The Defense of Marriage Act Was Always Discrimination With a States' Rights Mask:
At yesterday's Supreme Court hearing on the challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a couple of the justices seemed shocked, just shocked, that the members of Congress who voted for it might have been anti-gay bigots. Indeed, much of the discussion, after an endless back and forth about legal standing, seemed centered on states' rights and federalism rather than DOMA just being wrong because, well, it's wrong. When Justice Elena Kagan read from the House Judiciary Committee Report on DOMA, which said, "Congress decided to reflect and honor of collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality," it was a clarifying moment. She then asked, "Is that what happened in 1996?" Lawyer Paul Clement, seeming stunned, fumbled around and then sidestepped the question.
So let the Rude Pundit answer it with quotes from Republicans on July 11, 1996, during the debate in the House of Representatives over DOMA, and July 12, from press releases after it passed the House: "Yes, Justice Kagan, that is exactly what happened in 1996."
"Our law should embody an unequivocal recognition of that fundamental fact. Our law should not treat homosexual relationships as the moral equivalent of the heterosexual relationships on which the family is based." - Florida Rep. Charles Canady, one of the DOMA's sponsors, on July 11, 1996
"All this rhetoric is simply designed to divert attention from the fundamental issue involved here. It is an attempt to evade the basic question of whether the law of this country should treat homosexual relationships as morally equivalent to heterosexual relationships. That is what is at stake here: Should the law express its neutrality between homosexual and heterosexual relationships? Should the law elevate homosexual unions to the same status as the heterosexual relationships on which the traditional family is based, a status which has been reserved from time immemorial for the union between a man and a woman? Should we tell the children of America that it is a matter of indifference whether they establish families with a partner of the opposite sex or cohabit with someone of the same sex? Should we tell the children of America that we a society believe there is no moral difference between homosexual relationships and heterosexual relationships? Shall we tell the children of America that in the eyes of the law, the parties to a homosexual union are entitled to all the rights and privileges and benefits that have always been reserved for a man and woman united in marriage?" - Canady, later in the debate
"There is, as I said, a radical element, a homosexual agenda that wants to redefine what marriage is. They want to say that a marriage not only is one man and one woman but it is two men or it is two women. What logical reason is there to keep us from stopping expansion of that definition to include three people or an adult and a child, or any other odd combination that we want to have?" - Oklahoma Rep. Steve Largent
"I come from a district in Oklahoma who has very profound beliefs that homosexuality is wrong. I represent that district. They base that belief on what they believe God says about homosexuality. It is what they believe God says about it. What they believe is, is that homosexuality is immoral, that it is based on perversion, that it is based on lust...We hear about diversity, but we do not hear about perversity, and I think that we should not be afraid to talk about the very issues that are at the core of this. This is a great debate that we are going to have in our country, and it is not going to end with the debate on this bill. The fact is, no society that has lived through the transition to homosexuality and the perversion which it lives and what it brought forth." - Oklahoma Rep. Tom Coburn (Yep, that's the dude who is a senator now.)
"My bill, which the President has said he will sign, draws the line with the vast majority of the American people and says No! My bill says states will not be forced to accept same sex marriage, and the federal government will take the straightforward step of defining marriage so no one may abuse a 2,000 year old understanding of what marriage is, and open the U.S. Treasury to raid by homosexual extremists determined to grant the whole range of federal benefits, including social security, or veterans' survivor benefits." - Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, July 12, 1996
"A union between two men or two women is no more a marriage than a union between three women and a man, a man and his car, or a cat and its yarn." - Texas Rep. Steve Stockman (He's still in the House.)
(Note: yes, a number of Democrats voted for the bill, but none of them are on the record being such assholes.)