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Gay Rights Group To Honor Guy Who Gave Us DOMA And DADT

A prominent gay rights group plans to honor former President Clinton:

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is honoring former President Bill Clinton with its “Advocate for Change award.”

“President Clinton’s support of the LGBT community and recognition that DOMA, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional and should be struck down shows that the political landscape continues to change in favor of LGBT equality,” GLAAD’s strategic giving officer Wilson Cruz said on Wednesday. “Leaders and allies like President Clinton are critical to moving our march for equality forward.”

The former Democratic president had signed DOMA into law but earlier this year announcedthat he no longer supported it. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on a case in the coming months determining DOMA’s constitutionality.

It was also during the Clinton Administration that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell went into effect after a failed attempt to end the ban on homosexuals in the military. To be fair, DADT did give gays and lesbians in uniform more protection than they had before but, as we learned during the time that it was in effect, it was a huge opportunity for abuse and harassment of gay service members.

I get the fact that Clinton has changed his opinion by essentially saying that he knowingly signed into law an unconstitutional bill, but does what he actually did while in office count for nothing? Or is that all whitewashed now?

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Well Bush wrote a book on Economic Growth. So I guess at least Clinton isn’t giving himself the award.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  2. stonetools says:

    Remember Clinton wanted to abolish discrimination against gays in the military outright. The Republicans blocked that, with the help of conservative Democrats. DADT was a compromise to allow some rights for gays. His intentions count for something.
    Moreover, according to Clinton, DOMA was passed in an attempt to limit even more restrictive legislation proposed by the Republicans. Doug , you are just minimizing the Republican politics that drove gay hatred and forestalled early attempts to advance gay rights.
    Clinton gets credit for starting a conversation about gay rights that wasn’t even occurring prior to his initial attempt to abolish discrimination in the military. The present successful efforts build on that foundation. Gays see that, and give due credit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  3. anjin-san says:

    Or is that all whitewashed now?

    Are you whitewashing the fact that Clinton wanted to do much more for gays and lesbians than he did, but conservatives (including some Democrats) were determined to continue to relegate gays/lesbians to second class citizen status, and they had the political muscle to be partially successful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  4. @stonetools:

    DOMA passed with only 14 Nays in the Senate and 67 in the House. This wasn’t just a Republican thing, and it’s disingenuous to claim that it was

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  5. anjin-san says:

    The way I remember it, Clinton took a fair amount of political damage for trying to end the ban on gays/lesbians in the military. It’s interesting to see where people choose to place their focus as they look in the rear view mirror.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  6. Eric says:

    Doug, You are exactly correct in your facts and assessment. I could not believe it when I heard that GLAAD was honoring Bill Clinton for the very reasons you cite. The politician they should be honoring is Joe Biden. The Vice President came out in support for marriage equality ahead of all of them including Obama. I dare say Obama would not have endorsed it when he did if Biden had not gotten out front on the issue. The Clinton’s as usual were johnny-come-latelys only after it became the politically expedient position to take.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  7. bandit says:

    The great thing about being a lib is you can twist your sanctimonious bullshit into anything. In the 90’s when he was in office Clinton felt one way, now the wind is blowing the other way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  8. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Which is why I said that the Republicans had conservative Democrat support. Doesn’t affect my point, which was that Clinton favored gay rights, personally , and did try to advance the cause of gay rights at a political cost, which is what the gay community credited him for.
    I remember when he first advocated for ending discrimination against gays in the military in 1993. Many people thought he was crazy. General Powell came out against it. Democratic Senator Sam Nunn led the opposition against it.and DADT was the compromise. Republicans cited it in the 1994 elections as part of Clinton’s “reckless left wing agenda”, and won in a landslide. You have to say that Clinton did blaze the trail, and suffered for it.
    As for which side really pushed DOMA, heres Wikipedia:

    Georgia Representative Bob Barr, then a Republican, authored the Defense of Marriage Act and introduced it in the House of Representatives on May 7, 1996. Senator Don Nickles of Oklahoma [a Republican] introduced it in the Senate.[14] Its congressional sponsors stated, “[T]he bill amends the U.S. Code to make explicit what has been understood under federal law for over 200 years; that a marriage is the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife, and a spouse is a husband or wife of the opposite sex.”[15] Nickles said, “If some state wishes to recognize same-sex marriage, they can do so”. He said the bill would ensure that “the 49 other states don’t have to and the Federal Government does not have to.”[14] In opposition to the bill, Colorado Rep. Patricia Schroeder[Democrat] said, “You can’t amend the Constitution with a statute. Everybody knows that. This is just stirring the political waters and seeing what hate you can unleash.”[14] Barr countered that Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution grants Congress power to determine “the effect” of the obligation of each state to grant “full faith and credit” to other states’ acts.[14]

    The 1996 Republican Party platform endorsed DOMA, referencing only section 2 of the act: “We reject the distortion of [anti-discrimination] laws to cover sexual preference, and we endorse the Defense of Marriage Act to prevent states from being forced to recognize same-sex unions.”[16] The Democratic Party platform that year did not mention DOMA or marriage

    Its pretty clear which side had the hard-on for DOMA. Clinton and the Democrats went along. They had mixed feelings about SSM ( Clinton opposed SSM at the time), but the Republicans were the ones who pushed to enshrine discrimination against SSM in federal law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. stonetools says:

    @bandit:

    Why don’t you read a history book, sonny boy, then get back to us about things which were happening when you were in the high chair.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  10. @Doug Mataconis:

    “This wasn’t just a Republican thing, and it’s disingenuous to claim that it was”

    Is it also disingenuous for a Rand Paul supporter to slam Clinton on gay rights issues?

    Also….this:

    Georgia Representative Bob Barr, then a Republican, authored the Defense of Marriage Act and introduced it in the House of Representatives

    Bob Barr??? The LP candidate for president in 2008?

    You’re right. It wasn’t just a Republican thing…..The LP was okay with it too.

    (Of course, what is the LP but a bunch of former Republicans?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  11. Davebo says:

    Of course, what is the LP but a bunch of former Republicans?

    Wrong. It’s a bunch of current Republicans who, like Doug here, is afraid to admit it.

    Call it a form of performance art which incidentally Doug seems to hate except when he’s practicing it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. mantis says:

    Gay Rights Group To Honor Guy Who Gave Us DOMA And DADT

    Bob Barr and Don Nickles gave us DOMA, not Clinton. DADT was actually an advancement, though incremental and problematic, for homosexuals in the military.

    I get the fact that Clinton has changed his opinion by essentially saying that he knowingly signed into law an unconstitutional bill, but does what he actually did while in office count for nothing? Or is that all whitewashed now?

    You seem to be ignoring the fact that DOMA had a veto-proof majority. Now, Clinton could have vetoed it and been overridden, but what would that have accomplished other than eliminating one “Clinton’s a hypocrite!” argument for you to use nearly 20 years later?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  13. Tsar Nicholas says:

    This is about as “surprising” as lock step Democrat voting along with high rates of poverty, unemployment and dropouts, in big liberal cities controlled for decades by liberal Democrats.

    It goes without saying that Clinton did about as much for gay rights as Tom DeLay and Bill Frist. But the reality is that those “gay rights” groups are not actually about gay rights. They’re left-wing agitprop organizations seeking to advance a partisan agenda along strict party lines. Clinton is a Democrat. In recent years, after he had governed perhaps as the best Republican president of our generation, he’s been toeing the liberal line. So all is good. Whatever.

    The same holds true for other purported “rights” organizations. Nearly without exception they’re nothing more than left-wing agitprop groups.

    The NAACP? Merely a fundraising and voter turnout machine for the Democrat Party. If Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, Thomas Sowell, Lynn Swann, Michael Steele, J.C. Watts, Jerome Holmes and Janice Rogers Brown tried to speak at a NAACP confab they’d get booed off the stage before they reached the dais. Colin Powell circa 2002 would have received the same treatment. Colin Powell circa 2007-2008, however, would have been OK.

    NOW, NARAL and Emily’s List don’t actually care about women’s rights. If they did they’d strongly be advocating for private school vouchers, expanded gun rights and self-defense rights for women, harsh criminal sentences for offenders against women, a repeal of the Equal Pay Act, more adoptions in lieu of abortions, faith-based spending availability for battered women’s shelters, halfway houses and safe havens for child prostitutes. Instead those groups are nothing more than radical left-wing rabble rousers for abortion on demand and at any and all costs.

    The Sierra Club doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the environment. Theirs merely is a radical left-wing economic agenda that would make Karl Marx blush. If they actually cared about the enviroment they’d be helping clear out overly-dense forests with logging, and they’d be advocating for vast expansions in our nuclear power capabilities.

    The list goes on and on.

    Logical consistency and intellectual honesty and the political left-wing mutually are exclusive. QED.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  14. @Tsar Nicholas:

    NOW, NARAL and Emily’s List don’t actually care about women’s rights. If they did they’d strongly be advocating for private school vouchers, expanded gun rights and self-defense rights for women, harsh criminal sentences for offenders against women, a repeal of the Equal Pay Act, more adoptions in lieu of abortions, faith-based spending availability for battered women’s shelters, halfway houses and safe havens for child prostitutes.

    Ha!

    “If they cared about Issue X then they would agree with all of my previously established positions.”

    Works every time…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Tyrell says:

    Bill also made cigars popular again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. mantis says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The list goes on and on.

    As do the voices in your head.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. anjin-san says:

    Bill also made cigars popular again.

    Clinton loves women, there is no doubt. And they love him back – it’s interesting to see how much that pisses conservatives off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. An Interested Party says:

    The list goes on and on.

    As does your victimhood…you are the biggest WATB to ever come through these parts…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0