1. ble.d_out.colo.r says

    Ugh. Disgusting.

    I’m with this so called “heckler” on this. Id have done the same thing. He may have been in a touch spot but he freaking signed DOMA in to law. That’s not okay even if he did it to prevent a national ban. And he should never be given a reward by the gay community since he hasn’t DONE anything for gay people to make up for signing DOMA. Hilary is way more of an ally than he will ever be. If the b****** cant even stay faithful to his wife, what makes you think he will for the gay community. He is only with us cuz its politically expedient just like he signed DOMA cuz that was politically expedients at the time.

    I feel bad for Hilary quite frankly, and ive always thought he was a trashy man to get serviced by another woman without his wife’s knowledge in the F****** oval office. I certainly don’t hold him as any sort of role model. People complained about Anderson Cooper getting an award, but if Clinton gets one AC sure as hell should since he actually HAS done things for the community.

    Instead of an award he needs a punch in the face for being a lecherous dbag.

  2. Rob says

    Our country was so much more conservative when he was elected- he had to walk the middle ground. “The era of big government is dead.” As it is, people acted like he was a socialist. He did what he could, and there was a veto proof majority right behind his signing of DOMA. Lest we forget the great majority of Americans favored it at the time, and there is a lot of pluribus in this unum. He wasn’t just our president.

    Don’t ask, don’t tell was, at the time, a step forward. It was a compromise that allowed gays to serve secretly, not openly, but still to serve. It was almost radical at the time.

    He is no more lecherous than I (glad the people who post here have never been to a back room or a bathhouse) and shares with us the pain of public ridicule for sexuality that is meant to be private.

    Bill Clinton is a great man, was a great president, and we should embrace him. The Onion was prescient when he left office and Bush came in with the headline “Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Over.” How freakin’ true was that?

    Please Hillary, please. Run in 2016. We love you both, warts and all.

  3. Jake says

    He signed it, get over it. Your mom would have signed it. Your dad would have signed it. Any other president would have signed it. In 1996.

    Better a Clinton DOMA than a Republican-led FMA push, which by the way they had the votes for.

  4. AdamTh says

    Yes, Bill Clinton signed DOMA in 1996.

    DOMA would have become law in 1996 with or without his signature. Check the vote in Congress, it was more than enough to override a veto.

    Had he vetoed the bill, passed by a very homophobic Congress, it would have been used against him during the 1996 election. A President Dole in 96 was a very real possibility.

    Does anyone really think we would be in a better position now if Dole had been elected in 96?

  5. will says

    My freaking God. We should be praising his evolution not belaboring the 1990s. Let it GO. Now is now. 17 years ago is a long time regarding gay marriage. He’s a sincere advocate now. There’s a woman I want to high school with who’s has made a complete reversal on gay issues in the past 5 years. Maybe I should just spit on her and remind her what she thought 10 years ago.

    Show some gratitude. Forgive not only Clinton but the consiousness of the majority of the country 17 years ago. He’s acknowledged he signed it and it was a mistake. He signed an amicus to SCOTUS for the March trial saying it was a mistake. GET OVER IT, move on so we don’t all have to stew in the past.

  6. Paul R says

    Hmm. There’s a reason I stopped reading comments on this site and am only doing so because I’m waiting for a call on a slow Sunday morning. So Clinton is awful. And who is better? Reagan, Bush, Dole, McCain, Bush, and Romney?

    Try to learn about this thing called reality before you post stupid comments. He admitted to mistakes and many of you criticizing him can’t even spell.

  7. justin says

    yes we should be pleased but to give him an award… that is a little crazy.

    DOMA and don’t ask don’t tell has caused so much hurt how can anyone give this fool an award. I am so disgusted.

  8. Fahd says

    Clinton was ahead of his time.

    One of his first acts as president was to seek gay inclusion in the military.

    He got slapped down bad – don’t ask/don’t tell and a Republican house.

    He was so cowed that he signed DOMA.

    But he did sign it.

  9. says

    “Realizing their past mistakes” is the shiniest lipstick one could possibly put on the pig of Clinton’s opportunism.

    What is GLAAD supposed to be about anyway? Actual achievement in the struggle for LGBT rights or a dog-and-pony-show for “celebrities.”

  10. Brad says

    Yes he’s evolved. Yes he’s regretted his signing DOMA. Yes it was a different world then. Yes they had enough votes in congress to override any veto, but, the fact is, he still could have vetoed it. Instead he bowed to evil and signed his name on the dotted line. He was on the wrong side of history and will have that stain on his record forevermore. Sorry, but the person who set back marriage equality for decades does not deserve a freakin’ GLAAD award!

  11. Ant says

    PAUL R has it right. Accept the reality. Had it been another homophobe for president instead of Clinton, gays would have been in buried in dirt. It does not matter how passionate about gay rights some of the commenters here feel if you don’t have any ability to help. While being a minority still persecuted by majority, the gays cannot afford to shun away any allies, especially those who are still powerful in the political arena.
    Currently the best gay ally who can defeat the next republican is Hillary. So lets hope for a Hillary 2016 or any pro-gay president (who can realistically win).

  12. says

    What I take from this speech is the one truth which has changed the perception of gays and will advance all our rights to equality and non-discrimination, it is the fact that it was the younger generation who are now completely comfortable with their gay friends.
    The world has changed for the better since 1996.
    Clinton did what could have been done; he would have done more had that been possible. But AIDS was still rampaging, killing half a generation. Gays were regarded as infected sleazy beings. Celebrity names were being described as being “full blown”……the most loathsome phrase ever concocted.
    It was in that context that Clinton managed to change the laws on serving in the Military.
    I think he was and is a great man.
    @ bled.out. color:
    Get over yourself .

    And yes, Hillary must run,
    Hillary must win.

    We need her to nominate SCOTUS justices otherwise all our gains will be wiped out.

  13. Jersey says

    He certainly doesn’t deserve this award, especially when we had guys like Brendan Ayanbadejo being threatened with firing if he kept advocating for our equality (and happily continuing) and Chris Kluwe being so bold as to call the guy demanding Brendan’s firing a “lustful cockmonster”. GLAAD shows themselves to be utterly ridiculous.

  14. Sargon Bighorn says

    I’m happy that he has changed his mind. However to be awarded something from anyone is a slap in the face. He does not need one trophy to parade in front of people to prove he is a hero for Gay citizens. He’s not. He simply has changed his mind. HE HAS DONE NOTHING FOR GAY CITIZENS THAT YOU HAVE NOT DONE. You should get the award. Yeah you, that guy over there.

  15. Gayheart says

    The hostility is amazing. Only homocentric politicians are to be praised…there are no evolving attitudes…as the gay community is one of the most prejudiced, racist and age belligerent communities one can encounter. Get a mirror, foks.

  16. Au says

    Alright then, Sargon and Jersey go ahead present each other with an award and move along; maybe write an amicus brief or have conversations with your political colleagues.

  17. johnosahon says

    GLAAD just hands out awards to any celebrity it seems. It was Anderson Cooper now Bill Clinton. Just because Anderson came out or Clinton wrote an op-ed does NOT mean they deserve ANY award. They should be congratulated for doing what they did, but they have a long way to go before they should be awarded ANYTHING by the gay community.

  18. Randy says

    Maybe I somehow missed his amicus brief, if it exists, but as far as I can tell, he hasn’t even asked the Supreme Court to rule DOMA unconstitutional. He hasn’t even signed on to someone else’s brief.

    A silly editorial is irrelevant, and of course does not influence the court because it’s not AT court.

  19. Leo says


    For keeping ALL the progress we’ve made on the books including in the Supreme Court, it’s ALL THAT MATTERS NOW. Last I checked, there wasn’t a more viable candidate that we have on our side, regardless of how she got there.

    The merits of Bill, the political climate of the 90s, all of that means JACK if all our progress can be reversed, which you KNOW isn’t unrealistic. You don’t have to “move on”, you don’t have to “forgive”, but we need to put priorities in order and get some damn perspective.

    YES we need ENDA, YES we need a lot more progress, and Hilary may end up not moving forward, but we KNOW she won’t deliberately attack and reverse track.

    Politics sucks, the context sucks, we should have everything right now as proper citizens, yes, yes, yes.

    But, I mean, WTF FOLKS.


    Over and out.

  20. says

    I wasn’t opposed to his being given an award specifically about being an Advocate for Change, as “change” is one of those concepts and things that are important. who better to show folks that they too can “change” by being one who has?

    that said, i think this was a brutal missed opportunity for a straight person in a (former, yet still respected) leadership position to specifically talk about their own failings in regard to the path to human equality. their own regret and shame for their own actions, and inactions, in the face of ongoing social injustices.

    yes – there is indeed “historical context” when speaking about 90’s-era LGBT issues….however, that doesn’t mean that Clinton should have avoided being upfront and honest and clear about not just what he did, and why he did it, but how he looks and feels when thinking back on it TODAY.

    because that’s the message that the fence-sitters and anti-equality folks need to hear, and take heed to.

    yeah, hindsight is 20/20, but if the person with the hindsight doesn’t take an opportunity that was presented, like getting this award, and get into the specifics of it, then the message is barely made.

    so that’s my feeling. this was a missed opportunity.

  21. Thomas says

    Those who support Clinton getting this award are naive idiots who would cheer for a Democrat even if he had you in a hole and was shoveling dirt into it.

    Yes, there are political realities, and I know many of you think that gays would have really been hurt deeply by a Dole 1996 presidency. But frankly it could not have been worse than it was under Clinton. It’s not like we were going to be rounded up and shot, since we have this little thing called a constitution. What Clinton did, in fact, was worse than anything done by GWB, including in the 2004 elections. Think about that: worse than GWB. Not only did he use being “pro-family” to help win the Christian South, but he did it on the back of legislation that had no chance of being overturned in the next couple decades except by the Supreme Court.

    Here are some things Clinton could have done to merit getting an award. He could have said that he viewed DOMA as unconstitutional and refused to sign it on that basis. As a lawyer he could have easily spun that. He could have signed it but then not campaigned on having signed it. In 1996 there was no political capital attached to being anti-gay–it was manufactured by politicians. Clinton was an incumbent riding a golden economy and was nearly bullet proof, but he never leveraged that for a truly progressive social agenda. Heck, he could have, in the 12 years since he left office, become involved in advocating visibly for the gay community. But nope, didn’t happen.

    Are we really so self-loathing that we seek the approval of any famous person with a (D) next to their name? Even if they’re an opportunistic pig whose sole motivation in life seems to be stroking his own ego? It’s like the kid who keeps trying to please the parent who tried to send him to conversion therapy, except without the excuse of familial bonds. It’s pathetic is what it is.

  22. says

    even a parent who sent their kid to conversion therapy is capable of redemption if they work to undo the harm they inflicted on not only their own kid, but counless others through the promotion of those bogus conversion therapies. by speaking out against them, and verbalizing their regret and shame over it all.

    even a part who directly drove their own child to suicide can redeem themselves by dedicating the rest of their lives to making sure no other parents make that same mistake (Prayers for Bobby, anyone?)

    one of the things often seen at PFLAG meetings are parents, talking to other parents, about the regret they feel for having utter gay slurs and making demeaning anti-gay comments in front of their children, while they had a closeted child at home who took in every hateful word.

    one cannot undo their mistakes. one can, however, make it very clear that they’re aware that they WERE mistakes – and that they’ll now work hard to undo the harm they inflicted.

    his advocacy on behalf of equality, today, is appreciated. but this award not only seems premature, but his speech simply didn’t address the most important facet of this, that more anti-gay folks in the US need to hear and take to heart.

  23. Dback says

    I’m going to play King Solomon here and split the difference (something he only threatened to do, but never mind): both sides are right.

    It was craven and wrong for Clinton to sign DOMA. He should not have done it. However, in the late 90’s, after getting smacked down good and hard on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (which, at the time, was supposed to be an improvement), he knew was in danger of losing re-election, along with all the work he and Gore had tried to do. (If Ross Perot hadn’t jumped back in again, he probably would’ve lost.)
    Yes, the 90’s were ” a different time,” and things have changed radically in the past 15 years. But he deserved to be challenged and heckled for his choice, and I’m glad someone did it.

    On the other hand: he has evolved. He has become an outspoken gay rights advocate (largely due to Chelsea’s influence and her introducing him to her gay friends). He is unafraid–NOW–to use his ex-presidency as a platform for social change, and hasn’t just disappeared onto the golf links (a la Reagan and the Bushes) since leaving office. He know people are watching and listening to him, and he speaks with a great deal of authority knowing that his words and actions make a difference.

    My sense is, he knows he owes the gay community–big time–for his past mistakes, and he’s trying very hard to step up–if not only for his legacy, for his wife’s future political ambitions. As TIME magazine once said, “The passwords to entering the American family are ‘forgive’ and ‘remember.'” Clinton, at this point, deserves our forgiveness; however, he must understand how many of us will always–for good or ill–remember his missteps.

  24. MCnNYC says

    In balance I feel Clinton was a good president and does understand and support us.
    That said Bill Clinton did not have to sign the legislation for it to become LAW.
    We forget that the President does have options when presented with a bill that has been passed by Congress: Sign, Veto, (and unless my civics classes have been changed) the Pocket Veto and the Unsigned Law)

    Still when someone gives you their keystone award of the night you are presented with an opportunity to speak and I felt Bill Clinton failed to seize the moment presented to him -on many levels.
    It was almost as if he hadn’t known gay people until Chelsea had brought her college friends home!

    So I am dissappointed in him. And he has not done anything to deserve the recognition of GLAADs award. GLAAD not Bill Clinton deserves the criticism for offering the award. It was a craven and misguided act by GLAAD. And Bill did nothing to help them with his 15 minutes in the spotlight.

  25. adamblast says

    Those of us who were there in ’96 may be a bit slower to forgive & forget Clinton’s anti-gay legacy, which we are obviously still fighting today. He did not create the federal anti-gay wave of late ’90s (our first semi-win in Hawaii did that) but he surfed it willingly for his advantage.

    Since it’s a GLAAD celebrity award I guess I won’t fume much. Clinton still has much to do and much answer for before being celebrated as an ally.

  26. Lars says

    @Bobby: you must not hear so well. He actually did mention Hillary. By name. I’m not even sure what your point was. Regardless, it was based on faulty information.

  27. Sean says

    God, what a bunch of starfuckers. GLAAD has no integrity. My hope is that their fundraising fails and donations to them will dwindle. They serve no purpose.

  28. Michael Bedwell says

    FACT CHECK. We’re sorry to have to rain on this parade of willful ignorance and historical revisionism, truly we are, but not only were neither DOMA nor DADT Clinton’s creations, and while I wish he had SYMBOLICALLY vetoed them, his refusing to sign them would have done NOTHING to stop them. BOTH were passed by overwhelming veto-proof margins: DOMA by a vote of EIGHTY-FIVE to 14 in the Senate and a vote of THREE HUNDRED & FORTY-TWO to 67 in the House of Representatives. DADT passed the Senate by NINETY-TWO to 7, and the House, THREE HUNDRED & ONE to 134. More ignorant still is the imagining that those bills CREATED such discrimination rather than simply codifying it. NO gay relationship of ANY kind was recognized by the federal government before DOMA. And some 100,000 gays and lesbians had been kicked out of the military before anyone ever heard of DADT. Clinton’s no more perfect than any human, but let’s remember some of the good—the CHANGE—he did do before anyone else who’d ever lived in the White House:

    1.Issued “Don’t Ask” Executive Order, and made first effort to end the ban on gays in the military.
    2.Completely revamped the security clearance process that ended the “special procedures” under which gay people were frequently delayed or denied on security clearances, a real problem for people in technology occupations working for government contractors—and issued an Executive Order banning discovering a service member during the process of a security clearance being used to discharge him/her.
    3.Issued an Executive Order adding a sentence enhancement in military trials involving hate crimes against gays.
    4.Appointed James Hormel the first out gay ambassador.
    5.Appointed Bob Farmer the first out gay U.S. consul general.
    6.Appointed the first out gay federal judge, Deborah Batts.
    7.Appointed the first out gay person to a position requiring Senate confirmation: Assistant Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Roberta Achtenberg whom Jesse Helms publicly denounced as “that damn lesbian.” [In June 2009, Obama, Inc, claimed he had made the first such appointment, then had to retract it.]
    8.Nearly tripled AIDS spending while in office: from Bush’s $4.5B in 1992 to $12.2B by 2000.
    9.Helped in the successful repeal of the Dornan amendment which required the expulsion of all HIV-positive military service members regardless of their ability to do their jobs. Prior to its repeal, he declared the law unconstitutional, and instructed his Department of Justice not to defend it in court.
    10.He created the first White House Office of National AIDS Policy, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS, and convened the first ever White House Conference on HIV and AIDS bringing together more than 300 experts, activists, and citizens from across the country for a discussion of key issues.
    11.He issued a directive that all providers of federal health insurance abide by non-discrimination rules including sexual orientation.
    12.Hired the first out gays in senior White House staff positions. His administration had more than 150 openly gay and lesbian appointees. Many of Mr. Obama’s gay hires such as John Berry and Fred Hochberg have merely been Clinton recycles.
    13.Under Clinton, we got a major advance on asylum policy when Janet Reno adopted as official precedent a decision that gays are a “distinct social group” for purposes of analyzing eligibility for political asylum in the US for people from oppressive countries.
    14.He sent gay human rights activist Keith Boykin to Zimbabwe as part of an official United States delegation to investigate human rights abuses of gays and lesbians there.
    15.His Department of Education issued landmark guidance explaining Federal standards against sexual harassment of all students regardless of their sexual orientation. After a White House Conference on School Violence, he ordered the DOE’s civil rights office to step up its enforcement of anti-discrimination and harassment rules. That resulted in, among other things, a groundbreaking guide for use by school administrators and teachers titled “Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime,” providing practical guidance for developing a comprehensive approach to protecting all students, including gays and lesbians, from harassment and violence.
    16.Thanks to Clinton’s appointments to the US Supreme Court we got our first major victory, “Romer v. Evans,” overturning Colorado’s antigay law; “Lawrence v. Texas” negated all sodomy laws; and the Boy Scouts’ ban on gays was nearly overturned.
    17.Clinton arranged for Pedro Zamora’s relatives to be allowed into the country from Cuba to visit him when he was dying from AIDS, and recorded a PSA in praise of his memory.
    18.He was the first President to meet with gay activists in the White House.
    19.He was the first President to issue a gay pride proclamation.
    20.He was the first President to address a gay organization event, the 1997 HRC dinner [invited and embraced by the same head cheese—within months of DOMA’s passage—now demonizing him].
    21.He was the first President to endorse ENDA.
    22.He was the first President to endorse a federal hate crimes act.
    23.He was the first President to oppose legislation banning gay adoptions.
    24.And, it was his wife that became the first First Lady to demonstrate her support for gay rights for all the world to see by marching in New York’s 2000 Gay Pride Parade. [She did it again as Senator whereas First Lady Michelle Obama has missed four opportunities to do the same.]
    25.He repudiated DADT and DOMA in 2009—after having recorded a message AGAINST Prop H8TE for robocalls to CA voters in 2008 while *Obama was STILL “evolving” [and pretending *he’d never endorsed FULL marriage equality in 1996]. But Clinton’s calls were drowned out by YES on H8TE robocalls using a recording of Obama preaching that “God is in the mix” at Rick “gay = pedophilia” Warren’s megachurch.

  29. says

    There are some people with their lips so firmly attached to the butts of the Democratic Party, that they happily would throw gay people under the bus in the name of the Party. That’s the problem with a Party mentality. They put power ahead of principles.

  30. FunMe says

    Do things that hurt many people but do it because it helps YOU politically knowing that when you are out of office, you can make amends (sort of) and then you will get an award.

    I don’t think so!

    That another low for GLAAD. Forgiveness is one thing … but forgetting the past and continuing to be “star struck” of politicians who have hurt is is despicable.

    A better recipient would have been Chris Kluwe. Now that straight guy went out on a limb to do something help promote marriage equality when it could have been a risk for a career. That is a hero and courageous one at that.

    Clinton … well let’s just say he does things politically for HIM and could care about the damage it does to others. What a FAIL of GLAAD to award him any award.

  31. Adam says

    The irony of awarding a man who signed legislation to ‘defend marriage’ while receiving blow jobs from a woman who was not his wife. Wonders never cease…..

  32. says

    quick question – can anyone suggest a better potential “Advocate for Change” nominee?

    and by ADvocate for Change I mean someone who’s had a public/political “change” on our issues?

    that’s not a challenge, btw. it’s a legit question.

  33. JONES says

    ‘There are some people with their lips so firmly attached to the butts of the Democratic Party, that they happily would throw gay people under the bus in the name of the Party. That’s the problem with a Party mentality. They put power ahead of principles.’

    You mean Republican Party. That’s the party with the national platform endorsing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

  34. Michael Bedwell says

    Ironically, the only currently onliine copy of lesbian columnist Deb Price’s description of President Clinton’s appearance at that 1997 HRC dinner [a year AFTER he signed DOMA] was put up by a religiofascist who loves to hate him, too. See link below. What changed in the interim from the night when “Lesbians in heels climbed onto chairs to snap his photo. Gay men plucked yellow roses out of centerpieces as proof the magical evening had been real,” and from when he left office with the consensus by most gays that however many mistakes he’d made, he had tried, and had moved us forward? ANSWER: the 2007-2008 primaries when the Obama campaign starting rewriting history in order to—in the most shameful sexist way they weren’t called for—smear Hillary by smearing him. Remember “Billary”?

  35. JONES says

    This was a media awards dinner that GLADD uses for major fundraising. Who are they going to raise more funding with Bill Clinton, Chris Kluwe or Brendon Ayanbadejo? Probably came down to a financial decision. I didn’t get polled over who should get an award … did any of you ??

    This is no national organization that speaks for the majority of LGBT people. GLADD doesn’t, LCR & GOProud certainly don’t. I don’t get a vote or say in whether or not I agree with their positions other than what I say when I write them a check.

    The best forums for change are our own interactions with families and addressing the issues with insight and commentary like we do right here on sites like Towleroad.

  36. andrew says

    I am glad that he got the Award. He was an outstanding President. Flawed like all of us to be sure, but he moved the Progressive Agenda forward during his 8 years. I am proud to say that I voted for him in both of his elections. To have a voice like his, even more committed to equality now than before is outstanding.

  37. PAUL B. says

    My guess would be that most of the kids here who don’t appreciate the Clinton’s evolution were still nursing mommy’s tittie when DOMA was passed. Sorry boys & girls but you weren’t there and you’re naive comments betray your age. Nothing wrong with being a little uniformed at your age…but here’s a chance to grow up a little…jump at it.

  38. Adam says

    Bill Clinton is a slimy creep who evolves like a leech. He’ll stop sucking you only when he’s taken all the blood out of you. He is a liar and a megalomaniac

  39. MaryM says

    The award is undeserved.

    Yes he’s evolved but in no way does he desereve an award for that.

    By the way Clinton has never apologised for signing this disgustingly bigoted law.

    GLAAD has spat in the face of the LGBT community with this award – then again GLAAD no longer has an ounced of credibility so that’s to be expected.

  40. DC Arnold says

    GLAAD is fast becoming the Log Cabins of the progressive movement: barely tolerable. I just wish they would cease being apologists for those who did the movement absolutely no good.

  41. James says

    There are so many deserving people clearly this was a money move to boost table prices. Is anyone going to pick up on the fact that the GLAAD president was missing in action at the event?

  42. Surely U Jest says

    No matter how you parse it, anything Bill Clinton has ever said and done has first and foremost been to advance his own interests and ambitions. Renouncing DADT and DOMA is as beneficial for him now as signing them into law was then. He is the master of “strategic sincerity.”

  43. epic says

    how little we remember…history is not america’s forte, it seems to be all grand standing and ignore the facts… you don’t like what he had to do okay, but don’t pretend like he had a choice in DADT or DOMA now glass-steagall that is something worth holding a grudge over…silly uneducated gays

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