Bil Browning

Arlen Specter: A Tale of Two DOMAs

Filed By Bil Browning | October 27, 2009 7:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: Arlen Specter, Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, gay marriage, Joe Sestak, marriage equality, Pennsylvania, same-sex marriage

Interesting. Take a look at these two statements from Pennsylvania Republican-turned-Democrat Senator Arlen Specter.

On September 2nd, Specter sent this in reply to a constituent who wrote about amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage.arlen-specter.jpg

In 1996, the Congress passed and the President signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I supported the passage of this legislation. This law has two important facets. First, the law defines marriage for the purpose of the Federal government as a union between one man and one woman. Second, it provides that no state or local jurisdiction may be forced to recognize a legal union created in another state or jurisdiction, if the definition of that union is contradictory to their own.

Specter published an op-ed on Huffington Post this morning though that is a little more thoughtful about DOMA.

The time has come to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Enacted 13 years ago when the idea of same sex marriage was struggling for acceptance, the Act is a relic of a more tradition-bound time and culture.

What happened to spur Specter into such a dramatic change of heart? Open Left's Chris Bowers thinks it was Democratic primary opponent Joe Sestak's petition to end DOMA.

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Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 28, 2009 5:35 AM

Specter is afraid he'll lose the election.

In 1996 he voted for DOMA and he’s one of the bigots in Congress and the administration like Obama and Hillary Clinton who think that the question of same sex marriage equality should be left up to the states, just as earlier Democrats thought that the question of slavery should be left up to the states.

He voted against DADT but so did several Republicans, not so much because they opposed the bigotry inherent in Clintons DADT but because they didn't think it was mean spirited enough.

The ease with which rightwingers like Arlen Specter and Strom Thurmond can switch from one right centrist party to another is just another indication of basic similarities and ties between the party of Tweedledee and the party of Tweedledum.

Republicans are Democrats in drag.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 28, 2009 6:31 AM

I doubt that Specter, or any politician really, changes party out of anything except self interest. Being elected is one consideration of self interest. Specter's time has come and gone and he should have made a graceful exit.