Does the DNC Really Support SSM?

A few years back, the DNC was somewhat wishy-washy on the issue:

Nevertheless, Obama has also publicly opposed same-sex marriage, and a White House aide said the president’s position has not changed.

“He supports civil unions, doesn’t personally support gay marriage though he supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, and has opposed divisive and discriminatory initiatives like Prop. 8 in other states,” said the official, who asked not to be named.[/quote] … 71900.html[quote]
Well, that’s just splendid. A key voting bloc for Democrats celebrates an important civil rights victory, and the White House heralds the occasion by coupling its enthusiasm for the victory with a reminder that it opposes the actual civil right that’s at stake.[/quote]

Still, it’s probably unfair of me to single out the White House and the president for this shameful display of muddle-mouthed lip service. After all, they’re just behaving like typical Democrats. Sure, there are individual exceptions, but as a general rule, Democrats treat the LGBT community as a captive constituency. They may not be able or willing to come out in favor of gay marriage, but at least they aren’t Republicans, right? Democratic party leaders may oppose gay marriage – or at least demonstrate a studied unwillingness to take a stand on the issue. But at least they aren’t Tom Emmer – openly hostile to equal rights of any kind and friendly with groups who take a Uganda-esque view of homosexuality – right? That counts for something, doesn’t it?

Well, it does, but not much. Right now, LGBT citizens are trapped in a choice between a party that opposes their very existence and a party that, you know, kind of wishes them well. And so the typical policy among Democrats is to do as little as possible for as long as they can, figuring that if the Republican party never changes its position, they can string along the LGBT community for a long while before they have to lay their marker down and risk the vote of any single voter who opposes gay rights.[/quote]

Now, I have said in the last day or so that the issue of SSM is a no brainer, that sooner or later one side will bite the bullet and it will sail through Congress, and that now it is a Liberal issue, but even in 2010 or 2008 (not clear on the date of the article) huffpo saw conservatives gearing up to snatch the issue away:[quote]
Steve Schmidt, who was the senior strategist to Senator John McCain of Arizona during his presidential campaign, said in a speech and an interview that Republicans were in danger of losing these younger voters unless the party comes to appreciate how issues like gay marriage resonate, or do not resonate, with them.

“Republicans should re-examine the extent to which we are being defined by positions on issues that I don’t believe are among our core values, and that put us at odds with what I expect will become, over time, if not a consensus view, then the view of a substantial majority of voters,” he said in a speech.[/quote]
and the response from huffpo:[quote]
Oh, that’s right! Steve Schmidt, one of the top campaign guys in the game, supports gay marriage. And there’s distant signs of thaw between the GOP and the gay community everywhere. There’s Laura Bush’s open support. There’s Megan McCain’s tireless advocacy. There’s Grover Norquist, a conservative movement big-timer, joining up with GOProud – the “national organization of gay conservatives” that served as a CPAC sponsor. You might recall, also, that when a conservative activist took to the CPAC stage to decry the alliance between CPAC and GOProud, he was booed off the stage by attendees.

It still seems unlikely that marriage equality will become the law of the land through the advocacy and support of the Republican party. But it’s getting less and less implausible. And still the Democrats wait and wait and wait and wait, angling to be the champion of LGBT rights at the last possible second.

But it’s possible to wait too long. To speak in glib generalities, the Democratic party is generically seen as the party of civil rights. It’s not a mantle it goes out and earns on a daily basis, but nevertheless, groups with authentic civil rights concerns – African-Americans, Hispanics, women, etc. – turn out in blocs to vote for Democratic politicians and the occasional bones they toss their way. What happens if tomorrow, the GOP shifts to become unambiguous supporters of gay marriage? Well, let’s not kid ourselves – they lose a lot of votes from their base in the short term. Over the long term, however, it could get interesting if members of those traditional Democratic voting blocs start to see the GOP in a new light.[/quote]

Now a few months ago the DNC got a new head and guess what?

So, is the DNC getting their shit together on this issue or once again, paying lip service to the LGBT community?[quote]
On the rec list, there’s a post informing us that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has been picked to run the DNC. Could this be another step in President Obama’s “evolution” on gay marriage? Wasserman-Schultz is a longtime supporter of equality for LGBTs.

"She's with us, an absolute champion when it comes to equality, first as a legislator in Florida," Smith said. "She's brought that fighting spirit to Washington, D.C. She was with us on hate crimes, ENDA [Employment Non-Discrimination Act], marriage equality. She's a founding member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus."

It can’t be an accident that a founder of the LGBT Equality Caucus was picked. In any other situation, the person who is chosen could back away from their previous support for gay marriage while representing their district, if that’s what is asked of them at the national level. But it would be completely impossible to suddenly completely reverse course when she was an actual founding member of the Congressional caucus and an open advocate.

And really, there’s just no way for President Obama to pick someone to head the Democratic Party who supports marriage equality when he himself will keep refusing to sign on. I guess there’s always a chance that any politician could be that stupid, but it would take an enormous level of incompetence to make that sort of blunder a day after kicking off his re-election campaign. It is more likely that he did this with full knowledge of her positions thinking that it will help ease his transition into full support.

Indeed, he did choose her himself:

President Obama is set to name Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) of Florida as the new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, according to numerous published reports.

I will now be surprised if he doesn’t sign on to full support of marriage equality for the 2012 campaign. I cannot imagine the logical hoops one would have to go through in order to keep from supporting it at this point. And honestly I can’t imagine he’d want to spend time making up a convoluted rationalization against marriage during his re-election campaign and months after he not only agreed to stop defending DOMA because of its unconstitutionality, but also asked his DOJ to argue that laws targeted at gays deserve heightened scrutiny. He’s putting himself into a situation where not being in support of marriage would go against most of his actions recently. And it’s difficult to see it continue.

This campaign will be interesting though, for sure.[/quote]

And where is the issue now? Nowhere.
Check this out:[quote]
I can sympathize with those who believe sexual preference is genetic. It may be so, but it remains unproved. Even if it were, this does not mean we are ultimately not responsible for the active choices we make. Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink. And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.[/quote]
Whoa…who said that? Rick Perry.

Where’s the uproar? The outrage?[quote]
Benjamin was surprised that Perry hadn’t been asked about this. Why be surprised? There’s just not the interest in social issues that there was before the economy collapsed. And the change has done wonders for the GOP. In the 2010 exit poll, an electorate that was handing the House of Representatives over to Republicans was also warming to gay marriage—still unpopular, but 30 percent of voters who picked the GOP said they supported it. [/quote]

The issue is right there for the picking. Will the DNC grab it and run? I doubt the GOP will this time around. They don’t need it.

What I read at lunch:[quote]

The Defense of Marriage Act (Pub.L. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419, enacted September 21, 1996, 1 U.S.C. § 7 and 28 U.S.C. § 1738C) is a United States federal law
signed into law by President Bill Clinton
on September 21, 1996 whereby the federal
government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman


Double ouch as that must have included a lot of Dems. [quote]

Section 3 of the law—the part that defines marriage for federal purposes as the union of a man and a woman—was ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court judge in July 2010.[1][2] This decision was appealed in October 2010.[3] On February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department would cease legal defense of the Act’s Section 3 at the direction of President Barack Obama, who had reached a conclusion that Section 3 was unconstitutional.[4] However, Congress may defend the law in court in place of the administration, and on March 4, 2011, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced he was taking steps to defend Section 3 in place of the Department of Justice.[5] Additionally,
the administration intends to enforce the law “unless and until Congress repeals Section 3 or the judicial branch renders a definitive verdict against the law’s constitutionality

So, Obama won’t budge until Congress does. Leading from the rear.

Now, on to what the Law does:

Georgia Representative Bob Barr, then a Republican, authored the Defense of Marriage Act and introduced it on May 7, 1996. Its Congressional sponsors stated, “[T]he bill amends the U.S. Code to make explicit what has been understood under federal law for over 200 years; that a marriage is the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife, and a spouse is a husband or wife of the opposite sex.”[20] The legislative history of the bill asserts authority to enact the law under Article IV Sec. 1, which grants Congress power to determine “the effect” of the full faith and credit each state must grant to other states’ acts. Proponents made clear their purpose to normalize heterosexual marriage on a federal level, while still allowing each state to decide individually whether to recognize same-sex unions from other states.[/quote]

The 1996 Republican Party platform endorsed DOMA, referencing only Section 2 of the Act: “We reject the distortion of [anti-discrimination] laws to cover sexual preference, and we endorse the Defense of Marriage Act to prevent states from being forced to recognize same-sex unions.”[21]
The Democratic Party platform that year did not mention DOMA or marriage
Why not? Wasn’t Clinton the original Mr Hopenchange? [quote]
In a June 1996 interview in the gay and lesbian magazine The Advocate, Clinton said: “I remain opposed to same-sex marriage. I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. This has been my long-standing position, and it is not being reviewed or reconsidered.”[23] He did not mention the issue in his 2004 autobiography.[24] Over time, Clinton’s personal views on same-sex marriage shifted. In July 2009 he said “I personally support people doing what they want to do. I think it’s wrong for someone to stop someone else from doing that [gay marriage].”[25] Clinton added that he personally supports same-sex marriage but does not believe it is a “federal question”, stating, “I think all these states that do it should do it.”[26][/quote]
So he was for it before he was against it…now we know where Hillary got her moral compass from.

The bill moved through Congress on a legislative fast track and met with overwhelming approval in both houses of the Republican-controlled Congress, passing by a vote of 85–14 in the Senate[27] and a vote of 342–67 in the House of Representatives.[28] It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996.[/quote]
Now, the Reps controlled both houses but look at those votes. A whole LOT of Dems voted Yay.
The beat went on:

The 2000 Republican Party platform endorsed DOMA in general terms but introduced a concern about possible judicial action: "We support the traditional definition of ‘marriage’ as the legal union of one man and one woman, and we believe that federal judges and bureaucrats should not force states to recognize other living arrangements as marriages.[30]
The Democratic Party platform that year did not mention DOMA or marriage in this context

Interesting reading.

Next up:
Respect for Marriage Act
H.R. 1116 & S. 598

abortion, gay issue du jour (military, marriage etc…)…Don’t Americans ever get bored of harping about the same old shit that other countries deal with with relative ease?

I think the opposite is true. Americans sit around avoiding the problem until it nearly blows up in their faces and then they do something about it. It’s kind of how many of us go through college. :unamused:

I’ve said before I think it’s a non issue really, and more if not a majority of Americans want gay rights to expand to cover SSM and the number keeps increasing. But the Right half of the government thinks its not the right time and the Left half thinks it’s never the right time.

It’s telling that the original author of the DOMA, a Republican at the time, now regrets it.