Friday, June 28, 2013
The Defense of Marriage Act, just overturned by the US Supreme Court, was as cynical and opportunistic a political ploy as I've ever seen. That opportunism was exemplified by Bill Clinton, who signed the Act into law in order to clear the playing field for the 1996 election and yesterday cheered its reversal.
The only thing the Act was intended to defend was the Republican Congressional majority. By creating a controversy, the Republicans hoped to stimulate turnout among their base. That it fostered discrimination and persecution was irrelevant.
Everyone at the time thought it would be swiftly overturned by the courts, because it was so obviously discriminatory. Due to the Bush Presidency, that didn't happen. Had it been overturned early, there would have been few political implications. However, things have changed. As a result, the overtuning of the Act will lead to full recognition of same-sex marraiage at the Federal level. In a sense, the opportunistic effort to win the 1996 elections has led to de-facto approval of Gay marriage by the US Government. And Bill Clinton comes out a winner.