Bob Barr Will Tell Log Cabin Republicans About His Biggest Sin To Gay Americans: Writing DOMA

Bob Barr, who served in the House from 1995-2003 as a representative from Georgia, pushed to impeach President Bill Clinton, and attempted to live in the White House in 2008 as a Libertarian, is perhaps best known from writing the Defense Of Marriage Act, which Congress and Clinton passed into law in 1996. By 2009, however, Barr was publicly denouncing the law he authored, saying he had “come to agree with [Obama] that the law should be repealed.” Now Barr will be headlining the Log Cabin Republicans’ annual national dinner, taking place April 30 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.

“I’ve wrestled with this issue for the last several years and come to the conclusion that DOMA is not working out as planned,” wrote Barr two years ago. “In testifying before Congress against a federal marriage amendment, and more recently while making my case to skeptical Libertarians as to why I was worthy of their support as their party’s presidential nominee, I have concluded that DOMA is neither meeting the principles of federalism it was supposed to, nor is its impact limited to federal law.”

And while Barr is a guest of LCR, that doesn’t mean its splinter group GOProud wouldn’t like him. While GOProud has officially has no stance on federal marriage rights, Barr at least is on board with “states’ rights”; he wants “to get the federal government out of the marriage business. In law and policy, such decisions should be left to the people themselves.”

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  • dvlaries

    What is the tally, anyway, of these retired right-wingers who did all the damage possbile to us when empowered to help us, and then later, when they don’t have to appease the base, start making all these mea culpa-sounding squeaks?

  • justiceontherocks

    I talked with Barr about this. (It took patience, believe me.) I’m not sure whether he believes in marriage equality. What he changed his mind about is whether the question of who can or cannot get married is something Congress – instead of state legislatures – should be concerned with. His position to me, and I think it’s consistent with what he’s said in public, is that the states should decide who can get married. When I asked him if he thought due process or equal protection required marriage equality, the answer was, basically, “I don’t know.”

    Now, if he said I authored DOMA to reap a political advantage from people who were scared of you homos and I was wrong and I repent, then we could accuse him of pandering to us. But so far he hasn’t even done that.

  • Mike in Asheville

    If the only supporters of equality for LGBT rights in 1996 are the same supporter today, there would be no marriage equality anywhere in the US, and none of the gains made in the last 15 years for ANY civil rights: in 1996, the majority of Americans simply didn’t like us and were comfortable denying us equality. Indeed, in 1996, there were states that criminalized same-sex sex.

    It is only because those who were against us and those who didn’t care HAVE CHANGED THEIR MINDS and have embraced equality. Sure we still have a way, a long way, to go. But the only way to get equality is when the majority support that goal. We need each and every one of those who have switched their minds and politics. The alternative is to be stuck with the discrimination placed upon.


    @No. 1 DVLARIES

    DOMA was passed with 32 of 46 DEMOCRATIC Senate and 118 of 178 DEMOCRATIC House votes. And signed into law by DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton.

    Yes many more Repugnatans remain anti-gay while many Democrats have changed positions. But that has only occurred because people have and can change their minds. In regard to DOMA specifically, the vast majority of Democrats supported and voted for this legislation, the majority of Democrats in various states also adopted similar version for their state.

    My point is DO NOT forget that Democrats too require lobbying and efforts, and we need them too to change their minds.

  • SteveC

    He deserves utter contempt.

    He’s a neo-fascist pib by virtue of his actions. He pathetic turn about now that it’s too late deserves as much scorn and condemnation as Ken ‘Uncle Tom’ Mehlman received.

  • B

    No. 3 · Mike in Asheville wrote, “DOMA was passed with 32 of 46 DEMOCRATIC Senate and 118 of 178 DEMOCRATIC House votes. And signed into law by DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton.”

    Why is that suprising? DOMA was introduced by Republicans partly to pander to the social conservatives and in the hope that Bill Clinton would veto it (which might shift votes to Bob Dole).

    With no chance of it failing, a lot of Democrats in the legislature voted for it to avoid losing votes. Bill Clinton did the same thing – all the more so considering that DOMA passed with enough votes to override a veto.

    Bottom line: don’t expect a politician to commit political suicide, particularly by voting against a measure that will pass regardless. A lot of them may be megalomaniacs but they do not have delusions of being Jesus Christ to the point of getting themselves figuratively crucified for righteousness’ sakes.

  • Jim Hlavac

    Since we need every hetero — every one of them — to change their minds, what difference does it make who does it, when they do it, or how they arrived at their conclusion, or what they did in the past? The fact is, the man says he’s changing his mind. Good. If we are never to accept a change of heart or mind, we’re screwed. The one thing that has made it get better is that people changed their hearts and mind. So now Barr is another one. Good for him.

  • Cam

    It just shows that Politicians will say or do whatever they think they need to to get elected. He can’t run as a GOP for pres, but he can as a liberaterian. So what does he do? He changes his supposedly sacred views.

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