Is there anyone more shameless than Bill Clinton? In his latest attempt to position himself as all-around pal of the LGBT community, Clinton is among those celebrating the achievements of Edith Windsor and her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, who successfully challenged the Defense of Marriage Act before the Supreme Court last year.
You remember DOMA. That’s the bill that Bill Clinton signed into law. And then proceeded to feature in campaign ads targeting conservative Christian voters.
Clinton’s remarks come as part of Logo’s “Trailblazers” special to be broadcast Thursday. He says that he is “honored and grateful to be among the voices urging” the death of DOMA. As for Windsor and Kaplan, “as marriage equality spreads across the states, the number of people impacted by these two amazing women will only continue to grow,” Clinton says.
Clinton got around to calling for the Supreme Court to strike down DOMA three months before the Court did so. By an amazing coincidence, that’s just around the same time that his wife announced that she supported marriage equality, and around ten months after Obama announced his support for marriage.
In an exchange on NPR last week, Hillary was clearly irritated when pressed about the timing and reasoning of her evolution. Bill has the advantage of providing a taped statement, so he can’t be questioned.
What’s galling about Bill Clinton’s embrace for LGBT rights is that he has never apologized for the laws he saddled the community with while in office. You can argue that 1996 was a very different time than it is today, but you can’t argue that Clinton put politics above principle. Instead of making a statement about his belief in LGBT rights, he was willing to sacrifice his gay and lesbian supporters on the altar of political expediency and then actual try to cultivate the antigay vote to boot.
If Clinton was a real homophobe, it would be easier to forgive him, but he was the most gay friendly president elected up until then. He knew better. He just wouldn’t risk the political capital for us.
So hurray for Bill Clinton recognizing how great Edie Windsor and Roberta Kaplan are. Of course, if it hadn’t been for him in the first place, we may never have had to find that out.