As all eyes and ears are on the Supreme Court, regarding its decision whether to review the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and the challenge to California's 2010 Proposition 8 — both of which define marriage as between a man and a woman — pundits from all across the blogosphere (including PolicyMic's own Peter Prime and Jesse Merkel) are weighing in on the civil rights issue of our generation.
But absent from all the talk (until now) is the fact that, though President Obama may have helped LGBT advocates by expressing public support for marriage equality back in May, it was another Democratic president — Bill Clinton — who signed DOMA into law effectively executing government-sponsored discrimination and the singling out of millions of Americans as second class citizens (by being denied federal benefits if they happen to be married to someone of the same gender).
And, despite any potential political or historical justifications for what The New York Times' Frank Bruni calls "one of the uglier blemishes" on Clinton's record, there is a burgeoning call — led by Bruni and seconded by yours truly — to former President Clinton to publicly apologize for DOMA.
In his open letter to Bill Clinton, the Times' Bruni not only asks the former president for an apology regarding DOMA but he also questions Clinton for not even addressing — let alone supporting — the fight for marriage equality.
He writes: "why, amid all the battles you’ve joined, and with all the energy you’ve been able to muster, haven’t you made a more vigorous case for same-sex marriage, especially in light of your history on this issue?"
It's a fair case to make, especially since the Democratic Party has surged from election 2012 as the party of diversity and inclusion. But that wasn't always the case, as PolicyMic's Merkel points out in 'The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage.' There was a time when Republicans were the party of diversity and inclusion. They championed both abolishing slavery and women's right to vote. But these are political events in American history that go awfully overlooked (just as Clinton's 1996 support for 'traditional marriage').