Senator Arlen Specter: Repeal DOMA, Pass ENDA, Rescind DADT

In a piece in the Huffington Post, Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) calls on Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

Specter "Connecticut, Iowa, and Massachusetts have already passed laws
recognizing same sex marriage and other states are moving in that
direction. The states are the proper forum to address this divisive
social and moral issue, not the Federal Government with a law that
attempts to set one national standard for marriage. Prohibition showed just how difficult it is to enforce law
establishing standards of personal behavior or morality. Coercion,
whether civic or legal, in matters of this kind rarely works. It
certainly won't halt public controversy surrounding the issue."

Specter also spells out his thoughts on hate crimes, ENDA, and Don't Ask, Don't Tell.


  1. says

    It’s great for us, but also distressing to see how some politicians look at progressive vs. conservative as working for McDonald’s or Burger King. He switches allegiances and is suddenly for all this???

  2. Craig says

    How convenient given he’s locked in a do-or-die primary with a much more pro-gay and progressive representative to be the 2010 Democratic Senate nominee in Pennsylvania. Sorry Arlen, but Admiral Sestak has been with us a lot longer.

  3. Everett says

    My representative also recently confessed to a change of heart on DOMA. He did it on the Huffington Post but when I checked his Web site, if it was mentioned anywhere it was very well hidden. I’m tempted to vote against him for that reason and that reason alone.

  4. DR says

    You might not want to be so quick to jump on the Sestack bandwagon. From his website:

    Joe supports civil unions and believes that they are the providence of the states. He believes that marriage is a church issue. If states decide to allow same sex marriages, he believes that to be the right of that state. He opposes federal and state constitutional amendments against same sex marriage because he does not believe the decision should be forced upon any religious institution — as it is a church’s right to exercise beliefs.

    Not the most resounding support for LGBT marriage, is it?

  5. Craig says

    It is as weak as most Democrats. I never said he was perfect, only better than Specter. I’ll also note that his lack of support for marriage equality is one reason why I won’t give money to his campaign or the campaign of any anti-marriage equality candidate. More of the GLBT community ought to do the same to enforce the stand that nothing but full equality for GLBT people is acceptable if they want our money. That however doesn’t mean we can’t support them with our votes if we are sufficiently confident in their resolve to support our community.

  6. Patric says

    What a lame and transparently self-interested move. He voted for DOMA, didn’t he? Unlike Senators Kennedy and even others like Dodd who’ve had a change of position on marriage equality, there’s no strong statement about the wrongness of discrimination, just some weak-kneed comment about the inutility of these laws. He obviously doesn’t want to offend all the conservatives on whose votes he’s been relying to get elected for the past three decades.

    Representative Sestak may not be perfect on this issue (it is difficult for a politician wanting to get elected to statewide office in a State with as many senior citizens as Pennsylvania has to be perfect on this issue) but the statements cited above demonstrate, as Craig notes, that he is better than the man who supported McSame-Failin in last year’s presidential election. Specter is a Republican who is suddenly moving in our direction on the issue of marriage equality because his poll numbers are sagging and he needs our votes.

    Recent events with Joe Loserman will hopefully motivate Democrats in Pennsylvania to vote for a real Democrat, Rep. Sestak, next year and not the Republican in sheep’s clothing.

  7. says

    i like it veyy much ,and you ???
    Recent events with Joe Loserman will hopefully motivate Democrats in Pennsylvania to vote for a real Democrat, Rep. Sestak, next year and not the Republican in sheep’s clothing

  8. Donna Fisher says

    I am a lifelong Democrat and resident of the state of Pennsylvania. I’ve voted in EVERY federal and state election since 1972 and in every election in which Arlen Specter was running, I voted for him. Say anything snarky you want about this cantankerous old fart but he gives a good goddamn about what is fair and just for ALL people. I paid Arlen a visit in his Washington office last October to ask him to please look me in the eye and tell me where he stands on marriage equality, DADT and ENDA. Gay America could not have a more sincere and trustworthy advocate and if you would take the time to look at his voting record, you will see he walks the walk on everything he talks. Cut him a break. He’s not Rick Santorum.