Gay Marriage

Meet the Democrats Who Voted for the Defense of Marriage Act


The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. With the ruling, same-sex couples that are legally married by a state will now be able to receive federal marriage benefits.

Some prominent Democrats have lauded this movement towards more equal treatment. In response to the ruling, Bill Clinton tweeted that he is "grateful to all who fought tirelessly for this day." He also released an official statement condemning the discriminatory nature of DOMA. What Clinton failed to mention was that he signed the act into law.

He wasn't alone in his silence. Other leading Democrats who supported it include Vice President Joe Biden, who voted for DOMA as a senator. Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.), who said, "The idea that allowing two loving, committed people to marry would have a negative impact on anyone else, or on our nation as a whole, has always struck me as absurd," also forgot to note that he voted for DOMA. Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) released a statement praising the forward thinking of the Supreme Court. "The march towards equality… moved forward again today… The Supreme Court did the right thing here and helps us understand that the march to equality in America is unstoppable." He made no mention of the fact that he, too, voted for the act and against "the march to equality." Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.) patted himself on the back: "As a member of Congress who signed the amicus brief urging this decision [to repeal DOMA], I am thrilled that the Supreme Court took a strong stand for marriage equality." Menendez saw no need to clarify that this was only after he voted for DOMA in the first place. Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa) voiced his support yesterday saying, "I am glad that the court recognized that all American families deserve the same legal protections," but made no mention of why his point of view flipped.

Here are the Democratic senators and House members still in office who voted for DOMA:


Baucus, Max (Mont.)

Biden, Joe (Del.) (Now Vice President)

Harkin, Tom (Iowa)

Leahy, Patrick (Vt.)

Levin, Carl (Mich.)

Mikulski, Barbara (Md.)

Murray, Patty (Wash.)

Reid, Harry (Nev.)

Rockefeller, Jay (W. Va.)

House of Representatives

Hilliard, Earl (Ala.)

Pastor, Ed (Ariz.)

DeLauro, Rosa (Conn.)

Brown, Corrine (Fla.)

Bishop, Sanford (Fla.)

Rush, Bobby (Ill.)

Durbin, Richard (Ill.) (now senator)

Visclosky, Peter (Ill.)

Neal, Richard (Mass.)

Cardin, Benjamin (Md.) (now senator)

Hoyer, Steny (Md.)

Cummings, Elijah (Md.)

Levin, Sander (Mich.)

Dingell, John (Mich.)

Peterson, Collin (Minn.)

Andrews, Rob (N.J.)

Menéndez, Bob (N.J.) (now senator)

Schumer, Charles (N.Y.) (now senator)

Lowey, Nita (N.Y.)

Kaptur, Marcy (Ohio)

Blumenauer, Earl (Ore.)

Doyle, Mike (Penn.)

Reed, John (R.I.) (now senator)

Clyburn, Jim (S.C.)

Johnson, Tim (S.D.) (now senator)

Hall, Ralph (Texas)

Doggett, Lloyd (Texas)

Green, Gene (Texas)

Johnson, Eddie (Texas)

Rahall, Nick (W. Va.)

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43 responses to “Meet the Democrats Who Voted for the Defense of Marriage Act

  1. In fairness, everyone knew they were lying. They always wanted gay marriage. They just lied until the Supreme Court put the boobs in line.

    You have to be pretty stupid if you think they believed anything they said. Next you are going to tell me how they really do believe in border security as a prerequisite to amnesty.

    1. I think they always wanted what was politically expedient at the time. If, for some reason, public opinion turned against gay marriage, they would support DOMA again in a heartbeat

      1. True. But unlike this, they wouldn’t be happy about doing it. But yeah, they would do it.

        Here is the really sad thing. Times change and not always for the better. If the day comes that the cultural winds blow against the gays and it becomes politically expedient to go after them, the Dems will in a heartbeat.

      2. They also have some pretty disparate groups in their tent. Going full out in support of gay marriage back in 199X would have alienated certain groups. I’m not saying those groups would have turned to the GOP, but they might not have voted at all.

    2. “the Supreme Court put the boobs in line.”

      You mean Schumer’s moobs, right?

      Seriously, I don’t know that they were necessarily lying as such. General public acceptance of gays has grown a lot in the past 20 years. I think it’s part changing with the times, but mostly the usual pandering and political expediency.

      1. I defy you to control the Senatorial Moobs.

  2. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia

  3. And no one in the media (besides, say, Zenon) will call them on it. It must be nice having a compliant media. It allows you to do so many repulsive things and get away with it. That’s why the media is the fourth estate; they’re the other estates’ servant class.

    1. They don’t see that there is anything to call them on. Since the media always knew they were lying, they were not really lying to the media. And lying to the media is the only real sin. Lying to the public for the good of the cause? Why would the media call them on that?

    2. Yet Zenon, (not just a noble gas homonym anymore) is clearly less qualified as evidenced by the lack of alt-text.

  4. Unimportant. These politicians know that only violent right-wing nuts like Reason will call them out for their hypocrisy, and it is an issue that has been blown so far out of proportion in terms of facts and premises that throwing another fabrication on the pile won’t do anything to discredit either side.

    1. Lying to t he proles is always acceptable. The country was so ignorant and hateful back then, they had no choice.

      1. And that is how it will go down in the history books, if it is even recorded at all: as a hand-wringing act of courage against a majority of fascists; a clever compromise, even.

    2. Liberalism means never having to say you’re sorry.

  5. TEAM Blue flushes prior misdeeds down the memory hole.

    In other news, the sun is still hot.

  6. Shriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikkkkeeeee!

  7. And no one in the media (besides, say, Zenon) will call them on it.

    Speaking of Zenon, and calling out: Where’s my alt-text?


    1. slow I am.

  8. All will be well once we have our first lesbian president and first gay First Gentleman in the White House.

    1. So Eleanor Roosevelt doesn’t count on that one?

      [Lorena Hickok] my dearest–

      I cannot go to bed tonight without a word to you. I felt a little as though a part of me was leaving tonight. you have grown so much to be a part of my life that it is empty without you, even though I’m busy every minute.
      Oh! darling. I hope on the whole you will be happier for my friendship. I felt I had brought you so much discomfort and hardship today & almost more heartache than you could bear & I don’t want to make you unhappy–All my love I shall be saying to you over thought waves in a few minutes.
      Good night my dear one
      Angels guard thee
      God protect thee
      My love enfold thee
      All the night through
      Always yours

  9. They had to pass the bill before they could be horrified by its obviously bigoted effects.

  10. Reagan made them do it!

    1. I blame Bush.

  11. Charles “Bitch Tits” Schumer

  12. Yet Paula Deen gets run out of town for using a racial term “a long time ago.” She’s apologized (apparently to no avail) so when can we expect these DOMA supporters to apologize??

    1. You should look up the story of Schumer’s first run for a NYC council seat. He and Deen have something in common.

  13. I guess we won’t know for certain if John Lewis was really voting on principle, or if he was mindful that metro Atlanta had gay residents numbering in the hundreds of thousands even then.

  14. Interesting how many of them continue to hold office in “Red” states or states that are considered to be backwaters loaded with foaming-at-the-mouth redneck gay-haters. It would be interesting to see how many from “Blue” states who voted against DOMA have since been voted from office by their ever so tolerant constituencies.

  15. Joe Biden needs a haircut.

  16. Democrats changing their mind about gay marriage is worse than Republicans not changing theirs!

    1. shlurp shlurp shlurp

  17. Believe me, liberals are quite aware of Clinton’s seriously problematic signing of DOMA–several of them criticized him for it at the time. And yes, the Democrats today should’ve acknowledged their support of DOMA in 1996. But beyond that, I’m not sure what your point is: striking down DOMA now is either a good thing or it isn’t and if it is, isn’t a good thing they changed their minds?
    Here’s another question, if you’re arguing that Republicans are somehow getting a bad rap: What was the party breakdown of those who *opposed* DOMA in 1996?

    HOUSE: Total Nays: 65. Democrats: 64. Republicans: 1.
    SENATE:… Total Nays: 14. Democrats: 14. Republicans: 0.
    I count 79 profiles in courage. 78 Democrats. 1 Republican.

    And, while Ted Olson certainly deserves a huge amount of credit for his fight against Prop 8, I can’t really think of very many other conservatives who support marriage equality. If you support marriage equality, see if you can get the rest of your party on board. If not, you still shouldn’t try to pretend that the two parties were equally bad on this.

  18. this is further proof why I don’t trust politicians to do what is best for the people, these shysters cannot even follow the constitution, they are dangerous

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