Defense Of Marriage Act

Hillary Clinton Campaigning As A “Progressive”, Against Husband Bill Clinton’s “Moderate” Presidency!

Hillary Clinton is campaigning as a “progressive”, but her husband, while in office as the 42nd President, was far from progressive!

Many would say that Bill Clinton (1993-2001) was a “raging moderate” in so many ways.

Despite being attacked by Republicans incessantly, and being impeached by them as well, Bill Clinton actually cooperated with them on many issues, and was also often quite critical of liberals in his own party.


He signed into law the end of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1995.

He signed into law the end of the federal guarantee of welfare in 1996, leaving it to the states to decide levels of support of single mothers and children, and the elderly and disabled.

He signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which was a big step back from the idea of gay equality.  Earlier in 1994, he had promoted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, backing away from equality for gays.

He signed the Omnibus Crime legislation in 1994, which was a major crackdown on crime, and that allowed the arrest and incarceration of many young people, many of them African American and Latino, on minor drug charges, filling up America’s prisons.

He signed NAFTA into law in 1993, which undermined labor, and caused an influx of foreign goods, due to the low tariffs, now opposed by his wife.

He signed into law a repeal of much of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1998,  which led to bank expansion of loans and mortgages, and much larger banks that helped to lead to the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

He called himself a “New Democrat” in 1992, criticized liberalism often, and was involved in the centrist Democratic Leadership Council group.

This does not mean that Bill Clinton did not have some really positive aspects domestically to his Presidency, but he was certainly considered by many to be a “Republicrat”, rather than a Democrat.

He, along with Jimmy Carter, were the least progressive Democratic Presidents, when compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and also Barack Obama, after Carter and Clinton.

This might be because Carter and Clinton were Southern Democrats, but the point is that Bill Clinton, while good on some issues, was not a progressive, as his wife now is campaigning on against Bernie Sanders!

Does it mean that Hillary Clinton cannot have “learned” from the mistakes  of the 1990s, honestly?  NO, but the point is she is very different as a campaigner than her husband was!

Of course, when one thinks about it, Hillary is running for the Presidency a full generation after her husband won his second and last term, the last time he was facing the voters!


Irony: Bush V. Gore Attorneys Joined Together To Win Gay Marriage Case In California!

It is extremely ironic to realize that the opposing attorneys in the infamous Bush V. Gore case, which George W. Bush won over Al Gore in the Supreme Court, making Bush the 43rd President of the United States, have now triumphed in the most significant civil liberties decision in recent memory, the case against Proposition 8 in California.

This victory in the Supreme Court last month allowed the revival of gay marriages in the most populous state in the Union, with about one out of every eight Americans!

That case, along with the case that declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional for its discrimination against gay couples who wished to marry, will stand out in the history of civil rights and civil liberties in America.

And these two heroes are Ted Olson, who represented George W. Bush, and David Boies, who represented Al Gore, and now are joined together in a case that will go down in history as just as important as the Bush V. Gore case, and possibly more so, as the long range effect of winning gay marriage in the Supreme Court is massive!

Georgia Congressman John Lewis: The Connection Between Voting Rights And Gay Rights

Georgia Congressman John Lewis has been a major civil rights leader, connected with Martin Luther King, Jr,, and had his head cracked while marching for voting rights in the South.

As a Congressman since 1987, Lewis has been a voice of conscience, and was a rare case of a politician condemning the Defense Of Marriage Act , when it passed Congress in 1996, and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, afraid to take a stand against it, due to his reelection campaign of that year for the Presidency.

At that time, Lewis compared the concept of interracial marriage,. which had been illegal until 1967, and said gay marriage was no different than interracial marriage, that anyone should be able to marry the person he or she loves!

So Lewis was devastated by the decision of the Supreme Court, negating Section 4 of the Voting Rights Acts of 1965, while thrilled by the decisions of the Supreme Court allowing for gay marriage in California, and for federal recognition of gay marriage, relating to its legality, and the right of gay couples to benefits and privileges of married couples!

Lewis has felt all kinds of emotion in the past two days, and he has stated eloquently, that voting rights guarantees that took nearly a century to accomplish, and were in place for almost half a century,. are now gone, and will it take another century to restore the guarantee of voting rights without any discrimination?

So it is hard not to feel the pain and emotional turmoil this great man, an icon of civil rights, is going through at age 73! God bless him and protect him for many more years of devoted service to civil rights and human rights!

We will see him again as the one surviving major civil rights leaders who participated 50 years ago in the March On Washington on August 28, 1963, which will be reenacted on August 24, 2013!

Two Gay Marriage Decisions Of Supreme Court Are Landmark Path Breaking Decisions, Among Greatest In American History!

The two gay marriage decisions of the Supreme Court today will be seen as landmark, path breaking decisions, among the greatest in all of American history!

It has been a long time coming for gay and lesbian Americans, to achieve legal equality under the law and Constitution of the United States. It is a fantastic victory for civil rights and human rights, and will make it a lot easier for young Americans, and really all Americans, who recognize they have a different sexual orientation, which should not be discriminated against by others who refuse to accept change!

The decisions declare the key provision of the Defense Of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and also allow California to follow the circuit court decision, negating Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state, after it has already been allowed.

So California will join twelve other states over the next few months that allow gay marriage—Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in New England; New York, Maryland and Delaware in the Middle Atlantic; Iowa and Minnesota in the Midwest; and Washington State on the Pacific Coast.

It seems likely that other states, mostly “Blue” Democratic states in the last Presidential election, will soon join those 13 states, while the likelihood of “Red” or Republican states legalizing it seems far off, if not impossible to imagine.

But the fight to have the Supreme Court overturn the entire Defense of Marriage Act, allowing the Court to declare gay marriage legal in all states, following the tradition of Loving V. Virginia on interracial marriage in 1967, is the next battle, as the right to marry should be national in scope, not based on the states denying equal protection under the law!

It will take some time, but the day is not far off before gay marriage is legal everywhere in America, and if the right wing and the religious bigots have a problem, so be it, as they will have to accept it, as much as they opposed interracial marriage fifty years ago, but ultimately had to accept, at least publicly, although one can be certain there are many such people as these, who still are opposed to interracial marriage!

The point is that the right to marry is a civil right, and no public opinion poll, referendum, or utterance of a talk show host or some preacher should stand in the way of this basic human right, and the right to pursuit of happiness!

The Bush V. Gore Attorney Rivals Now On Same Side For Gay Marriage

It is ironic that the two attorneys joining forces to fight for gay marriage and call for the rejection of Proposition 8 in California and the Defense of Marriage Act are rivals who fought the case for the 2000 Presidential election contest in the Supreme Court between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Now, Ted Olson and David Boies are working together after Olson won the case for George W. Bush, but both of them, one Republican and one Democrat, felt that the case for gay marriage was so strong that they were willing to overcome their rivalry, and fight for a basic human right, the right to marry, for all people, not just straight but gay as well!

It demonstrates that there is a case for both Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and progressives, to join together on an issue of fairness, equality, equal protection of the laws, and basic civil rights.

The gay marriage and gay rights movement could not have finer advocates for their cause than these two brilliant attorneys!

Justice Harry Blackmun (1973), Justice Anthony Kennedy (2003), And The Likelihood Of Transformative Moment In Constitutional History Again!

Associate Justice Harry Blackmun was a THIRD choice of President Richard Nixon for the Supreme Court in 1970 after rejection of Clement Haynesworth and G. Harrold Carswell, and Blackmun went on to make history in 1973, in authoring the decision in Roe V. Wade, arguably the most important decision in modern times on women’s rights!

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy was a THIRD choice of President Ronald Reagan in 1988 after rejection of Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg, and Kennedy went on to make history in 2003, in authoring the majority opinion in Lawrence V. Texas, arguably the most important decision in modern times on gay and lesbian rights!

Are we about to see another transformative moment in the Court’s history and in constitutional history, with the upcoming case on gay marriage, being argued tomorrow and Wednesday, with Kennedy believed likely to continue to support gay advancement, and the hope that he will bring along Chief Justice John Roberts, who has a sense of history, and already showed leadership and courage in backing ObamaCare last June?

Many experts believe the Supreme Court will broadly back gay marriage, although they could just do a narrow decision on Proposition 8 in California, and on the Defense of Marriage Act as an alternative.

But this decision, if broadly based, could be of similar impact, as Loving V. Virginia was on interracial marriage in 1967, or Brown V. Board Of Education was on racial integration of public schools in 1954!

Gay Marriage Acceptable To Majority In New Washington Post-ABC News Poll

It is now clear that the American people recognize that homosexuality is not a choice, but is the way some people are born,

58 percent of those polled thought gay marriage should be legalized, as compared to 36 percent who disagreed with the concept.. The numbers have almost exactly switched in the past ten years.

Among young people, support is at an all time high of 81 percent, with 50 percent of the elderly against it. And a small majority of Republicans and Independents under the age of 50 support gay marriage, although 70 percent of Republicans over the age of 65 oppose it, down from 80 percent.

Overall, 72 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Independents, and 59 percent of Republicans support gay marriage.

Overall, 62 percent of all polled feel that the Supreme Court should decide the issue of gay marriage on a national level and based on the US Constitution, not allowing state by state, much like the Loving V. Virginia case on interracial marriage decided the issue nationally in 1967.

This week, what could be the most dynamic case of the Court in many years will be argued on the constitutionality of the Defense Of Marriage Act of 1996, and Proposition 8 of the state of California. The decision could transform American society in a dramatic way!

Hillary Clinton’s Endorsement Of Gay Marriage: What It Portends

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has finally endorsed gay marriage in a strong public statement, mirroring her husband’s statement that the Defense of Marriage Act, passed during his Presidency in 1996, was a mistake, and that it was time for it to be repealed.

Hillary Clinton has always been a strong supporter of gay rights, but avoided gay marriage until now.

The question is why, and there are three answers:

The Supreme Court is about to hear a case that could transform this nation on the subject of marriage, unlike anything since Loving V Virginia in 1967, which finally declared interracial marriage to be constitutional. Extra pressure on the Court at a time like this cannot help but possibly influence Justice Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts, either or both who could be the decisive votes on the case.

Many Democrats have endorse gay marriage, including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and potential Democratic nominees for President, including Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York and Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland, so if Hillary Clinton is soon to decide to run for President in 2016 she would, obviously, need to get into line on the issue.

Also, Hillary could be taking this step out of pure principle, and belief that the time is right for this significant social advancement.

No matter what the motivation, and it is probably all three, it is proper to salute Hillary Clinton for speaking up, once again, for human rights and human dignity!

Momentous Day As Supreme Court Chooses To Pass Judgment On Gay Marriage!

Today has been a very momentous day, as the United States Supreme Court has chosen to accept two cases on gay marriage, one involving the constitutionality of the Defense Of Marriage Act of 1996, and the other the validity of the passage of Proposition 8 in California, banning gay marriage.

This could be the blockbuster case of the present term, when it is decided in late June of 2013, after oral arguments in March.

This matter brings to mind the Loving V Virginia case of 1967, when the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of interracial couples to be able to marry, a very controversial and divisive case in the age of the Civil Rights Movement.

It should be pointed out that many Southerners and Christian religious leaders opposed interracial marriage bitterly, but once it was settled by the Supreme Court, the issue was moot.

The same opposition, heavily Southern and religiously based, is now vehemently against gay marriage, but the tides of history are going against a continuation of discrimination.

If gay marriage is accepted by the Court, after already being legal in nine states, no religious group would be required to marry a gay couple, but they could be married civilly by a judge or county clerk, or hire someone who is legally qualified to marry couples.

The belief is strong that the Court will rule at least 5-4, if not 6-3, for gay marriage rights, with the four Democratic appointments to the Court—Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan—voting for the majority, along with Justice Anthony Kennedy, and possibly Chief Justice John Roberts.

Kennedy is the key vote, but since he supported the right of gays to privacy in the Lawrence V. Texas case in 2003, and was, indeed, the decisive fifth vote, it is believed he will take a step further in support of this major step forward.

Roberts is an unknown quantity, but after his surprising vote for ObamaCare in June, it is believed he might join the majority on this significant case.

So now, ten years later, it looks likely that the Court will have evolved further, and the right of anyone to marry who they love will be guaranteed as a basic civil right.

This is basic social justice, and a majority in public opinion polls, and particularly the younger generation, support gay marriage.

No one is saying that there cannot be people who oppose gay marriage, but society does not have the right to use their prejudices and religious views to deny basic human rights to others!

Herman Cain, Allen West, Tim Scott: African American Republicans Who Come Across As Outside The Mainstream!

A recent development that makes one wonder about what motivates people is the candidacy of Herman Cain for President, and the words and actions of Congressmen Allen West of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

These people are the face of African Americans in the Republican Party, and all three have made people’s heads turn and eyes roll, as all three have come across as way out of the mainstream of American politics!

Herman Cain, former talk show host and corporate President of Godfather Pizza, is running for President, and making ridiculous statements, including letting the average American decide if a mosque can be built in his or her community, and stating that he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet. He also has made statements against Mormons, as not being a Christian group, and while that could be argued, the answer is who cares, as we do not have a religious test for public office!

How would the American people react if we were to say that a church or synagogue could not be built? It is not up to the average American to limit the rights of any religious group to organize, and Cain shows tremendous prejudice against both Muslims and Mormons.

Now Cain has suggested that Barack Obama face impeachment because of the Health Care legislation, and because the administration is attempting to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. So we are to impeach a President because we disagree with his policy choices? Then every President would face impeachment!

Also, Cain claims he woke up after finishing fifth in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll, believing that he will be the Republican Presidential nominee, which means he is mentally deranged, having delusions of grandeur! What an embarrassment to the party and to the African American community at large, and notice he has no ideas or suggestions to help create jobs for his own community or Americans at large!

Then, there is Allen West, who uses incendiary language regularly, uses his military background as a plus, even though he was drummed out of the military for inappropriate behavior in Iraq, and fails to act in a chivalrous manner against anyone who dares to criticize him on the issues! So he goes ahead and insults Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to the extreme, using inappropriate language in an email, over reacting to her denunciation of his stand against Medicare, when he has hundreds of thousands of constituents in his district who are covered by Medicare. West refused to apologize for his outburst, and obviously has an anger problem, and yet some are crazy enough to suggest him for Vice President!

Tim Scott has also called for the impeachment of Obama because of the Debt Ceiling Crisis, even though both he and West contributed to it through their support of the Tea Party Movement, and both of them are among the most right wing members of the GOP presently, and both are a disgrace in the sense of not accepting how their stands hurt the African American community at large.

It is almost as if Herman Cain, Allen West, and Tim Scott are aliens from outer space, who somehow got stranded on earth, and need to be examined in a lab for their weirdness, and anger, and self hate of who they are!