Former Republican Senator Bob Barr once whole-heartedly supported the Defense of Marriage Act. Now that he’s running for President on the Libertarian ticket, however, he’s had a change of heart.
In a recent interview, Barr, who served in Congress from 1995-2003, delineated between two sections of DOMA: a full faith and credit clause that protects the rights of each state to implement its own definition of marriage, and a section that defines marriage as only between one man and one woman under federal law.
“This [second part] was intended to apply to federal programs, such as survivor benefits, Social Security [and others],” he said.
Barr said it is the second part of DOMA he would work to repeal if elected president.
“Over the years and over the last year since I’ve been more active in the Libertarian Party, I’ve talked with a number of individuals, including members of Outright Libertarians [a gay Libertarian group], and have come to view the second part as having been used as a club, or the tail wagging the dog,” Barr said. “It has become in effect a national definition of marriage. This is not what I intended.”
That’s what he wants us to believe, of course. Some more cynical citizens claim the Outright Libertarians twisted his arm toward a more inclusive policy. Barr’s running mate, Wayne Allyn Root, insisted to us that wasn’t the case.