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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hillary Clinton's Dance Around DOMA

Pam Spaulding has Clinton's complete statement on DOMA at Yearly Kos:

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 I think it's, I think part three of DOMA needs to be repealed because part three stands in the way of the full extension of federal benefits and I support that.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.

I sent Pam an email, some of which she published:

Subject: Hillary's Claim About DOMA is an Absolute Lie

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

She 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.


Pedro Morgado said...

This is América! Nive Cartoon!

Leland Traiman said...

Same-sex marriage with all of the rights, benefits and obligations of marriage cannot exist in the United States in the near future. Here is why: Forty-five states have laws or constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Source: Human Rights Campaign) There has been over 48 million votes cast on this issue in 29 states and almost 32 million, almost two-thirds, voted against same-sex marriage. As the noted gay historian and professor at the University of Illinois, John D'Emilio, observed in his 2006 article, The Marriage Fight Is Setting Us Back, "The campaign for same-sex marriage has been an unmitigated disaster. It has created a vast body of new anti-gay laws." There has already been, in effect, a national referendum and we have lost......BIG.

Despite the title, "marriage", same-sex marriage with all of the rights, benefits and obligations of marriage does not even exist in Massachusetts. Massachusetts's same-sex marriage, California's domestic partners, and Vermont and New Jersey's civil unions all have the same federal benefits of marriage: zero.

There is a myth that marriage has more rights and benefits than civil unions/domestic partners. That myth is born from the fact that civil unions/domestic partners have only been passed by states. States have no power to grant the 1100 federal benefits of marriage. However, a national civil union policy, which Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Dodd, & Biden have pledge to support, would.

In poll after poll, a clear majority of voters say they would support civil unions with all the same rights, benefits and obligations of marriage but they would not support same-sex marriage. Illogical? Yes! But it is a fact we must live with.

There have been no successful direct challenges to statewide domestic partner or civil union policies. Domestic partners and civil unions have been overturned only when they were included in ballot propositions whose primary purpose was to ban same-sex marriage.

All of the rights, benefits and obligations of marriage are attainable, with public support, under the title civil unions or domestic partners. Same-sex marriage is not. We may not like that fact, however, it is none-the-less a fact. Why the leaders of our community do not see the obvious is beyond my understanding. It is time that someone in the lesbian and gay community tell our leaders that their strategy on same-sex marriage has failed. We must return to the successful strategy of attaining our rights through civil unions and domestic partners which has worked well for over 20 years.

Leland Traiman