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Richard Socarides Hub



04/19/2007


Socarides: Why Bill Clinton Signed DOMA

Richard Socarides, who was Clinton's aide on LGBT issues in 1996 when the Defense of Marriage Act was signed, writes about Clinton's journey on gay rights issues, and why he signed the discriminatory law.

Writes Socarides, in part: Clinton

Inside the White House, there was a genuine belief that if the President vetoed the Defense of Marriage Act, his reëlection could be in jeopardy. There was a heated debate about whether this was a realistic assessment, but it became clear that the President’s chief political advisers were not willing to take any chances. Some in the White House pointed out that DOMA, once enacted, would have no immediate practical effect on anyone—there were no state-sanctioned same-sex marriages then for the federal government to ignore. I remember a Presidential adviser saying that he was not about to risk a second term on a veto, however noble, that wouldn’t change a single thing nor make a single person’s life better.

What we didn’t fully comprehend was that, sooner than anyone imagined, there would be thousands of families who would be harmed by DOMA—denied federal benefits, recognition, and security, or kept apart by immigration laws.

During the campaign season, Clinton would sometimes complain publicly about how the Republicans were using the marriage issue against him. He said, derisively, that it was “hardly a problem that is sweeping the country” and his press secretary called it “gay baiting, pure and simple.” And that September, when the Defense of Marriage Act was passed, President Clinton signed it.

There are no pictures of this occasion—no pens that were saved. My advice to the people who arranged for these things was to get it done and out of the way as quickly as possible; he signed it late at night one evening after returning from a day-long campaign trip...

Read the full piece HERE.

Related...
Bill Clinton, Who Signed DOMA into Law in 1996, Calls on Supreme Court to Overturn It [tlrd]


Forecasting LGBT Progress In Obama's Second Term: VIDEO

Mixner

Political analysts all have their divining rods honed in on President Obama's second term in hopes of figuring out his post-inauguration agenda, including in terms of LGBT rights. AFTER THE JUMP, Richard Socarides, David Mixner and the National Center for Lesbian Rights' Kate Kendell join Howard Bragman to offer their own insight on where President Obama will focus his energies over the next four years.

One of the things that must be recognized, they all agree, is that that President Obama's first term brought such a tidal wave of progress that the second term will likely be marked by smaller successes.

Check it out AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Forecasting LGBT Progress In Obama's Second Term: VIDEO" »


News: Boehner's Potty Mouth, Shirtless Jude, Sci-Fi Faith, Shojo

1NewsIcon Stacie Laughton, the first transgender person elected to office in New Hampshire, will not run for the seat she resigned after it was revealed she was convicted of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.

BoehnerReid1NewsIcon House Speaker John Boehner had some choice words for Sen. Harry Reid during the fiscal cliff negotiations at the White House: "Go f*ck yourself."

1NewsIcon Meanwhile, right-wing website Breitbart is starting to beat the "oust Boehner" drum.

1NewsIcon Here's a fun interactive graph about where the 50 United States stand on LGBT rights.

1NewsIcon Richard Socarides on the push for marriage equality in Illinois: "Illinois, being the President's home state and containing four per cent of the total U.S. population, would be a big win for marriage-equality advocates."

1NewsIcon Hillary Clinton has left New York Presbyterian as she continues to recover from a blood clot near her brain.

1NewsIcon Natural born smooth talker: "Just hours after they're born, babies seem to be able to tell the difference between sounds in their native tongue and a foreign one, according to a new study that suggests language learning begins in utero."

Judebeach1NewsIcon A shirtless Jude Law looks fit and fine vacationing in Maui.

1NewsIcon Anne Hathaway looks lovely on the cover of Harper's Bazaar UK.

1NewsIcon Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly tied the knot on Christmas.

1NewsIcon NYE fireworks in reverse.

1NewsIcon Take some time to read my old friend Cord Jefferson's wonderful piece about depression, adventure and finding clarity in life.

1NewsIcon Katie Holmes and Jake Gyllenhaal are not a couple.

1NewsIcon New track from Azaelia Banks, "Bad Bitches Doin'."

1NewsIcon Lindsay Lohan has been evicted from her home in Hollywood. Hopefully this will inspire her to get the help she so desperately needs.

1NewsIcon "Whatever happened to comic books?"

1NewsIcon A completely sci-fi prediction about religion in 2060 from homophobic hate leader David Barton: "Conservative Christians will be treated as second class citizens, much like African Americans were prior to civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Family as we know it will be drastically changed with the state taking charge of the children beginning at birth. Marriage will include two, three, four or any number of participants. Marriage will not be important, with individuals moving in and out of a 'family' group at will. Church buildings will be little used, with many sold to secular buyers and the money received going to the government. Churches will not be allowed to discuss any political issues, even if it affects the church directly." Yeah, right.

Manga1NewsIcon A look at the wild popularity of shojo manga, a genre that focuses on teen boys' gay love, among straight women in Japan: "The genre of boys' love, in other words, allows [authors and] readers to place themselves in a position of power and aggrandizement that is rare for women—as the distanced, masterful position, letting his (or her) eyes roam across variegated objects of desire."

1NewsIcon "The Private War That Killed Spencer Cox."

1NewsIcon If you can, pick up this week's edition of The New Yorker to read Daniel Mendelsohn's incredible piece about how historical novelist Mary Renault's work helped him come to terms with his own sexuality. The magazine's abstract elaborates: "Reading her books, the writer felt a shock of recognition... After reading Renault’s The Charioteer, which is set during the Second World War and wrestles with the issue of 'Greek love,' the writer wrote in his diary, 'I know what I am. Now I must think what to do with it.'"

1NewsIcon From "The Catholic Church’s new gay insult:" "It would be unrealistic to expect the Catholic Church to make a sudden about-face on the issue of equality. It’s been doing the 'Homosexuality is an offense to God' shtick a really long time and that’s a hard habit to break. But the religion whose pope declared in 1866 that slavery wasn’t necessarily against 'natural' law does have a track record of sometimes evolving in light of compelling social change."


Richard Socarides: Gay Wins Demolish DC's Archaic 'Groupthink'

ObamaForwardRichard Socarides, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, took to Out Magazine to reflect on the 2012 election, an election he calls "The Gay-Rights Election."

Like everyone else who understands reality, Socarides says no longer can politicians, particularly Democrats, stand on the sidelines when it comes to marriage equality, for unlike his time in Washington, same-sex nuptials can now be a load-bearing plank for successful electoral platforms:

Obama's support for marriage equality helped him win the election and helped us win the ballot initiatives. During this latest campaign, President Obama's support for gay-rights was never an issue used by Republicans against him. In fact, it worked to his advantage to energize progressives and young people.

...

For as long as I have been in politics—which is all of my adult life—it has been “Washington groupthink” that gay issues are dangerous and only mean trouble for elected officials, even ones who are sympathetic to our cause. It is now a new day — one that has been a long time in coming. Politicians need to recognize that their embrace of us is not only the right thing to do, but leads to success at the ballot box.

Some politicians of course won't be able to adapt in time; they first have to start believing in evolution.


Socarides To Osteen: 'You Think You Choose To Be Straight?' VIDEO

SocaridesOsteen

Host Soledad O'Brien was admirably tenacious in asking conservative pastor Joel Osteen to explain condemnation of homosexuality on CNN's Starting Point this morning. She was particularly intrigued as to how the mega-pastor can claim to be "lifting people up" while also telling thousands of followers, many of whom may be gay, that same-sex love is a sin. Osteen, predictably, claims his views are based on scripture.

Later, New Yorker writer and former Bill Clinton advisor Richard Socarides to wonder whether Osteen would tell a gay teenager to do what feels comfortable and whether Osteen believes people choose to be gay — or straight, for that matter.

"You think you choose to be straight," Socarides asks, to which Osteen replies, "I know I have not chosen to be straight. I just feel like that’s who I am.” Perhaps realizing he's opened the door to affirming homosexuality's intrinsic nature, Osteen says, "I stick to issues I understand."

According to him, he'd rather focus on the things he's an expert in, rather than clarifying or defending his offensive and hurtful remarks about LGBT people.

Watch Osteen try to explain himself AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Socarides To Osteen: 'You Think You Choose To Be Straight?' VIDEO" »


Zach Wahls Speaks Out on Boy Scouts' Announcement Affirming its Anti-Gay Policy: VIDEO

Wahls

Zach Wahls speaks to Soledad O'Brien and Richard Socarides on CNN about the Boy Scouts' announcement that it would reaffirm its policy banning gays.

Wahls says that the announcement the BSA put out has "all kinds of weird inconsistencies" and until there's a "meaningful level of transparency and accountability" he's highly skeptical about the fact that this is a final decision.

"We think this is the Boy Scouts of America recycling old news...We think this is the BSA trying to run some interference" on the recent remarks by board member and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson saying he opposed the policy, says Wahls.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Zach Wahls Speaks Out on Boy Scouts' Announcement Affirming its Anti-Gay Policy: VIDEO" »


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