WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton called for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that he signed in 1996, banning same-sex marriage.
In an opinion column published Thursday by The Washington Post, Clinton called the law, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage, "discriminatory," and said the Supreme Court should overturn it.
"On March 27, DOMA will come before the Supreme Court, and the justices must decide whether it is consistent with the principles of a nation that honors freedom, equality and justice above all, and is therefore constitutional. As the president who signed the act into law, I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution," Clinton wrote.
"Because Section 3 of the act defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, same-sex couples who are legally married in nine states and the District of Columbia are denied the benefits of more than a thousand federal statutes and programs available to other married couples," the former president said.
"When I signed the bill, I included a statement with the admonition that 'enactment of this legislation should not, despite the fierce and at times divisive rhetoric surrounding it, be understood to provide an excuse for discrimination.' Reading those words today, I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should be overturned," he said.