because he refused to take Clintons advice and support state DOMA’s. According to NEWSWEEK Magazine “President Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act when he was in the White House, advised Kerry in a phone call early in the campaign to find a way to support the state bans.”

The events leading up to the 1996 Congressional and Presidential elections explain his support for DOMA. Under his leadership the Democrats backed anti-worker bills like NAFTA, decimated welfare and health care, and deregulated corporate predators. But there was a price to pay for throwing working people under the bus – they lost their decade’s long control of Congress. Clintons own election was by no means assured so he did what Democrats invariably do when challenged; he jumped to the right to ‘broaden’ his appeal and went after the bigot vote. (It’s just what Hillary’s campaign manager Barney did by trashing ENDA and the hate crimes bill.) According to TIME Magazine “By the time Clinton arrived in Chicago for his party's convention in August, nothing that hinted at liberalism was left hanging on him. When the President, who had begun his term advocating the rights of gays in the military, came around to supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition for gay and lesbian unions, Dole was wide-eyed. "Is there anything we're for that he won't jump on?" Dole asked. The answer, essentially, was nothing...”

What we do know with absolute certainty is that Clinton, in a bid to be reelected in 1996 boasted about his bigotry in signing DOMA. The AP ran a story on October 17, just three weeks before the 1996 which said “After angry complaints from gay-rights advocates, the Clinton campaign on Wednesday replaced an ad running on religious radio stations that boasted of the president's signature on a bill banning gay marriages....The Clinton spot also touted his signing of the Defense of Marriage Act, in spite of earlier White House complaints that the Republicans' use of the issue amounted to "gay baiting." Clinton’s ads were so bigoted and so scandalous that even his lapdogs in the HRC felt compelled to let out a yap or two.



The gay community often tosses people like the Clinton's and other elected official, under the bus for not effectively achieving results. Never have I once heard, thank you for trying. We put pressure on them to take a politic unpopular stand, often at the risk of their careers, not ours.

The truth is, if we want gay marriage to happen, several things have to be done. We must support and seek openingly gay and lesbian qualified people to get elected at the state level. We have to work with the opposite side, to bring understand, public awareness to this issue. Public sentiment to support this issue is the key to this movement.

Our community needs to put as much effort into this issue as we do lastest fashions or the next circuit party. If that was the case, we would already be wedding and divorcing.

Solider in Iraq | March 25, 2008 6:59 AM

The young woman asking the question in the video was clearly without the ability to understand the answer. Apparently, for her, the answer to a complex question must be black or white. DOMA is difficult to understand if you can't listen and don't have the ability to understand the historical context and complexity.

Bill Clinton has been much wiser than we homo's given him credit. His "don't ask don't tell" pushed the topic to the forefront. It probably ultimately led to his political assassination, by the right wing republicans. But his approach of given the public what they can stand at the time was brilliant. He knows, shoving it down people throats might work for QueerNation, but in reality of politics and most of the USA voter, it takes easy, baby steps.

Bill Clinton deserves credit for Federal departments adopting non-discrimination clauses in the 1990s. The Clintons are pro gay.

Can someone explain to me why Bedwell's commentss were allowed to be posted as a response when it actually has nothing to do with the current posting?

Your posting in no way discusses Hillary Clinton, let alone Obama. Which makes his comments off subject and a reason for not posting. Is this not your policy here at Bilerico?

Bill Clinton is still the most gay friendly President we have ever had. He was not perfect, though, and people seem to want to throw him under the bus for it. He supported gays and lesbians 15 years ago, before it was politically safe to do so. People are judging his actions at the beginning(DADT)and middle (DOMA) of his presidency based on a modern perception of how supportive politicians should be on gay rights. That is like saying JFK was a horrible President since he did not publicly support gays in the military. FDR may have gotten us through the Great Depression, but fuck him for not supporting gay marriage!

Remember, DOMA was veto proof because the Democrats in Congress, including vice-presidential candidates Lieberman and Edwards, supported it. The Democratic party as a whole betrayed us more than Bill Clinton.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 25, 2008 6:51 PM

Jay, Seth, "Soldier" -

Bill Clinton was NEVER a friend of the GLBT communities. Like all politicians he was perfectly willing to make promises, issue this or that executive order and sit down for coffee with self appointed community ‘leaders‘, i.e., democrats who’d hustled for votes for him and were satisfied with the few crumbs he threw our way. Even so he never had the backbone of a Truman, who issued an order forbidding color based discrimination in the armed forces. The only things Clinton ever had the spine to fight for were cuts in welfare, tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and NAFTA.

“Solider in Iraq” what exactly is this mystifying, bewildering and complex history of DOMA? Why would you claim that DOMA was anything but a terrible body blow to our communities, a legal lynching of our rights and standing in society by a frenzied mob of congressional bigots who voted for it by lopsided majorities of 85-14 in the Senate and 342-67 in the House?

Why would you say that Slick Willie was our friend when he immediately ran to scum like Robertson and Falwell to broadcast ads boasting that he’d signed DOMA, beging for the votes of bigots? ‘Soldier’, do all you friends treat you that way, stabbing you in the back and then pouring salt on the wound? Maybe you need a better class of friends.

Now do you understand the phrase “With Democrats like this who needs Republicans”? Does that put the recent trashing of ENDA and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bills by Clinton’s campaign manager Barney Frank in perspective? That also happened just before an election. Do you begin to see a pattern here or do you need a few more stab wounds before you wake up?