Bill Clinton: DOMA is unconstitutional (1 Viewer)

TechDawg09

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Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...184408-8747-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_story.html

He claims he signed it to prevent a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.

In 1996, I signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Although that was only 17 years ago, it was a very different time. In no state in the union was same-sex marriage recognized, much less available as a legal right, but some were moving in that direction. Washington, as a result, was swirling with all manner of possible responses, some quite draconian. As a bipartisan group of former senators stated in their March 1 amicus brief to the Supreme Court, many supporters of the bill known as DOMA believed that its passage “would defuse a movement to enact a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which would have ended the debate for a generation or more.” It was under these circumstances that DOMA came to my desk, opposed by only 81 of the 535 members of Congress.

...

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.
That makes 2 presidents, 3 vice presidents, and 3 first ladies from the past 3 administrations who have said they support or "see nothing wrong with" same-sex marriage.
 

jcollins9

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I didn't read the article, so I don't know why he thinks it's unconstitutional, but I agree. The 10th amendment says that the federal govt has no say in who can marry whom. That power belongs to the states.
 

krushing

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I didn't read the article, so I don't know why he thinks it's unconstitutional, but I agree. The 10th amendment says that the federal govt has no say in who can marry whom. That power belongs to the states.
But must another state recognize a marriage? Must the federal system recognize a marriage. I'm a states right person but this is an interesting question because people get married and move and folks in a state can work for the federal gov. Do other governments beside their state govs have to treat them as a married couple?
 
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TechDawg09

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I didn't read the article, so I don't know why he thinks it's unconstitutional, but I agree. The 10th amendment says that the federal govt has no say in who can marry whom. That power belongs to the states.
He doesn't provide any legal argument in the editorial, more of an "it violates the spirit and principles of America" argument.
 

Brandon13

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But must another state recognize a marriage? Must the federal system recognize a marriage. I'm a states right person but this is an interesting question because people get married and move and folks in a state can work for the federal gov. Do other governments beside their state govs have to treat them as a married couple?
Not with DOMA in place, but yes, gay marriage should fall within the "full faith and credit" clause.

Ultimately, though, I think this should be handled federally.
 
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TechDawg09

TechDawg09

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But must another state recognize a marriage? Must the federal system recognize a marriage. I'm a states right person but this is an interesting question because people get married and move and folks in a state can work for the federal gov. Do other governments beside their state govs have to treat them as a married couple?
Which is why we need federal legislation to ensure equal marriage rights in all states.
 

Mr. Sparkle

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Classic Bill.

"I signed it to prevent an even stricter ban on gay marriage!"

He left out this line from his DOMA statement:

"I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages and this legislation is consistent with that position."
 

LSSpam

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But must another state recognize a marriage? Must the federal system recognize a marriage. I'm a states right person but this is an interesting question because people get married and move and folks in a state can work for the federal gov. Do other governments beside their state govs have to treat them as a married couple?
I think so, yes.

Article IV
Section 1

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.


I'm sure there is a huge amount of case law that further defines that statement, but at base it suggests that states are obligated to respect the laws and acts of other states, even if they haven't enacted them themselves. Ironically enough, the place to look for case law in this instance would probably be in regards to fugitive slave laws and the like per-Civil War.

I left in the second sentence because its important to. While marriage is a states rights issue, congress most certainly does have the power to at least regulate how states deal with gay marriages from other states.
 

Soundwave

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Who gives a crap what they say when their term in office is over. It's what they do while in office that counts.
 
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TechDawg09

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Classic Bill.

"I signed it to prevent an even stricter ban on gay marriage!"

He left out this line from his DOMA statement:

"I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages and this legislation is consistent with that position."
He had a very consistent record of compromise on the issue. He signed DADT as a compromise to allow homosexuals to serve in the military when the Right wanted to ban them and the Left wanted them to be able to serve openly.

He had to work within THAT Congress to get what protections he could for their rights.


He's maintained that ever since:

September 27, 2000: “I think what happened in the Congress was that a lot of people who didn’t want to be anti-gay didn’t feel that they should be saying that as a matter of law, without regard to what various churches or religions or others thought, that the United States policy was that all unions that call themselves marriages are, as a matter of law, marriages. I don’t think we’re there yet.”

March 24, 2008: “All [DOMA] said was that Idaho did not have to recognize a marriage sanctified in Massachusetts, and that seemed to be a reasonable compromise in the environment of the time, and it’s a slight rewriting of history … to imply that somehow this was anti-gay when I had more openly gay people in my administration and did more for gay rights and tried to provide an opportunity for gays to serve in the military and did provide an opportunity for gays to serve in civilian positions involving national security that they had been previously been denied to serving in.”

August 13, 2009: “The reason I signed DOMA was—and I said when I signed it—that I thought the question of whether gays should marry should be left up to states and to religious organizations, and if any church or other religious body wanted to recognize gay marriage, they ought to. We were attempting at the time, in a very reactionary Congress, to head off an attempt to send a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to the states. And if you look at the eleven referenda much later—in 2004, in the election—which the Republicans put on the ballot to try to get the base vote for President Bush up, I think it’s obvious that something had to be done to try to keep the Republican Congress from presenting that.”
 

J-Donk

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He had a very consistent record of compromise on the issue. He signed DADT as a compromise to allow homosexuals to serve in the military when the Right wanted to ban them and the Left wanted them to be able to serve openly.

He had to work within THAT Congress to get what protections he could for their rights.


He's maintained that ever since:

September 27, 2000: “I think what happened in the Congress was that a lot of people who didn’t want to be anti-gay didn’t feel that they should be saying that as a matter of law, without regard to what various churches or religions or others thought, that the United States policy was that all unions that call themselves marriages are, as a matter of law, marriages. I don’t think we’re there yet.”

March 24, 2008: “All [DOMA] said was that Idaho did not have to recognize a marriage sanctified in Massachusetts, and that seemed to be a reasonable compromise in the environment of the time, and it’s a slight rewriting of history … to imply that somehow this was anti-gay when I had more openly gay people in my administration and did more for gay rights and tried to provide an opportunity for gays to serve in the military and did provide an opportunity for gays to serve in civilian positions involving national security that they had been previously been denied to serving in.”

August 13, 2009: “The reason I signed DOMA was—and I said when I signed it—that I thought the question of whether gays should marry should be left up to states and to religious organizations, and if any church or other religious body wanted to recognize gay marriage, they ought to. We were attempting at the time, in a very reactionary Congress, to head off an attempt to send a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to the states. And if you look at the eleven referenda much later—in 2004, in the election—which the Republicans put on the ballot to try to get the base vote for President Bush up, I think it’s obvious that something had to be done to try to keep the Republican Congress from presenting that.”
This is a story Democrats telling each other to make themselves feel better. It is not the truth. DADT came about in 1993. The DOMA wasn't signed until 1996 a full 3 years later. He signed DOMA to save his skin. It was the middle of the campaign, and Republicans hatched this plan. They thought he would veto it.

I will say this though. This is a issue that Democrats can criticize the president on. I don't understand any Republican taking anyone to task over this. That's very hypocritical since you vote for a party that is anti-gay. Please, save us all the self-righteous prose now.
 

superchuck500

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Which is why we need federal legislation to ensure equal marriage rights in all states.
We don't need legislation. We just need the Supreme Court to hold that constitutional equal protection applies to sexual-orientation. They have a chance to do that very soon.
 

superchuck500

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I thought this op/ed by George Will in yesterday's Wash Post ("DOMA Is an Abuse of Federalism") was interesting. He's arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional by virtue of federalism.

So why would Will, a noted tow-the-line conservative, write such a piece urging the striking down of legislation that "protects" the sanctity of marriage between man and woman?

IMO, he knows that DOMA is going to be found unconstitutional, but there are two ways that could happen. (1) As Will writes, there is solid SCOTUS precedent that matters of marriage and families should be left to the states - this is the federalism basis. Or, (2) the SCOTUS could rule that DOMA is unconstitutional because it is discriminatory on its face against homosexuals, a protected class under constitutional equal protection - this is the equal protection basis.

For gay marriage opponents, the equal protection outcome would be disastrous. It would mean that state laws as well as federal laws that discriminate against homosexuals would be unconstitutional. But the federalism approach would leave state laws against gay marriage intact (and arguably even stronger).

So Mr. Will . . . we see what you did there.

George F. Will: DOMA infringes on states
 

tjharris

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Marriage should be legal between two adults. Divorce, however should be made illegal.
Lets see how many people wanna get married then. Gay or straight.
 

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