President Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act when he was in the White House, is calling on the Supreme Court to abolish the law he approved as he believes it is unconstitutional.
In an op-ed piece in The Washington Post on March 8 Clinton wrote, "In 1996, I signed the Defense of Marriage Act.
"Although that was only 17 years ago, it was a very different time. In no state in the union was same-sex marriage recognized, much less available as a legal right, but some were moving in that direction."
Clinton, who was president from 1993 to 2001, notes that the bipartisan DOMA law was opposed by only 81 of the 535 members of Congress.
The DOMA law will come before the Supreme Court on March 27 where judges will 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.
"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," says Clinton.