The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 3/13/13, 8:00 PM ET

Rewriting DOMA regrets

In a new interview, President Obama offered up a new take on marriage equality, as Minnesota lawmakers consider a same-sex marriage bill. MSNBC’s Lawrence O...
In a new interview, President Obama offered up a new take on marriage equality, as Minnesota lawmakers consider a same-sex marriage bill. MSNBC’s Lawrence O...

Rewriting the price of political expedience and DOMA

Updated

President Obama has said he can no longer see any justification for keeping the Defense of Marriage Act.

The president who signed the anti-gay act doesn’t support the law either, it now turns out. Last week Bill Clinton wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post arguing against DOMA–a bill he himself signed into law in 1996.

“Bill Clinton signed DOMA in the middle of his re-election campaign when he was 18-points ahead of Republican challenger Bob Dole,” msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell said in his Rewrite segment on Wednesday. “Bill Clinton’s re-election was never seriously challenged that year, but President Clinton–then still under the influence of campaign consultant Dick Morris–wasn’t willing to lose a single point in the polls over something like the Defense of Marriage Act.”

O’Donnell said, “Many who voted the wrong way on the Defense of Marriage Act knew better, or should have known better.” In the case of one lawmaker, former Minnesota state Rep. Lynne Osterman recently admitted to voting in favor of DOMA in 2004 for political reasons.

“I have regretted that ever since,” said a teary Osterman at a state House committee hearing for a proposed same sex marriage bill. “It was not in my conscience or my own compass.”

Just hours after Osterman’s testimony, the Minnesota House Civil Law Committee voted on party lines to pass the same-sex marriage bill in question, following the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee’s passage of the same bill earlier that day. The legislation will now move to the floor of both chambers, where a vote is expected much later in the session.

Rewriting the price of political expedience and DOMA

Updated