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03/08/2013

Since we're talking Clinton & DOMA, here's the letter HRC sent him on 9/13/96

by Jeremy Hooper

Sure, he's made his position clear now. But back then, the Human Rights Campaign's Elizabeth tried to save the 42nd President both time and face:

September 13, 1996
The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The Human Rights Campaign and the vast majority of gay Americans want nothing more than to re-elect you and your Administration to a second term. I believe we have consistently demonstrated our loyalty since our early endorsement in February of this year. We appreciate all you have done and most recently for including us once again on your bridge to the 21st Century.
From time to time in American history, moments come which require the highest order of moral leadership. You will face such a moment next week. Despite Herculean efforts, we have been unable to keep the so-called Defense of Marriage Act from your desk. Besides being a clear instrument of hate and division, DOMA will institute apartheid for gay and lesbian Americans for the first time in history. It is wrong. And more than the fact that you have a healthy lead in the polls, more than the fact that you have already done more than any other leader for gay Americans in the history of this country and more than for us, we want you to veto DOMA for yourself. You should be able to look back when you are 90 years old, sitting on a rocker in Little Rock and when asked whether you acted with integrity when you faced your Plessy v. Ferguson -- you will be able to say to yourself and to history a resounding 'yes.'
Sincerely,
Elizabeth Birch 
Executive Director
[HRC (archive.org)]

William J. is closer to ninety now than he was sixteen-and-a-half years ago. I'm happy he's closer to the right side of history as well.

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