February 6, 2016 at 5:01 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Clinton surrogates pounce on Sanders over ’82 marriage resolution

Bernie Sanders, United States Senate, U.S. Congress, Vermont, Democratic Socialist, gay news, Washington Blade

Clinton supporters are criticizing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) over a 1982 marriage resolution. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Supporters of Hillary Clinton on Saturday pounced on a newly unearthed resolution signed by Bernard Sanders in 1982 affirming marriage is between “husband and wife,” asserting the document undercuts the notion he’s been a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage.

Peter Ajeiman, chief of staff for openly gay New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman, went so far as to compare Sanders to former President George W. Bush, who called for U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage nationwide.

The resolution was made public over the weekend by Jonathan Allen of Sidewire, who writes “there can be no question” the document is intended to affirm marriage is between a man and a woman.

The document, apparently signed by Sanders in his capacity as Burlington mayor, designates “We Believe in Marriage Week” for the city. The third “whereas” for resolution says marriage “should be viewed as a lifelong commitment between husband and wife filled with mutual respect and open, honest communications.”

Although saying marriage is between a man and a woman has becoming a rallying cry in recent years for opponents of same-sex marriage. nothing in the resolution explicitly says gay people should be excluded from the institution. As a whole, the document promotes marriage as a “cornerstone of the American society” and family as an societal institution, which could easily apply to married gay people.

Clinton surrogates on Twitter unleashed a firestorm of criticism on Sanders over the resolution, saying it demonstrates of lack of commitment to LGBT rights.

Christine Quinn, a lesbian former New York City Council speaker and 2013 mayoral candidate in the city, said the document exposes the “full” record of Sanders on LGBT rights.

Jimmy LaSalvia, a former executive director of GOProud and gay Independent who’s endorsed Clinton, said the document demonstrates Sanders “hasn’t been honest.”

As for Sanders’ record on marriage, he was among 57 U.S. House members to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, although at the time he cited state’s rights as a reason to oppose the law. Sanders would continue to oppose same-sex marriage in favor of civil unions until at least 2006, but came out in favor of same-sex marriage in 2009.

In comparison, Clinton supported DOMA through her U.S. Senate run in 2000 and advocated for only partial repeal during her first presidential run in 2008. She continued to oppose same-sex marriage in favor of civil unions through this time and her tenure as secretary of state until she spoke out in favor of marriage equality in 2013.

To keep the resolution in perspective, efforts to legalize same-sex marriage were few and far between in the decade before the resolution was signed. No state at the time had same-sex marriage, or civil unions for that matter. Litigation seeking same-sex marriage in Hawaii and Vermont would come in the 1990s, but no lawsuit would be successful in obtaining same-sex marriage until the Goodridge decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2003.

According to Sanders’s campaign website, he one year after the resolution was apparently signed supported as Burlington mayor the city’s first-ever Pride parade and later signed a city ordinance prohibiting housing discrimination there.

The Blade has placed a call with both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns seeking a response to the resolution and Clinton supporters’ criticism of her rival over it.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Even if real, that was 1982, Clinton was blasting gay marriage as late as 2004, and it’s on video

    Google this: Hillary Clinton gay marriage 2004 video

    Here’s the text of her speech:

    “I believe that marriage is, not just a bond, but a sacred bond between a man and a woman. I have had occasion in my life to defend marriage, to stand up for marriage, to believe in the hard work and challenge of marriage.

    “So i take umbrage at anyone who might suggest that those of us who worry about amending the constitution are less committed to the sanctity of marriage, or to the fundamental bedrock principle that it exists between a man and a woman going back into the mists of history, as one of the founding foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization.

    “And that its primary, principal role during those millenia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults.”

    She didn’t just bash gay marriage, but she also bashed the idea of gays raising kids (the ol’gay are molesting perverts insinuation). As a Bernie supporter, I say to this line of attack: BRING IT ON.

    • I’m more concerned about her current position and who is more realistically electable in a general election. While I like many of Bernie’s ideas, I’m not sure that independents would support what they might consider a socialist agenda.

      Bernie seems too old to me, too. I don’t see him running for a 2nd term if elected. I want someone in it for the long term.

      • How do you know any of her current positions? She was a moderate last week. This week she’s a progressive. Her words, not mine.

        Anyway, Bernie polls significantly better than Hillary against all of the potential Republican nominees (see Real Clear Politics dot com). She has high negatives. Many people just don’t like and/or trust her. The he’s not electable argument just doesn’t hold water; in fact, it’s the opposite of what is true.

        Age might be a factor, with Bernie, we’ll likely see Warren, and she’s the real dream imo.

        • Who can really trust any politician at their word? They all lie. It’s always about the lesser of evils. You can only hope to get the one elected that can do the least harm. They always take a more far right or far left position in the primaries to appeal to their base then once they get the nomination are forced to then take a center position to attract the most voters.

          Besides glbt voters are not a major voting block. Does Hillary really need to be so concerned about her record on our rights to get elected unless she expects a close election? Maybe she regrets her past positions now.

          I don’t always trust polls. Are they based on all likely voters or just the party bases? Will all these people actually be motivated to vote?

          Warren? Do you mean Elizabeth warren? You see her as a Bernie running mate? I thought she said she was not interested in running?

          Warren is too intellectual. Presidencies are typically won by the most charismatic not the smartest.

          • “Who can really trust any politician at their word?” Bernie Sanders has shown an amazing consistency in his message – with very little change – for over 40 years. Compare that to Hillary. “It’s always about the lesser of evils.” It doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to *settle* this year. You really don’t.

          • If Bernie had been around for 40 years with so much to offer us why hasn’t he gotten anywhere in all this time? It’s Ralph Nader all over again!

        • ^ Absolutely, positively true and correct.

        • How do you know any of Bernie’s positions. He sure has evolved on guns and immigration in these past few weeks. And Super PACs and flying a private jet and…

          • He has a D- because he is for common sense gun controls that republicans and democrats can both agree too such as background checks. He didn’t like illegal immigration because companies were essentially using it as a form of slavery in America and hiring illegal immigrants is breaking the law. He better have a jet if he is going to have a campaign in all 50 states and why did you stop there.

      • Eighty-nine percent of registered Independents said that they would NEVER vote for anyone who identified themselves as a socialist, and guess what Dear Leader is?

        By the way, MOST of that 89% also said that they WOULD vote for a Democratic woman.

      • Hillary was hospitalized for blood clots and a second issue within the last 3 years. Bernie hasn’t been.

        If we’re going to worry about longevity, we should probably consider those things since her health is more concerning than his. She’d also be 78 at the end of her second term. If you’re worried about his age, that should alarm you as well.

        Ignore that Bernie is still running, jumping, bouncing around full of energy with a clean bill of health.

        • Perception counts a lot and Hillary’s age isn’t as obvious as Bernie’s. The GOP candidates come across as younger than the dems. People quickly forget the past unless it’s brought up. Her health issues aren’t even discussed.

          Most voters now are concerned about homeland security issues. That will be a prominent issue. Hillary has a lot of experience there while Bernie really doesn’t. It’s a weakness the GOP will seek to exploit.

    • Bernie was telling Vermont newspapers as recently as 2006 that he opposed gay marriage.

      Difference is Clinton admitted she grew and evolved while Bernie just lies.

    • So you edited the state’s rights part out for your benefit? The same excuse Sanders used? Everyone knows Clinton said that. They don’t know Bernie did, too.

    • That’s the POINT. You and the rest of the Bernie fans keep pointing to that citation but completely ignore that Bernie’s view was EXACTLY THE SAME. The argument is against hypocrisy and implying you’re a better man when you’re not.

  • What nonsense…

    Clinton opposed same-sex marriage as a candidate for the Senate, while
    in office as a senator, and while running for president in 2008. She changed her mind (evolved) in 2013.

    January 2000: At a news conference in White Plains, Hillary Clinton said,
    “Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back
    to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has
    always been, between a man and a woman. But I also believe that people
    in committed gay marriages, as they believe them to be, should be given
    rights under the law that recognize and respect their relationship.”

    August 2007: In a Democratic primary debate sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign and LOGO Network (a gay-oriented TV station) Clinton was asked “What is at the heart of your opposition to same-sex marriage?” Clinton replied: “Well, I prefer to think of it as being very positive about civil unions. You know, it’s a personal position. How we get to full equality is the debate we’re having, and I am absolutely in favor of civil unions with full equality of benefits, rights, and privileges.”

    • Everyone has a tainted historical record when it comes to our issues. The difference is what are they willing to do for us now and what will they commit to supporting for us if elected.
      I haven’t forgotten how Bill Clinton let us down on DADT and by endorsing DOMA. In fact, he promoted it during his 2nd term election to get evangelical votes. He let us down. He did more harm in that sense than good.

      That said, I think Bernie is a long-shot for the Presidency. He’s considered a socialist and too much too the left. While I support his ideas we must be realistic about who is electable in a general election. His idea may just not appeal to enough independents to get him elected and it could give the GOP the edge if their candidate is considered more centrist. Hillary despite her baggage seems to be the best alternative we have.

      The Dems could have come up with better candidates like Gavin Newsome but they choose instead to assume it was Hillary’s for the taking and her time. Let’s hope it doesn’t backfire.

      • The only thing that makes Sanders a long shot is people THINKING he’s a long shot. A vote for second best is a wasted vote. Stop being pessimistic and use your right to vote the way it was intended….vote for the person best suited for the job.

        • Your idealistic view may just put a republican in office.

          See beyond the candidate and remember that a lot is at stake including the SCOTUS. We can’t afford to lose.

          • That’s awfully presumptive of you to assume I and other Sanders supporters don’t comprehend what’s at stake. What’s at stake is WHY we support Sanders. No significant change EVER comes from people accepting the status quo out of fear.

          • Ralph Nader supporters felt the same. Where did it get them?

          • Except at the caucuses when we were asking Sanders’ supporters to sign petitions for other liberal candidates to get on the ballot, they didn’t sign. They didn’t even look at them. You are accepting the status quo. You (as in Sanders’ supporters as whole) want to elect a president without giving him a coalition. You have no interest in flipping state seats or participating in local elections. You want to use the machine that is the democratic party and then complain about that machine, even though without it, Bernie would not have a single delegate.
            I’d believe you sincerely wanted a change if you actually started from the ground up, but you’re not doing that. You want to elect a lame-duck president who you will be angry at in 2018 when you don’t have your free college and single payer healthcare and you will sit home during the midterms. The purist progressives, the youth vote, handed TWENTY states to the Republicans. Some that had been in dem control for over a hundred years.
            Your impatience and unwillingness to actually put the work in to bring about change is the reason why so many states refused medicaid expansion. It’s why Planned Parenthood lost so much funding.
            You want the easy, quick fix and it’s going to end up with Sanders not having even enough votes to get an executive order passed. In 2020, he will be primaried. He will lose a reelection. And we will be in ten times worse shape than we are now.

          • You have no idea of what Sanders supporters are doing. This commentary shows it.

            Please, repeat the standard Clinton endorsement lines somewhere else, because you’re not showing that you’re thinking for yourself in this one.

            Many supporters of Sanders are non-traditional Democrats, typically that vote independent, third party, or not at all because they feel that corporate interests are just going to pick the guy they want. Meanwhile, people see the chance for change, and they’re taking the primary as the chance to make that voice heard.

            YOU should vote for who you want to, but you should stop telling people that they shouldn’t want change, they shouldn’t want fairness, and they shouldn’t want a new approach to rebuilding this country. The traditional “nothing changes” political environment of this country has NOT gotten any of that done. That’s why we have a floundering economy on any given day, a ever growing inequality gap, and a failing infrastructure that will eventually kill thousands before establishment politicians get off of their paid for tails, ignore the corporate masters, and get to work on fixing the country and making it great once again.

          • I’m in Iowa. I am at ground zero and know exactly what the Sanders supporters are going and saying. I heard them every day for the last six months. I was at the caucus. I know what happened when we tried to get Sanders supporters to actually sign petitions for progressive and moderate dems. They couldn’t take five minutes to sign it, they can’t donate ten bucks to the campaigns. They don’t care about down-ballot votes.

          • They are not Dems. Sanders is in this to kill the party. They will deny it, of course, but their actions speak volumes.

          • We had a lot of disruptors here in Massachusetts. We all love Bernie, but the supporters were distorting Hillary’s record and turned me off to him. I chose Hillary after hearing so much disinformation from the younger Bernie supporters. They were not alive and part of the movement or too young to know. They post statements that contradict the facts and everything I witnessed. I am disgusted by this nonsense. It makes me wonder if these people are planted because it just doesn’t make sense.

        • That helped Ralph Nader and Ross Perot or another candidate we didn’t want?

          • The constant negative claims that frightened people into not voting their conscience and voting “to stop the other guy” is what held them back. The same narrow minded and undemocratic argument you’re making right now.

          • It’s reality. Let’s see who actually gets the nomination and go from there. Running mates will be important too.

        • The only thing that makes Sanders a long shot is that he’s a wing nut.

        • That would be the person who can win the national and who already has the experience in international human rights affairs. Hillary!

      • We have to be ‘realistic’… gosh, I remember when people told us the *same* thing about fighting for Marriage Equality. I didn’t believe it then, and I don’t believe it now.

      • Umm, excuse me but I believe that all of the polling that I see, and there has been a lot of it, shows Bernie beating each of the likely Republican Nominees by MORE of a margin than Hillary.

        *Crikey! Where do some people get these ideas?!?

      • Yes, he signed DOMA because the alternative was letting our soldiers be discharged or court martialed if they honestly answered that they were gay when a superior asked them. It’s bizarre that people can’t remember what the political climate was back then. I had friends who were booted from the army based only the suspicion that they were queer.

        • Most people have short memories and that is why it’s often so easy to omit or distort facts to manipulate undecided voters. We must be vigilant against revisionist.

        • It was a stupid law. Why would anyone think it is OK to have secretly gay people in the military rather than openly gay people? None of the dildos at the time even asked that question, much less answered it.

          • Who thinks it’s better to have soldiers beating to death or crippling their fellow troops, or for them to not lay a hand on them at all because they don’t know they’re gay, so they can’t be angry about it?

            You probably should have been in the military at that point so you’d have a better grasp on what the situation actually was at the time.

          • Oh jeez, how old are you? That was the whole point of DADT. The discrimination of even suspected gay people was off the charts. You think they just came up with DADT on a whim without research? People were still being arrested for being gay. Read some history. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/abuse-of-gays-in-military-increases/

          • I’m 24. And I can reason. Can you? They could not.

          • Clinton was elected with a promise to end discrimination in the military. He broke his promise. Instead he put in DADT which still allowed the military to investigate, harass and force gays out of the armed forces. In fact gay discharges actually went up under DADT. DADT did nothing to end discrimination. The homophobic pentagon came up with the standards supported by homophobic members of Congress like Sam Nunn,

          • People like you that will hand this election to the Republicans. How old are you? Grow up and learn your history. Do you think the gay community overwhelmingly supports the Clinton’s if they are anti-gay?

      • Super quick with that socialist word there.

        Yet, you seem to forget that it was the Clintons, together with the Koch brothers’ Democratic Leadership Council that sought to exterminate progressive voices from the Democratic Party, and to force it to a more moderate centrist position that was closer to the ideals of the “far left” Republicans.

        Who stood up for progressivism against the Clintons and the Kochs “New Democrats” regime? Bernie Sanders… who stood with progressive Democrats in the House and formed the Progressive Caucus. Bernie, with Democrats.

        So to me, that seems like he’s got more in common with what Democrats are supposed to be than Hillary. And telling progressives that their candidate is a longshot and shouldn’t be voted for, is kind of what Hillary’s campaign did in 2008.

        • That’s fine and dandy but what matters is what it takes to realistically win the election not lofty ideals.

          The consequences of the GOP wining in a tight election are serious.

      • Only someone who didn’t serve before DADT would think that was a let down and only someone completely unfamiliar with the facts would blame DADT on Clinton. Please USE some other demographic for your cheap political drama. (And do a little research.)

        • You’re right I didn’t serve because I understood the situation with the military before DADT and refused to put myself in that situation. Once I was out I wasn’t going to hide or deal with the hostility. If you chose to do it then you set yourself up for the consequences at the time.

          Cheap political drama? The only one being the drama queen is you! Nothing I say and do is ever cheap!

          The battle for integrating the military was won. Gays and lesbians can now serve openly. People got over the knee jerk reaction and hysteria over it making it possible. Time to move on and stop dwelling on something that no longer matters!

    • “What nonsense” meaning “Sanders didn’t sign the pledge”? Or “what nonsense” meaning “okay he did sign the pledge meaning he hasn’t always been in favor of gay marriage, but Clinton is worse”

    • But she didnt lie about it and try to gain political adavantage for something she didn’t do. She was honest. He wasn’t

    • Clinton admitted she grew and evolved. Bernie has simply lied and lied and lied about his real position.

    • You babies seem to forget something: part of Bill’s agenda when he first ran was to ALLOW LGBTQ serving in the military to serve OPENLY, WHICH BERNIE OPPOSED.

    • What nonsense, when Bernie voted against DOMA he stated that he do so because of “states rights,” and pointedly told the people of VT that his vote DID NOT mean he supported “gay marriage.” Bernie did not vote against DADT, which by the way, if you knew anything about LGBT history, was an improvement over the previous policy which allowed the military to entrap folk.
      Your man has claimed that he was a “pioneer” in the area of LGBT rights, while Hillary admits that she has grown into it. There in is the BIG difference. Your man is misrepresenting his history, Hillary is honest about her’s’
      BTW that great pioneering action Bernie took so long ago, was voting with the majority of the city council to grant a parade permit for a pride parade 10 AFTER Stonewall.

    • so did obama- He suddently evolved on gay marraige while in office. He was opposed to gay marraige in 2008

    • You forgot DADT was supported by LGBT community, and it was an incremental progress since LGBT people was banned from military before that.

      Its difficult to make giant changes in history, least you can do, is to study some history and be grateful for the small things achieved.

      • Thank you Chris, these people are outrageous. I served under DADT and was not arrested and jailed because of it. The generation coming up doesn’t get it. DADT was the best Clinton could do to stop the arrest and discharge of gays in the military. Clinton almost lost his shirt because of his support for the gay community.

      • Exactly. A soldier who was discovered to be gay could be court martialed! Imagine that as the climate, them imagine what you could do to keep that from happening.

    • DADT was not anti gay legislation, I should know, I was a gay military service person. You don’t know your history. DOMA was the exchange so we could get ENDA, with the plan to reverse DOMA after. The Clinton’s got it done for the gay community. Hillary 2016!!

    • DADT was a great thing, I should know, I was gay and in the military. Before DADT people were being arrested, jailed, imprisoned, or discharged. DADT was passed because Clinton wanted to put a stop to the madness, this was the biggest compromise available to him, otherwise nothing would have passed. I could have been jailed if it wasn’t for Clinton. DOMA was the bargaining chip, behind the scenes, before anything actually took place, gay community leaders were told DOMA would need to happen to get other initiatives passed in negotiation, but the Clinton’s promised in time it would be repealed, and it was. It was the most sensible thing possible, there was no gay marriage already, so it was a win for us. Why do you think Human Rights Campaign is supporting Hillary? Why do you think so many gay people that are old enough to know what actually took place are supporting Hillary? The Clinton’s knew exactly how to get the ball rolling when nobody was even muttering the word gay outside of making fun of us. They put their entire political future on the line for the gay community. We also got ENDA along with DADT, this was how we started to chip away. This was great political maneuvering. Some people know how to make changes by working within our system of government, and some people know how to bark loudly. Bernie is a great Senator, but a President, NOPE. If this got done under Clinton 1, I can’t imagine what Hillary will get done in today’s more diverse and inclusive society. The pressure will be on the Republicans to expand equal access to trans people. Progress continues.

  • While I think that Bernie is too old to be running for the Presidency and looks like he might fall asleep despite his progressive ideas, let’s be realistic about the fact that pretty much every politician would have come out opposed to marriage equality back in 1982. In fact, the concept was considered a pipe dream back then, a fantasy with no chance of ever happening.

    You couldn’t even be openly gay back then without most people including your own “friends” and family wanting to ostracize you. We didn’t have many legal rights back then in most places either. Sodomy laws were still valid. People often couldn’t leave bars without young guys driving by yelling homophobic slurs and gay bashing was a common concern. It also was a time when the AIDS crises was emerging and it was depicted as a gay disease. There was a lot of backlash against gay people back then because of it. Everyone was afraid. AIDs was used against gay people to justify the advancement of their rights!

    The turning point in marriage equality really came when Obama had the courage to put his 2nd term on the line by supporting it after previously opposing it. Up until then, people felt that endorsing marriage equality was political suicide.

  • This is silly.

    Bernie supports marriage equality now, and Hillary supports marriage equality now.

    The difference is that nominating Bernie will lead to a Republican presidency and a right-wing Supreme Court that overrules marriage equality.

    • Latest polls show Bernie more likely to beat all the republican candidates than Hilary is.

      • Correct. Thanks.

        • Lol I’m just scrolling down and seeing you make these useless “correct MHM PREACH” comments when it’s pro-Bernie and then “GIMME PROOF” when it’s pro-Hillary. Nobody needs to give you proof, just Google it. I’m pretty neutral about both candidates but this kind of commenting when there is so much information at the tip of your fingers due to the amazing Internet is obnoxious. Nobody really wants to hear you say “I think this is correct”, “Seconded”, blah blah blah. Either provide your own interpretation of the argument, look up information sources yourself, or zip it.

      • Why do you think the GOP is spending millions in campaign ads for Bernie? Because they know he’s unelectable. This is America we’re talking about. An athiest-socialist in on the very bottom of the qualities the general public wants in a president. They’re going to define Bernie as just that.

    • So you’re voting for a Republican if Sanders wins the nomination? That’s pretty stupid.

    • “The difference is that nominating Bernie will lead to a Republican presidency and a right-wing Supreme Court that overrules marriage equality.” In other words… “Vote for Hillary because No We Can’t!”

    • It would be nice if you could back that assertion up with something

    • No, he doesn’t. He has said that he WILL allow churches that DISCRIMINATE against the LGBTQ community to KEEP their tax exempt status.

  • In 82, it was tough to get support for fighting for marriage equality within the LGBT community, not alone outside of it.

  • Anything to make sure a Republican wins – Let’s trash the Democrats –
    People grow and change in 34 years –
    Goldman-Sachs changed, too – It’s become rich enough to afford its candidates – and that was in 2015 – – –
    It’s stories like this that are making me more and more likely to not vote if Hillary gets the nomination – Simply to shut these arrogant azzshats up –

  • But but Bernie was only in his early forties. Hillary campaigned for Goldwater when she was 15. Did you know that?

  • Yes it would have been impossible to support the idea of Marriage Eqaulity in 82, but he was doing more than Hilary was doing In 1983, two years into Sanders’ run as mayor of Burlington, VT, local gay rights leaders planned the city’s first ever pride parade and called on the Board of Aldermen to designate June 25 Lesbian and Gay Pride Day. http://www.queerty.com/32-years-before-marriage-equality-bernie-sanders-fought-for-gay-rights-20150719

  • NEW IT… Bernie is a fake and liar

  • I’m not going to criticize Bernie’s support for gays. He has been good. But once again, he overstates to make himself look good. There is nothing wrong with being in support of marriage equality since 2009. He evolved, he progressed.

    But he claimed he was “always” for it. He wasn’t. That is a lie.

    I like how Bernie is characterized as evolving, yet Hillary is characterized as a flip-flopper, mind changer. Once again, a double standard.

  • The Clinton Surrogate should have brought along a Calculator. Thirty four years would make him “a long time supporter”, wouldn’t it ?

    • A lot of the folks reading this weren’t born when this took place. This “Surrogate” had better improve their “Surrogating” before The General Election or Republicans will have them for Lunch !

  • Yeah, except Clinton had a negative position on this in as late as 2004. She’s just looking for another dishonest smokescreen. #HRC #YesWeCANT

  • So I wonder… how many LGBT people were drummed out of the military, or kept away from their dying loved ones in hospitals, or thrown out of their homes, or actively discriminated against in housing – because Bernie apparently signed that ‘declaration’, as opposed to say… oh I dunno, DOMA? DADT?

    • You have it backwards. DADT tried to keep people who were being discharged on the mere suspicion of homosexuality. Intimacy between gay couples was still illegal in most states long after DADT. It’s hard to understand if you don’t remember the political climate, but DADT, at the time, was considered to be progress for gay rights.

      • I’m just saying that it was an incoherent position that all thinking people, including President Clinton, realized was illogical and stupid and still rallied behind. It was not so long ago that we think all people were complete idots then.

      • Along with everyone organized by HRC or NGLTF at the time, we all lobbied against DADT because it made only minor changes in existing law. It was particularly disappointing since Clinton had repeatedly promised to end the old policies and he caved under the political pressure. DADT was definitely not considered a gay rights victory, especially since it was drafted and prepared by a very homophobic Pentagon.

    • OZ, do you even think? Wonder on… How many unicorns were dumped off
      the ark. Cry for them, please, not for gay me. I don’t need douches like
      you to defend me, you $^$^#&.

  • Bernie is the best man/ woman for the job.

    When you have to reach back 34 years to find your opponent taking a position even SIMILAR to the one you have held less Han 5 years ago, then you know you’re desperate.

    I won’t vote for Hillary now if she grows a penis.

  • This piece blatantly disregards the historical and factual context of this resolution, as the included piece from which I here quote clearly demonstrates:

    “Fact #1: This is a resolution of the Board of Aldermen (which essentially is their city council) of Burlington, Vermont. A resolution is a statement supported by at least a majority of such a governing body.

    Fact #2: A mayor routinely signs proclamations and resolutions proffered by legislative bodies on a wide number of topics and subjects. Such proclamations are not bills and do not become law. Rather, they are an official statement supported by majority of a governing body.

    Fact #3: This particular resolution supports “We Believe in Marriage Week,” a nation-wide attempt to stem the rising tide of divorce sweeping the nation, which other boards of aldermen supported via similar resolutions declaring the week from February 14-20, 1982 as such.

    Fact #4: The rising divorce rate and increase in the number of out-of-wedlock children being born were of particular unilateral, bipartisan concern, according to Henderson. Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan (whom Clinton replaced when she ran for Senator in New York in 2000) issued a report in 1965 essentially decrying a condemnation into poverty, particularly of minority families, who were being broken apart due to divorce and single-parent households. The terms “family values” and “traditional marriage” did not have the anti-LGBTQ meaning in 1982 that they do today. They were, instead, bipartisan”

    More details can be found in the blog piece itself, but these things alone should make clear that this resolution has been taken completely out of context in an attempt to attack Sanders on his LGBT record.”


  • This is ridiculous. In 1982, marriage equality was not yet in play as a movement and an issue. (Yes, there had been in the 1970s some scattered attempts by same-sex couples to get married, but by 1982 those had been rejected and the issue would only truly come into play with the Hawai’i litigation in the early ’90s.)

    This resolution does not say marriage is only between a man and a woman, in denial of same-sex marriage; that political language had simply not yet arisen in 1982. Rather, it was part of an effort to try to reduce divorce rates, and refers to the partners in a marriage as “husband and wife” because that was simply the social and legal reality at the time.

    Enough with historical amnesia and historical revisionism. In 1982, using “husband and wife” was not yet code in the culture war over marriage equality, and its use here says exactly zero about anyone’s 1982 opinion on same-sex marriage. It’s quite shady to try to paint it otherwise.

  • These Clinton people are imbeciles if they think that that old ’82 resolution, which sounds harmless to me for the time and in context, would harm Sanders and help Clinton. For Clinton, she should be as quiet as possible about the harm her husband did to gay people by signing DOMA and DADT, and her tepid johnny-come-lately efforts for gay marriage. She seems fine now on gay issues, but she was dragged into it by others.

  • There are at least three mistakes in this story:

    1. The efforts of overzealous Clinton spotters (NOT “surrogates” which implies they are acting at the behest of the candidate)

    2. Wasting time writing about it (which smells of yet another underhanded “artful smear” by a Sanders supporter (notice the word “surrogate” was not used.

    3. The reporter ignores Sanders full history on LGBT rights including the following facts that disprove Sanders’ claim.“I’m not evolving when it comes to gay rights. I was there!”

    “Mark Joseph Stern took some heat on Twitter yesterday — as one does when criticizing Bernie Sanders — for pointing out that while the senator claims to have been a longtime supporter of marriage equality, he went through his own evolution on the issue. As Stern notes, while Sanders was one of only 67 members of Congress to vote against DOMA in 1996 (342 ayes), he justified his vote as an issue of states’ rights. And when he was asked about marriage equality in 2006, he again said that he opposed overturning same-sex marriage in Massachusetts because “marriage is a state issue. That’s what it is,” while preferring granting same-sex couples the right to civil unions because fighting for marriage would be too “divisive.” Per Stern, Sanders also said he would “probably not” support a bill protecting LGBT workers from job discrimination and didn’t consider LGBT rights a “major priority” as Mayor of Burlington in 1990.”

    “This is particularly troublesome for Stern given Sanders insistence that “I’m not evolving when it comes to gay rights. I was there!” as he told the New York Times’ Gail Collins. If you used to simply oppose anti-gay laws because of federalism, and you now support full equality (Sanders is a sponsor of the Equality Act), you can’t say your position hasn’t ever changed.” Read more at: http://americablog.com/2015/10/is-bernie-sanders-exaggerating-gay-rights-record.html

  • There are at least three mistakes in this story:

    1. The efforts of overzealous Clinton supporters (NOT “surrogates” which implies they are acting at the behest of the candidate) are misguided.

    2. Writing about such foolish behavior is a waste of time unless one’s aim is to create another underhanded “artful smear” of Hillary through the “guilt by (claimed) association tactic.

    3. The reporter ignores Sanders full history on LGBT rights including the following facts that disprove Sanders’ claim, “I’m not evolving when it comes to gay rights. I was there!”

    “Mark Joseph Stern took some heat on Twitter yesterday — as one does when criticizing Bernie Sanders — for pointing out that while the senator claims to have been a longtime supporter of marriage equality, he went through his own evolution on the issue. As Stern notes, while Sanders was one of only 67 members of Congress to vote against DOMA in 1996 (342 ayes), he justified his vote as an issue of states’ rights. And when he was asked about marriage equality in 2006, he again said that he opposed overturning same-sex marriage in Massachusetts because “marriage is a state issue. That’s what it is,” while preferring granting same-sex couples the right to civil unions because fighting for marriage would be too “divisive.” Per Stern, Sanders also said he would “probably not” support a bill protecting LGBT workers from job discrimination and didn’t consider LGBT rights a “major priority” as Mayor of Burlington in 1990.”

    “This is particularly troublesome for Stern given Sanders insistence that “I’m not evolving when it comes to gay rights. I was there!” as he told the New York Times’ Gail Collins. If you used to simply oppose anti-gay laws because of federalism, and you now support full equality (Sanders is a sponsor of the Equality Act), you can’t say your position hasn’t ever changed.” Read more at: http://americablog.com/2015/10/is-bernie-sanders-exaggerating-gay-rights-record.html

    • You wrote voluminously but we can’t tell your point. What’s your conclusion, knowing as much or as little as you do?

    • DOMA was designed to allow the federal government and opposing states from having to recognize gay marriages adopted by progressive states. The entire debate in Congress centered on state’s rights issues. Barney Frank drafted the Democratic amendments offered on the House floor and everyone of them made states’ rights arguments. So based on that Stern must believe that Barney Frank doesn’t actually support gay rights either.

  • Bernie is full of it. He has a flip flop record on just about everything.

  • Bernie is an old kook. He is too old to be president. He has accomplished nothing in 25 yrs. Why ? He continues to push bloated high priced extremely expensive proposals that are not supported by dem or GOP. He is ineffective and should quit.

  • Bernie Sanders is a FAKE

  • Team Clinton must be getting desperate if they have to reach all the way back to the early 80s in their pathetic attempt to find something to smear him with, when even most people in the gay community weren’t all that concerned with marriage equality back then. And it’s positively absurd for that one hack to compare Sanders to Bush in any way. If anything, Clinton is far more like Bush with her neocon warhawk policies and her vote for the Iraq war.

  • This ’82 proclamation is harmless and taken out of context. Shame.

  • I personally applaud and welcome our allies for coming on-board whenever they do. I don’t judge them by some time metric. But I am not pleased when we are used like some political football, particularly when there’s hypocrisy involved. Bernie is deservedly getting admonished for his dishonesty in characterizing his support, not for being late to the table or flip-flopping.

  • If the Clinton campaign actually tries to use this as ammunition against Sanders, I would be so angry, I would change my support from Clinton to Sanders.

  • What repulsive bullshit. In 1982, things were entirely different. Let Clinton come up with her support for gay marriage at that time – you won’t find anything. She is desperate, cheated to win in IA, and losing otherwise.

  • IT WAS 1982!!!! and the resolution was not an anti-gay screed, because few could even conceive of marriage equality at that time.

  • this article will get some Republicans on Sanders side altho its total smoke and mirrored.

  • These Clinton cronies are getting desperate, thinking nobody will actually look at that document. It certainly is not intended to affirm an exclusionary definition of marriage. The phrase “husband and wife” is incidental to the rest of the document, and it’s clear Sanders did not write it but rubber-stamped a signature for some bullshit fake holiday.

    Oh, and it was 1982, dummies.

  • 1982. Not even Gay advocacy groups were campaigning for marriage in 1982. Andrew Sullivan didn’t publish “Here Comes the Groom” in TNR until 1989.

    This is just yet another ratfck from the Hillary campaign. The fact that Bernie voted against DOMA and DADT while Hillary was in the White House is astronomically more significant than Bernie in 19-eighty-fckin-two supporting a pro-marriage rally.

  • Wow, this is REALLY reading into the resolution too much, don’t you think? I mean, think back to 1982. What was the biggest ‘affront’ to marriage? DIVORCE. Not same-sex marriage. So you’re going to ding him for advocating a week devoted to strengthening marriage in the face of divorce??

    In fact, one of the earliest voices for same-sex marriage was Andrew Sullivan, in an essay for the New Republic. In 1989. And many gay organizations criticized him for it, accusing him of wanting the community to assimilate into the “straight culture” by legitimizing their relationships through marriage! This was a full SEVEN YEARS AFTER this resolution!

  • “The third “whereas” for resolution says marriage “should be viewed as a lifelong commitment between husband and wife filled with mutual respect and open, honest communications.”

    Reading Comprehension troubles ? … I see NOTHING that says Male and Female

  • In 1982, did we have the same loaded language around words like “wife?”

    As much as I’d like to just trust the word of a faceless journalist, how do I know this wasn’t a resolution promoting monogamy?

  • I am gay and served when DADT was enacted. How dare you lie about the Clintons and what they did for me and other gays that were being arrested and jailed. Do you not know this had to be negotiated with Republicans. This was the start of the gay rights movement at a national legal level. How dare you lie about hero’s of the gay community.

    • I didn’t “lie” about the Clintons, and I’ll be delighted to see them back in the White House. All the republicans running for president are anti-gay and I wouldn’t think of voting for any of them, for that and several other reasons. The Clintons (and Obama) have definitely come around on their views about gay rights.

      The article was about misguided Clinton supporters who were attacking Sanders’s record on gay rights based on an innocuous proclamation. See my lengthy comment above. I still think DADT and DOMA were stupid laws.

  • Sanders stated in 2006 that marriage was a state’s rights issue.

    Bernie Sanders 2006 Senate Debate – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGK7N7S_40M

    Sanders on Immigration with Lou Dobbs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38M9vfg4TPE


  • “As a whole, the document promotes marriage as a “cornerstone of the American society” and family as an societal institution, which could easily apply to married gay people.”

    Gee and here to my knowledge in the US, there WERE NO GAY MARRAIGES IN 1982, so HOW could this be? I call BULL!

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