GLAAD To Honor Bill Clinton Despite Not Apologizing For Using DOMA To Win Re-Election

When it comes to political expediency, no one can beat Bill Clinton. When it comes to apologizing for misdeeds, no one can find Bill Clinton. The man who gave us both Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and DOMA is being honored by GLAAD with its Advocate for Change Award. The change in this case apparently refers to Clinton’s recent shift on DOMA in a Washington Post op-ed, that was most noticeable for his inability to say he was sorry for what he did.

Worse still, in the Clinton tradition of selective memory, Bill neglected to mention that he not only signed the bill, but he ran ads promoting his signature in the 1996 presidential campaign. So when you read stories about how Clinton agonized about signing DOMA into law, don’t forget that — agonized or not — he capitalized on his signature at our expense. And, quick, try to remember who was the formidable foe that Clinton needed to pull out all the stops against. Points to you if you could remember it was Bob Dole, the incredibly weak GOP default nominee and the future spokesmodel for erectile dysfunction.

Clinton came to office as the most gay-friendly president ever (til then), and by the time he left he had saddled us with some truly hurtful policies. What he’s never done is explain how he reconciles the two positions. Given his M.O., odds are he won’t at the GLAAD awards either. After all, when you’re being honored as an agent of change, why should you — even when the change was for the worse.

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  • DarkZephyr

    I find this to be outrageous, he does NOT deserve this award.

  • jayfox

    This really makes me mad at “GLAAD” I love Clinton and think he is a very smart politician that being said he doesn’t deserve an award let along a thank you for evolving on Marriage Equality. When Bush comes out against torture will we be giving him an award for world peace?

  • miagoodguy

    Organizations like this lose all credibility when they sell out for political reasons.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Like the NOW and NAACP, GLAAD shows its true colors as not an institution for human rights, but merely another political arm of the Democratic party.

  • Cam

    Fuck GLAAD.

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    We found out what GLAAD was about 4 years ago right here. When we had our little IRS 990 review and realized how deeply in bed they were with corporate television networks etc. I have no idea if things changes since Barrios got the boot.

  • Daniel-Reader

    If they give him an actual physical award it should be engraved with images and names of dead gay kids who killed themselves during his time in office. What a legacy. That an adulterer signed DOMA into law is Fate’s joke on the whole thing.

  • tchuy03

    This is weak and just emphasizes that GLAAD is insignificant group of liberals in the pocket of the DNC. SHAME!

  • jwrappaport

    Bill Clinton: the epitome of shameless opportunism and talking out of both sides of your ass. If GLAAD had any credibility, it has dried up – much like Clinton’s spunk on Monica’s dress. Shame on GLAAD.

  • bmwblonde

    HOW can anyone be surprised? GLAAD is an entrenched ESTABLISHMENT bureaucracy. The only thing that bureaucracies do well is PERPETUATE THEMSELVES. President Clinton is another Charter Member of multiple such, self-perpetuating bureaucracies. His political expediency FAR, FAR exceeded trying to move the right things forward with CAREFUL compromise — he gave away the farm in many areas — because he wanted the BIG BOYS (BIG DOGS), i.e. the entrenched bureaucracy Kings) to like him, and thereby, announce that he wasn’t actually “trailer trash” after all.

    Barack Obama seems no better — he was a teenager in Hawaii. There, despite all that state’s TOTAL B.S. about “Aloha” — racism is king. The major ethnic groups there have to tiptoe around one another, since there is no clear majority, EXCEPT that they all treat blacks like DIRT. Hence Mr. Obama learned to CONCILIATE, which he has been doing ever since.

    Both Clinton and Obama have materially aided this country’s slide into total Right-Wing CrazyLand, thanks to their psyches’ desperate need to be “liked.” The right wing Republican nuts couldn’t have asked for better collaborators.

    Never count on Bill Clinton for anything except for that which further provides (never enough) evidence of his haunting spector of boyhood “Trailer Trash.” That, by the way, is another tragedy (aside from further wrecking our country), because Clinton’s “Essence,” mind, intellect and instincts are all terrific: He just never worked on (much less got over) his installed childhood black myths. Likewise the current Conciliator-In-Chief.

    Both are SEVERELY flawed men who have NOT done their emotional and spiritual “work.” BUT let us not (gay brethren) be surprised, either by them or the likes of GLADD. UGH.

  • Pix

    I wonder which would be sadder, if the other nominations were much more deserving of the award but less well known so lost to Clinton or that Clinton really was the most deserving nominated for this award to win it?

  • viveutvivas

    The only way GLAAD can possibly recover any credibility with me is if they give an award to Bradley Manning. But I think hell will freeze over first.

  • mlbumiller

    All you really seem to forget the climate of the times.

    DOMA: it was that or let a constitutional amendment banning marriage to us. There would have been no problem getting it ratified by the states. We would have no state legal marriage now. DOMA was a better choice.

    DADT: I was enlisted before DADT and served under it. Believe me it was worse before it was passed. Most of you that bitch about DADT never serve or planned on serving. Those of us that served regardless of the ban and in silence later under DADT did so to serve our country. Many that booted out were at fault, didn’t follow the rules and didn’t choose their friends well. There were also the snitches that named everyone they could when they got caught. Twice I was brought in during a witch-hunt. I exercised my right to terminate interview when they asked the first inappropriate question and left them the card of my lawyer.

    I was never happy with what he did, but he did make it easier than it was and allowed time to convert people to a better way of thinking.

  • Wilberforce

    @mlbumiller: I agree It’s standard procedure to blame others for everything.
    Another point about DADT: it should actually have been a good deal, allowing people to serve without fear> But the military betrayed the deal, as you say, by conducting witch hunts. Some code of honor.
    What people conveniently forget is that Clinton tried for us from day one. But the times were different. Instead of facing that reality, it’s always easier to use a scapegoat.
    As for the GLAAD award, that’s bull—-. It should go to someone who has had more success.

  • jwrappaport

    @mlbumiller: I can’t overstate how wrong you are about DOMA. We were absolutely not close to passing a constitutional amendment – one had not even been proposed. Further, only 68% of the US population in 1996 was against gay marriage (many of whose similarly minded legislators would have opposed a constitutional amendment on federalism grounds), which would likely mean that the Article V requirement that 75% of the states (by legislature or convention) support it would almost certainly not have been met. It is a very, very tall order to pass a constitutional amendment, which is why the last major one (not including the 1992 salary amendment) was achieved in 1971. Read about what conservatives had to say on Bush II’s attempt at the Federal Marriage Amendment – lots of federalism concerns even from those who supported and still support DOMA.

    You may have a case with DADT, but I still disagree with your conclusion: Clinton could have followed the path of Truman and integrated the military by executive order. Consider also that Truman did it at a time in which racial integration was wildly unpopular with both military leaders and the general public. I should like to add also that it’s very unfair of you to negate our criticism of DADT on the grounds that many of us have never served. Many of us, myself included, have loved ones (and partners) who did serve and whose careers and, in some cases, lives were destroyed by that policy. You do not speak for all vets or their families, and I can assure you that many of them would beg to differ with you. Having said that, I haven’t served, and I yield the point to you other gay vets on here to settle. You’re clearly a savvy guy, but I can promise you that many other less-clever enlistees fell into the trap of DADT without knowing what their rights were.

    All in all, I don’t respect the argument that Clinton made it easier for gays or allowed people time to convert to a better way of thinking. What he did was enshrine bigotry into law. What he did was fold in the face of opposition. What he did was exercise the height of moral cowardice to gain political capital. There is no reason why he had to sign those bills, and there was every moral reason for him to be progressive – unfortunately, political expediency was not among them.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I am sick and tired of the gay establishment bitchin’ and moanin’ about something different every frickin’ day!!! Aren’t you people ever satisfied? You sound like nattering republicans! That was 1996, this is 2013. Get the hell with the program and shaddap!!! If you’re not part of the solution, you ARE the problem! Count your blessings for once and quit cryin’ for your bottle and bwankie!

  • ArthurTreacher

    What exactly does GLAAD do? It was supposedly set up to counter defamation about gays and lesbians in the media. FAIL. We still see daily defamation, trashing, and every other sort of verbal abuse imaginable in the media. And what is GLAAD’s response? SILENCE. We still hear the word faggot thrown around in mainstream movies. What is GLAAD’s response? SILENCE and more butt-kissing of the Hollywood studios. Now we hear that they are “done” with the gay community (mission accomplished?), have banned even the use of the words “gay and lesbian”, and will move on to the trans community. Great. Add to this the latest travesty: honoring someone for “change” when A. they signed into law for purely political reasons the worst sort of blatant discrimination B. has done nothing in the ensuing years to change it C. just recently “evolved” on equality D. the onerous law is still on the books. I, for one, want to know where all of the money is going that these numerous fancy fundraisers are generating.

  • jwrappaport

    @Dakotahgeo: How is it unreasonable to lodge objections about GLAAD honoring the man who signed DADT and DOMA into law? An immoral and unjust act is no less so because it was done in 1996.

  • Dionte

    The human race still has so much more evolving to do, I think your going to run out of time.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @jwrappaport: My comment stands! Quitcher bitchin’ and MOVE…ON!

  • jwrappaport

    @Dakotahgeo: No, you just think it stands. I welcome a reasoned counterargument to my position.

  • mlbumiller



  • Caleb in SC

    @jwrappaport: @Dakotahgeo: I think you both have valid points of view, although I pretty much side with the fact that he was a product of his times. Let it be.

  • jwrappaport

    @mlbumiller: Let’s go back to the Constitution. Article V is quite clear: 75% of state legislatures and conventions are required to ratify an amendment. Not 68%, not 73%, but 75%.

    I say again, is absolutely no justification for the claim that a proposed amendment would have survived the ratification process.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @jwrappaport: I am not here to waste my time arguing inane people. I’m too busy helping change the world for the better positive future.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Caleb in SC: Thank you, Caleb! Obviously you are also involved in positive change for all people, GLBTIQ or straight. That’s what moves the world forward!

  • mlbumiller

    In the first step, the proposed Amendment must be supported by two-thirds in Congress, both House and Senate. The second step requires a three-fourths majority of the states ratifying the amendment (as stated 72.82% pop vote in 31 states) Congress determines whether the state legislatures or special state conventions ratify the amendment.

    WHEN I WENT TO MATH CLASS 2/3rds IS 66.66%
    3/4 of the states that would be 38. i was wrong in my original count.. it should be 31.
    In only 9 states is it leagal. Leave 11 states.

    True, getting 67% of the vote for in each chamber is unlikely, but the states have already well on the way of alrealy having 3/4 ratification by defualt.

  • jwrappaport

    @Dakotahgeo: This is essentially your argument:

    You: I disagree with you.
    Me: I think you’re wrong because of x, y, and z.
    You: I disagree with you.
    Me: Justify yourself.
    You: No. You’re all silly and I’m too busy being a better person than you.

    Intellectualism and vigorous dialectic move the world forward by lightyears – yet both appear to be dead in our community.

  • jwrappaport

    @mlbumiller: To borrow from the inimitable Herman Cain, you’re comparing apples and oranges. State constitutional amendments are much lower stakes games for the simple reason that states have plenary (i.e., essentially unlimited) power to legislate, while the federal congress is strictly limited and may only act pursuant to its enumerated powers.

    Thus, there are very serious federalism implications from a marriage amendment to the US Constitution that don’t arise in state amendments and that tend to seriously undermine conservative support considering how strongly the GOP values states’ rights. In so many words, it’s not reasonable to believe that every state legislator who supported state marriage bans would support a federal one at the constitutional level. In fact, Ron Paul wrote very strongly against the FMA on federalism grounds and likely spoke for many in his party who, despite their social aversion to gay marriage, do not want further federal tyranny over the states.

    There was tremendous popular support for bans at the state level in 1996, but that cannot easily be translated into support for federal intervention, especially considering that national constitutional amendments, unlike those of around 17 states, are not by popular referendum. I will even concede that you may have the Congress on the dark side with 2/3 given its sadly overwhelming support of DOMA, but the premise that a state that bans gay marriage locally will seek to ban it by a US constitutional amendment (through its legislature or constitutional convention) is unwarranted.

    In short, the states may have largely banned gay marriage in their own jurisdictions, but it does not necessarily follow that they would support a national amendment. Moreover, you would still need the support of seven other states, which again is a very, very tall order that I do not think was plausible, even in 1996.

  • jeff4justice

    Fuck all of the 2party system zombies and their endless lie-based wars, erosion of civil liberties, pollution, and policies of poverty.

    Let’s also award Prop 8 lawyer David Boise who helped Paul Ryan debate practice and also donated to anti-LGBT-equality candidates in 2010.

  • Dresden

    @jwrappaport: It’s easy for you to maintain your position looking back retrospectively with 20/20 vision. But the truth of the matter is, at the time, there was very real and legitimate fear that, if something wasn’t done, the forces against gay marriage would continue their crusade to the detriment of the fight for marriage equality. Like it or not, DOMA pretty much put a stop to that on the federal level. Neither you nor anyone else knows for sure what would have happened if it was never put in place.

  • John Doe

    If Bill Clinton was the true hero back when he signed those anti-gay laws…. he could have EASILY stood up and said clearly, “I do not agree with these laws. I do not. They are discriminatory. I am only signing them because it is the lesser of two evils.” He could have said that the day he signed the laws – OR ANY DAY AFTER. But, he didn’t.

    Bill Clinton was NOT for LGBT equality until very recently. Same with with wife. Most everyone in the DNC that is now “full equality” never arrived to that until THIS YEAR. But, guess what? The Constitution has never changed in all of these years. The whole “evolving” thing was about polls, about a swing in public opinions – about politics. It has nothing to do with the law or with a genuine sympathy or concern for the LGBT community. If they were truly concerned – they would have evolved BEFORE it was popular and expected to do so. These late bloomers in evolving are nothing but political followers. There are only a handful of leaders in this country when it comes to the LGBT community and politics. Bill Clinton and Obama are NOT in that crowd. They both waited until it was safe to evolve. But, we could have surely used a REAL leader prior to the time it was OK to evolve. It would have been nice to have a true leader that would have stood up for equality when it was politically risky for them to do so. But…. very few ever did that.

  • jwrappaport

    @Dresden: You’re right: We don’t know what would have happened had DOMA not been signed. Yet, in literally the previous sentence, you claim that very same forbidden knowledge by assuming without any justification that DOMA put a stop to anti-gay discrimination at the federal level. I really just don’t see the evidence supporting that. Even if it had had a reasonable chance of ratification by the states – which I don’t concede by a longshot – it wasn’t even brought up in Congress let alone proposed as a bill.

    What more discrimination could there be on the federal level that wasn’t patently unconstitutional? As of 1996, gays couldn’t serve openly in the military, could lose their job for being gay, and had no federal recognition of their marriages. What further federal discrimination could there be left to be reasonably afraid of? It’s not as though Congress was about to start McCarthy-style witch-hunts or criminalize homosexuality at a national level. What federal privileges were there left for us to be afraid of losing?

    I ask you: How can you argue that there was a fear of an amendment when there is absolutely no evidence that anyone was prepared to propose one? Moreover, how can you suggest that Clinton was similarly afraid of an amendment when he not only never once voiced those concerns during his administration, but also never said anything about it in his 2004 autobiography? The first I’m hearing of this is in the last few months, just as gay marriage is becoming politically correct and safe. The guy clearly isn’t a raging homophobe and did make some positive impact for us (1998 executive order), but I would argue that he wrought just as much if not more harm on the gay community than good.

    Bottom line: He stands up for us when it’s easy and doesn’t cost him any political capital. That’s not a profile in courage let alone anyone I would consider a friend.


    Consider what the man himself said when he signed DOMA in 1996:

    “I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages and this legislation is consistent with that position.”

    These are not the words of a man who is trying desperately to forestall a constitutional amendment.


  • Kevin

    You are ignoring actual history to take a sad shot at Bill Clinton. Had he not signed DOMA the Republicans were planning to push for a constitutional amendment and then we’d all be screwed. The LGBT community has never seen better friends then the Clintons in the White House.

  • jwrappaport

    @Kevin: Oy vas mir. Where is the evidence that people were planning to propose a constitutional amendment? It certainly wasn’t proposed in Congress, and it would not likely have had the necessary Article V support to ratify it. You have zero justification for your position – in fact, you have less than that given that the available evidence suggests quite the opposite. Having said that, I welcome contrary evidence.

  • balehead

    If you stop donating to GLAAD they might stop doing this…..

  • Aubrey

    The “constitutional amendment” excuse only reared its head long after DOMA was signed. The Clintons never referred to it during the DOMA process itself.

    Hawaii’s court case provided the ground for the Republican Party to play politics with Clinton. The Republicans maneuvered Clinton into signing into law a bill that was designed to alienate a longtime Democratic base constituency (the lgbt community).

    It was Clinton’s fear of losing 2-3% points in the polls that led the president to stab us in the back. There was never any concern over an amendment.

    The leadership of the lgbt organizations (that argued vehemently against the president’s signing of DOMA) and Clinton’s own staff involved with the bill (e.g., Richard Socarides) have stated there was no discussion or concern over a constitutional amendment.

    DOMA was purely a political act by Clinton to ensure a sizable win in 1996.

    The ‘amendment argument’ was created to salvage the Clintons’ reputations with the lgbt community, and now with the Party’s base as a whole. It’s not a popular thing to have signed the bill (DOMA) that has afflicted this community for almost 17 years now.

    (btw – I think Bill is an amazing politician, and probably one of the most intelligent presidents we’ve ever had. I also supported Hillary in 2008. But I don’t believe we can fool ourselves in regards to how the Clinton’s view this community.

    The lgbt community is tactically expendable to them. Only now the tide is moving in such a way that it would be political suicide for a Democrat to do anything but support marriage equality, at the least.)

    Re: GLAAD – it is a shame that this organization panders to politicians like Clinton. BC should apologize for what he did. The only thing stopping him is his ego, I’m guessing.

  • Cam

    @mlbumiller: said…

    “All you really seem to forget the climate of the times.

    DOMA: it was that or let a constitutional amendment banning marriage to us. There would have been no problem getting it ratified by the states. We would have no state legal marriage now. DOMA was a better choice.

    DADT: I was enlisted before DADT and served under it. Believe me it was worse before it was passed.


    1. No, there was no proof that a Constitutional amendment would have passed, but revisionist history apparently is not a problem here.

    2. Dismissals from the military SKYROCKETED after DADT was put in place.

  • BJ McFrisky

    @Cam: However, like he said, he was in the military and you were not, so how is it that you know what’s better for the military than he does? Statistics? I’ll take a soldier’s first-hand account over statistics (or certainly a liberal civilian’s opinion) any day. If a gay man in the service states that DADT made things better for him, are you going to believe him or—wait a minute, what am I saying? Of COURSE you’re not going to believe the man in uniform over the man in the Guy Fawkes mask. You’re Cam!
    (have a good weekend, Cam)

  • Lefty

    GLAAD are a joke.

  • hephaestion

    Bill Clinton needs to write a book about why he signed DOMA & DADT into law.
    He’s got a lot o’ ‘splaining to do.

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    @ArthurTreacher wrote: “I, for one, want to know where all of the money is going that these numerous fancy fundraisers are generating.”

    It’s all here on Guidestar with other 501C3s. Anyone can create a free account id. The 990 give the accounting of expense, revenues, payroll etc. Last time I looked GLAAD even had board member from ABC/another network or vice versa, I forget. Then threw “award banquets” for each other.

    Annual Revenue & Expenses
    Fiscal Year Starting: Jan 01, 2011
    Fiscal Year Ending: Dec 31, 2011

    Total Revenue $4,107,687
    Total Expenses $6,699,322

  • Shannon1981

    I am not sure why Clinton is being honored by GLAAD, other than political pandering. Honestly, while I am glad for his current support, once again he is simply doing what is politically convenient. It is now the Democratic party line to support LGBT rights, so he does a 180 and supports us. However, his past transgressions against us cannot be ignored.

    GLAAD often makes decisions that I disagree with, and here is yet another.

  • viveutvivas

    Clinton has always been a follower, not a leader. Too much of a people-pleaser to be effective at anything. His two terms represent nearly a decade of lost opportunity for progressive causes.

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