Saturday, September 23, 2006

Clinton's DOMA Turns 10; Gay Marriage Leaders Silent

This week marked a sad, but important anniversary in the effort to secure equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples, but none of the major national gay groups called attention to it. Thursday, September 21 was the tenth anniversary of President Bill Clinton signing the Defense of Marriage Act into law. If memory serves, I believe he signed DOMA late at night, without any photographers or members of the public present.

One might think gay advocacy groups would mark a decade of this hateful antigay law, but a survey of such groups' web sites shows complete silence on this anniversary.

The Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Freedom to Marry organization, the Log Cabin Republicans, the Marriage Equality group -- all were silent as the tenth anniversary of Clinton signing DOMA came and went.

A few questions need asking. Why didn't the gay groups use the anniversary date to educate the American public about the marriage discrimination gays and lesbians face? Would it have been so terrible for the advocates to hold town hall meetings or organizing a political lobbying day on DOMA? Do we gays not know how to use important anniversaries to advance our vital issues?

And finally, I believe the gay and lesbian community must learn to take full advantage of things like the tenth anniversary of Clinton shamefully signing DOMA, if only because we can use the anniversary as a natural hook for reporters to write stories and remind people that the battle to win marriage equality is far from over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your perspective. This law is what leaves it up to the states to define marriage. It is the weapon the RIGHT needed to put out all of those hateful marriage amendments- and Bill Clinton caving to political pressure signed it. Shame on him!