Shocking! Bill Clinton changes views on marriage

Former President Bill Clinton has joined President Obama – a man whose 2008 presidential campaign Clinton once referred to as a “fairy tale” – in advocating for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, a bill he signed into law in 1996.

Clinton, in an op-ed published March 7th, writes “it was a very different time” back then. It was never my intent for DOMA to “provide an excuse for discrimination.” But now, Clinton vacuously argues, “the law is itself discriminatory.” And “it should be overturned” because “it is contrary” to “the principles of a nation that honors freedom, equality and justice.”

Bill Clinton

Clinton’s politically calculated decision comes on the heels of a well-crafted public relations campaign designed to put pressure on the Supreme Court as it prepares to hear two cases on gay rights later this year: one on the constitutionality of DOMA and one on whether or not California’s Proposition 8 – a measure that banned gay marriage and was supported by 7 out of 10 African Americans – is legal.

That public relations campaign included some not so unimportant Republicans. In a video recently released by the Respect for Marriage Coalition, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Laura Bush (who complained she never consented to being included in the video) were shown expressing their support for gay marriage.

Additionally, more than 100 Republicans have signed their names to an amicus curiae brief expressing their desire for the Court to rule in favor of same sex marriage.

The decision by many Republicans to flip fop on a societal building block such as marriage has caused much consternation within the party. Indeed, some are beginning to question whether gay marriage is in reality a conservative position. I disagree with that, and I’ll explain why in a moment, but the politics of gay marriage for the Republican Party is fascinating.

As a party desperately seeking to appeal to voters who are not middle-age white men, some in the GOP are, as Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post points out, seeing the shifting statistics on gay marriage and throwing their support behind an issue they think will win them votes.

This attitude reflects what one-time presidential hopeful Mitch Daniels said more than two years ago: We “have to call a truce on the so-called social issues.”

At the same time, gay marriage is not something minority communities, especially African Americans and Hispanics, are especially fond of. And many grassroots conservatives oppose it as well.

CPAC, also known as the Conservative Political Action Conference, put itself at the center of this debate by refusing to invite members of GOProud, a well heeled organization of gay and straight Americans who advocate on behalf of conservative principles, to its upcoming 2013 meeting. Oddly enough, CPAC also refused to extend an invitation to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a man who vetoed legislation that would have made gay marriage legal in his state.

In the meantime, advocates of ultra minimal government who nonetheless support the Republican Party have come out in support of gay marriage as well. Clint Eastwood, who spoke at the GOP convention last year, summed up the always insightful perspective of the libertarian worldview by saying we should just “leave everybody alone” when it comes to marriage.

It has also been reported that the Republican Party of Illinois is debating whether or not they should remove its party chairman Pat Brady for expressing his desire to end that state’s ban on gay marriage.

The internal squabbling over gay marriage within the Republican Party is shaping up to be a moderate/establishment versus conservative/grassroots issue. And it is one that may cause major issues in the future. But it shouldn’t. Being conservative, neigh, being Republican, is, at its core, being pro-family. And being pro-family means supporting traditional marriage.

Ryan T. Anderson, co-author of What is Marriage?, reminds us of this in a post over at the Heritage Foundation blog:

Support for marriage as the union of a man and a woman is essential to American—and conservative—principles. Indeed, nothing could be less conservative than urging an activist court to redefine an essential institution of civil society.

Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. It is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and on the social reality that children need a mother and a father.

Marriage predates government. It is the fundamental building block of all human civilization.

Anderson goes on to add that

Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children. It would deny as a matter of policy the ideal that a child needs a mom and a dad.

Redefining marriage to abandon the norm of male-female sexual complementarity would also make other essential characteristics—such as monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency—optional.

Redefining marriage is a direct and demonstrated threat to religious freedom that marginalizes those who affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Anderson’s argument should resonate with those not only on the political right but with moderates on the fence about gay marriage, as it is the most common sense, clear-thinking approach one can have to such a critical issue.

  • Don Osman

    In he beginning God created
    man and woman to populate
    the world. Let’s keep it
    that way

  • Marla Svihl

    So glad that Jesus said I am the way , the truth and the life! I have stability to follow! God is the same today, as he was , and will be tomorrow. These people want us to believe we a the minority. You would think there are at least 50% gays. The truth of the matter is less than 5% on the average of the population! Give or take ,

  • Nesta Callahan

    Marriage is the union between a Man and a Woman created by Jesus Christ! If man wants to make a thing that can be recognized by a man or a woman about homosexuals, why not name it Homosexual! It would be more meaningful as well as pleasing to those people who Love the Christian way of looking at the Saviors motive for making Marriage a Sacramental Union! Now if Jesus wanted to make Marriage between Homosexuals legal He would have done it!

    • Karen


  • Dan Brennan

    This is a a very well executed PR campaign. It is exactly how to slowly “turn up the burner” over time on a major public policy effort — steadily create earned media and shape the news with well known figures, each more famous than the previous, gradually building to a climax at some predetermined date at which time the PR campaign gets taken to a new level. Clinton has got to be near the top of their heap so we are likely going to see one more public figure, perhaps a prominent Republican like John McCain or even Dick Cheney will represent the crescendo of this orchestrated PR drive. What will take place on the new level, we can only guess, coordinated rallies and public protests seem likely. Watch for a new incident that will create a victim or victims seeking sympathy and to stir emotions they hope will carry over into broader public support for their goal. If such an incident does take place, it most likely will be staged.

  • Samwise

    St. Peter meets Bill Clinton at the pearly gates:
    “It’s not like He didn’t give you 2nd and 3rd chances Bill”

  • Antonio A. Badilla

    Isn’t that nice? I guess he also “evolved” on the issue?
    Like most politicians, one more hypocrite to deal with!



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