The 42nd US president appears to have U-turned on his stancetaken 17 years ago concerning the issue of gay marriage.Clinton called the law outdated and bias towards the sexualminorities in his article, entitled ‘It’s time to overturn DOMA’,which was published by the Washington Post newspaper onThursday.“I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse fordiscrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should beoverturned,” he wrote.Clinton’s excuse for signing the bill, which he now refers to as“unconstitutional”, is that “it was a very differenttime”, with same same-sex marriages not recognized in any ofthe US states.The 66-year-old explained that it never crossed his mind that DOMAmay be used to discriminate sexual minorities, noting that he’s notthe only one to blame, with just 81 of the 535 members of Congressbeing opposed the bill. Clinton argues he was acting out of the best purposes as he sawDOMA as the best possible way to “defuse a movement to enact aconstitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which would haveended the debate for a generation or more.”Section 3 of the DOMA act defines marriage as “being between aman and a woman”, which puts American homosexual couples at adisadvantage.Despite paying taxes and contributing to their communities in otherways, they are denied the benefits of the federal statutes andprograms available to more traditional families.A lot however, has changed since 1996 as gay couples are nowallowed to tie the knot in nine states (Iowa, Connecticut,Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Maine, Maryland,and Washington) and the District of Columbia.Section 3 of DOMA has been found unconstitutional in eight Americanfederal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court ofAppeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits,estate taxes and immigration.And now the Supreme Court is going to hear an appeal in one ofthose cases – United States v. Windsor – and decide on whether thelegislation stays or goes.In 2009, Edith Windsor took legal action after she had to payfederal estate taxes because DOMA prevents the Internal RevenueService from recognizing her as a surviving spouse of late TheaSpyer.The lesbian couple from New York were together for 42 years beforemarrying in Canada 2007 where same-sex alliances were legalizedeight years ago. The Supreme Court will look into the case on March 27, with thejudges decision expected in June.“I join with the Obama administration, the petitioner EdithWindsor, and the many other dedicated men and women who haveengaged in this struggle for decades in urging the Supreme Court tooverturn the Defense of Marriage Act,” Clinton concluded in hisentry.
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