DOMA Lawyer Thinks We’ve Come Too Far, Too Fast

The Colbert Report

Leave it to comedic genius Stephen Colbert to sort through the news and find exactly what you need to hear. The staunch LGBT ally used his latest weekly segment—”The Word”—to publicize arguments in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, and as always, made more sense of it than any working politician could. It doesn’t take much to throw Paul Clement (the “super-straight, super-lawyer” defending DOMA before the Supreme Court) under the bus, but Colbert manages to find two especially strange Clement quotes that are already poking holes in his case.

“Marriage should be limited to [unions of a man and a woman] because they alone can ‘produce unplanned and unintended offspring.’” —Paul Clement, Los Angeles Times, January 26, 2013

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“…gays and lesbians … have attained more legislative victories, political power, and popular favor in less time than virtually any other group in American history … given that the ultimate inquiry focuses on whether a group needs the special intervention of the courts … the political strength of gays and lesbians in the political process should be outcome determinative here.” —Paul Clement, January 22, 2013

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Basically, Paul Clement thinks we’ve come too far, too fast. Isn’t that a good thing? Go us!

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  • Eric Auerbach

    No, he’s not saying we’ve come too far too fast, he’s saying that because of all the popular support gays and lesbians have earned, there’s no need for the Court to intervene in their favor — presumably, DOMA will eventually be overturned by Congress. Not saying that I agree, but let’s at least not distort the guy’s argument.

  • FStratford

    @Eric Auerbach:

    Its not distortion. What he is saying is that gays can get success in the ballot box and in the legislature, because they are have gained power, so fast, vs, how much power they had when proposition 8 was lost in California. Hence, the judiciary should butt out of it.

    So no distortion there. Just mocking. And deservedly so.

    The problem is, the argument is that RIGHTS should not be voted on, they are self-evident. Hence there is a need for the Judiciary to be involved.

    Our successes in petitioning the other branches of the government for redress does not invalidate our right to petition the courts – where this should be decided.

  • TommyBr

    @FStratford: Did Eric say he agreed with Clement? Nothing in your pompous reply shows Clement said gays have come “too far too fast” or proved Eric wrong, but thanks for pontificating to a group of mostly gay men. We’re all really impressed.

  • FStratford


    I disagreed with Eric’s interpretation that the lawyer did not say that we have come too far too fast.

    So if stating that is pontificating, and you hate it, I don’t care. That is your opinion. You have a right to it, just as I have a right to mine. My opinion is people who whitewash Clement’s statements are working against gay rights, and it is my obligation to voice out the opposing view.

    You are not convinced by my interpretation of events? Fine. That, again is your right. What I find funny is that, you think that me voicing my opinion against someone who wants to prevent our legal equality, expressed in a gay blog, is pompous.

    If gay guys can not defend gay rights in the comment section of a gay blog without being called pompous, then we really do have a loooooooog way to go!

  • L Streeter


    {1} Freedom and equality for ALL Americans were declared in 1776 and clearly mandated by the Constitution in 1787. There is no provision in the Constitution for second class citizens. That glorious document does not say, “Equal rights for everyone except homosexuals.” Therefore, in the eyes of the Constitution—THE LAW OF THE LAND—American heterosexuals and American homosexuals are equal.

    {2} So let’s do the math: 237 years since our equality was declared, and 226 years since our equality was ordained by the Constitution. Paul Clement must have an extremely warped sense of time, because ALMOST TWO AND A HALF CENTURIES seems laboriously slow to me. Clearly though, Paul Clement has a warped sense of just about everything.

  • Cam

    This is the typical right wing, bigot, tea party B.S.

    “The big powerful gays are now running everything! We poor straight people don’t have any power anymore….so those gays don’t need the courts to help them.”

    They’ve tried the same B.S. with every single civil rights fight over the last 100 years. Gee, women have the vote and can own property…..they don’t need protections from workplace sexual harassment, etc…

  • gppm1103

    @FStratford: You and Eric are disagreeing with the interpretation. I don’t think you are pompous at all. Neither one of you are.

    Tommy needs a valium.

  • PlayNice

    The reason he is making that argument is that the level of political support that a minority has is one “test” that the Supreme Court has typically used in deciding how much “scrutiny” to give to claims of discrimination. So essentially he’s trying to get the court to adopt a more hands-off mode of review than they would otherwise apply. Not that I agree with him or anything. But it’s a more dangerous argument than it seems, since it has (however bullshit and made up) some technical relevance that might weigh on however Anthony Kennedy was feeling that day.

  • rand503

    The arugment is aimed at Scalia, who has said in the past that gays are winning rights because they are so politically powerful, and therefor don’t need court ordered rights.

    Of course, Scalia is already voting against us, so you would think that Clement would aim for the moderates and the liberals, but he must think he can get five votes with this argument.

Comments are closed.