Former President Bill Clinton's call
for the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) is being criticized.
DOMA, which Clinton signed into law in
1996, prevents federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages
of gay and lesbian couples. In an op-ed published Thursday in The
Washington Post, Clinton called the law discriminatory and called
for the high court to strike it down.
Critics, however, charge that Clinton
did not say enough.
“As welcome as Clinton's words are,
there are two that are conspicuously absent: I'm sorry,” wrote Post
“Sorry for signing the bill. Sorry
for crowing about it in radio ads on Christian radio stations during
his '96 reelection campaign. Sorry for the harm it has caused
same-sex couples and the income inequality it exacerbates.”
Huffington Post Gay Voices
editor Michelangelo Signorile had harsher words.
“The reason Bill Clinton signed DOMA
is, quite simply, because he refused to be leader on a civil rights
issue, irrationally fearful of the ramifications of vetoing the bill
and rationalizing the damage caused by signing it,” Signorile
wrote. “That refusal to take leadership really goes back to
day one of his presidency. That was when he signaled to the GOP,
like a frightened person on the street signals fear to a barking dog,
that he was deathly afraid of the gay issue and would not be a leader