I was in the room at the White House strategy meeting and was sitting next to the president when he decided to promote and sign the bill. Nobody was even talking about a constitutional amendment back then - 1995-96 - and no one in the meeting so much as mentioned the possibility. His decision to sign the bill closely followed my announcement of polling data that suggested overwhelming support for the legislation. His announcement to his staff and advisers that he would sign the bill was, indeed, a strategic decision, but one that related to his re-election prospects rather than to any push for a constitutional amendment.
The bill was passed by Congress because of fears that legislation in Vermont, signed by Gov. Howard Dean, allowing same-sex "civil unions" might force other states to recognize unions formed under Vermont law. The worry was that same sex couples could force the other 49 states to recognize a marital relationship allowed under Vermont law by invoking the U.S. Constitution's full-faith-and-credit clause, which requires that states recognize the actions of their fellow states. To forestall this possibility, the Defense of Marriage Act tried to prohibit courts from making states recognize gay marriages or civil unions allowed by another state.
Hillary supported her husband's decision to sign the bill and has often reiterated her position. Her recent announcement that she would now approve of state action to allow gay marriage is a flip-flop, pure and simple.
Sen. Clinton is no different from her husband in one key respect: She is completely lacking in any principle. She, like her husband, will do or say anything if she thinks it will help her politically. What other woman in America would remain married to a serial adulterer like Bill Clinton? Bill isn't a husband to her; he's a means to an end and means nothing more to her. If she thought divorcing Bill would help her politically, she would be down at the courthouse tomorrow. Is this the kind of person we want to put back in the White House? If the GLBT community falls for her flip-flop, it will deserve the screwing she will undoubtedly give them as soon as the heat for her new-found position is turned up on her after she gets the nomination.
Morris also adds this little item about Bill's attitude towards the reaction of members of his staff who would be deeply disturbed by his support of DOMA. Morris writes, "During the discussion at the White House strategy meeting at which the president told us he would sign the bill, adviser George Stephanopoulos cautioned President Clinton to 'give us several days' to break the decision to White House staffers who might object." Clinton replied to Stephanopoulos, "Tell them we've created 4 million new jobs, and that they ought to go out and take a few of them." Nice guy, that Bill.