Bill Clinton Tried to Avoid the DOMA Trap Republicans Set. Instead, He Trapped Himself.


Prior to May 1996, President Bill Clinton had never had to speak a word in public about same-sex marriage. As a candidate four years earlier, Clinton had been pioneering in his proud embrace of gay rights: the first presidential nominee to have an openly gay speaker at his convention, the first to say “gay” in an acceptance speech, the first to appear at a fundraiser expressly targeted at cultivating support from sexual minorities. While he was pressed for commitments on a range of concerns to the LGBT community, marriage rights were not one of them. The only documented statement Clinton made about the topic was in a brief

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