In the comments to John’s post, I commented that I would never forgive Bob Barr for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Coincidentally, my partner just came home with the lastest issue of Southern Voice, an Atlanta area gay newspaper, and Bob Barr is on the cover. If elected president, he’d repeal a part of the law:
In a June 2 interview with Southern Voice, Barr, who served in Congress from 1995-2003, delineated between two sections of DOMA: a full faith and credit clause that protects the rights of each state to implement its own definition of marriage, and a section that defines marriage as only between one man and one woman under federal law.
“This [second part] was intended to apply to federal programs, such as survivor benefits, Social Security [and others],” he said.
Barr said it is the second part of DOMA he would work to repeal if elected president.
“Over the years and over the last year since I’ve been more active in the Libertarian Party, I’ve talked with a number of individuals, including members of Outright Libertarians [a gay Libertarian group], and have come to view the second part as having been used as a club, or the tail wagging the dog,” Barr said. “It has become in effect a national definition of marriage. This is not what I intended.”
Barr called that portion of DOMA a “mistake” during a May 25 speech to the Libertarian Party’s national convention. The speech is currently posted on YouTube. […]
“As I mentioned to you all last night, and I reiterate here today — standing before you, looking you in the eye — the Defense of Marriage Act, insofar as it provided the federal government a club to club down the rights of law-abiding, American citizens, has been abused, misused and should be repealed. And I will work to repeal that.”
I do agree with John that he’s not as batshit crazy as the most liberal people make him out to be. Still, I know a lot of gay conservatives, as you might imagine. My goal is to convince them, if they’re not going to vote for Obama, to at least support Bob Barr. While I disagree with him on many issues, I really do believe Bob Barr is a decent person – I mean, the guy worked for the ACLU on privacy issues – which I know we’re all about here. He’s the perfect example of what happens to people when their entire focus is on getting re-elected. When he doesn’t have to do that anymore, he can say what he means and mean what he says.
It seems to me that, what Barr is advocating is the rights of the states to decide what constitutes marriage. I’m ok with that. Well, I’m not ok with states that decide I’m not included, but I accept their right to decide. What he is now advocating is that the Federal government recognize a marriage if a state sanctions it (at least that’s what I think he means). So, if I got married in Massachusetts, for example, the Federal government would have to recognize it. I would be all for that. In fact, if I could vote, and if I thought Barr had a chance, I would vote for him for that reason alone. I married an American in Canada in 2002. My life would be so much simpler.
Slogan for the Barr campaign: Bob Barr – Not as Nutty as John McCain – and he can remember what he said yesterday.
(I’ll use the “Other” category when I talk about icky gay stuff.)