Bill Clinton: Why We Must End DOMA

Ex-president calls on Supreme Court to reject law he signed
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2013 3:36 AM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2013 4:30 AM CST
Why We Must End DOMA
Bill Clinton attends an event in Lagos, Nigeria, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

The Supreme Court is preparing to take up the Defense of Marriage Act—and the very president who signed it is urging justices to strike it down. DOMA came at "a very different time" in US history, writes Bill Clinton in a Washington Post editorial. No state recognized same-sex marriage, and just 81 of 535 members of Congress opposed the measure's passage. Some senators, Clinton notes, saw the law as a way of preventing a more extreme constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

The Supreme Court will examine whether DOMA supports "freedom, equality, and justice above all." Since signing the measure in 1996, "I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution," Clinton writes. The law bars same-sex married couples from "more than a thousand federal statutes and programs available to other married couples." At the time, Clinton noted that the law shouldn't "provide an excuse for discrimination." But "I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory," he writes. Click through for the full piece. (Read more Bill Clinton stories.)

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