The 1996 DOMA Debate Revisited

Yesterday, I wrote that the Senate Judiciary hearings to repeal DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) included nothing new -- except the context, which is completely different. To get a sense of how different things were in 1996, check out some video excerpts from that year's debate posted at ThinkProgress. Ah, the memories!

ThinkProgress's Igor Volsky pulled out some of the choice quotes, for your delectation:

- REP. TOM COBURN (R-OK): "And there are studies to say that over 43 percent of all people who profess homosexuality have greater than 500 partners."

- REP. BOB BARR (R-GA): "It is part of a deliberate, coldly calculated power move to confront the basic social institutions on which our country not only was founded, but has prospered, and will continue to prosper."

- SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS): "To force upon our communities the legal recognition of same sex marriage would be social engineering beyond anything in the American experience."

It was all quite a different scene than the one yesterday, in which a stream of Democratic Senators and Congressmen praised the bravery, commitment, and love of married same-sex couples, and exposed the misleading statistics of the antigay witnesses.

Presented by

E.J. Graff, a resident scholar at the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center, is a contributing editor and daily columnist at The American Prospect and the author of What Is Marriage For? The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Politics

Just In