Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hillary's DOMA Dilemma

Here is a response that Hillary Clinton gave in response to a question posed by Paul Hogarth of BeyondChron during her breakout session at the YearlyKos Convention:

Secondly, DOMA, I believe that DOMA served a very important purpose. I was one of the architects in the strategy against the Marriage Amendment to the constitution, and DOMA gave us a bright line to be able to hold back the votes that were building up to do what I consider to be absolutely abominable and that would be to amend the constitution to enshrine discrimination. I believe marriage should be left to the states. I support civil unions as I’ve said many times with full equality of benefits and so I think that DOMA appropriately put the responsibility in the states where it has historically belonged and I think you’re beginning to see states take action. I think it’s, I think part three of DOMA needs to be repealed because part three stands in the way of the full extension of federal benefits and I support that. So that’s the first.

She pretty much said that banning equal marriage is discrimination, which makes me wonder why she isn't better on issues of equal rights. But, that's a completely different issue.

However, if Hillary supported passage of DOMA then as a means to prevent passage of FMA, then the fact that FMA no longer stands a chance at passage should be taken into account now. Accordingly, she should take her support of repealing parts of DOMA further.

The commerce clause of the United States constitution makes it clear that each of the States shall respect the laws of other States. Accordingly, it wouldn't be a stretch for her to advocate repealing that provision of DOMA.

Recent news articles in Newsweek and the Washington Blade showcase the tremendous support that Hillary is receiving from the LGBT communities around the country.

The question remains with regard to what we are getting for our support. Very little time has been spent addressing LGBT rights during the previous Presidential debates and forums. This Thursday, Logo Network and the Human Rights Campaign will host a forum with the Democratic Presidential candidates. (Joe Biden never committed and Chris Dodd recently canceled.)

Here is a comment which doesn't make me think that any candidate will be pressed towards taking positions in support of our movement toward equal rights.

The purpose of this forum is not to provide gotcha moments, because that doesn’t serve anybody well,” said Jonathan Capehart, a gay Washington Post editorial page writer who will serve as a panelist for the forum.

But you do want to get the candidates talking about these issues in a way that’s human and not overly rehearsed.

I hope the panelists will consider pressing Hillary on this point. Accordingly, I hope Hillary will show the courage to expand her position and show the LGBT community that she is truly willing to fight for equality.


Jeff Autero said...

Lane I am also a blogger. I can be found at www.savethemiddleclass.com and I am also gay. I am trying to develop an internet talk show and i am looking for a co-host. Any interest? Feel free to go to my site and contact me.

Anonymous said...

Gay rights does seem to be an issue candidates want to avoid. Many in the US, including a few dems I know, seem to be unreasonably homophobic.

My opinion is that nobody is truly free if one person(s) is oppressed.

lloydletta said...

Hillary Clinton's statement about DOMA is an absolute lie. The FMA was not an issue when DOMA was introduced. Want to check the facts? Call Bob Barr - who was the chief author of DOMA. DOMA was about not forcing other states to recognise gay marriages done in a state that allowed gay marriages.

The FMA became an issue much, much later, after a number of constitutional amendments passed in various states in reaction to judicial rulings that suggested state constitutions required recognition that gays be included in the institution of marriage.

The FMA was NOT an issue when DOMA was an issue. The FMA was proposed in 2002.

Hillary Clinton should NOT be allowed to rewrite history. She should also be asked whether she agreed with the Clinton campaign's decision to advertise his support of DOMA on christian radio.

What really occurred is gay groups like HRC did NOT fight this - instead, they were focused on ENDA and Hate Crimes - and gave dems a pass on this one.

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