Libertarian Nominee Bob Barr Now Opposes DOMA

By admin

Originally published on Advocate.com May 27 2008 11:00 PM ET

Libertarian Party
nominee for president Bob Barr announced that he would
repeal the Defense of Marriage Act if he were elected to the
White House, according to a speech he delivered
at the party's convention on May 25.

"The Defense of
Marriage Act insofar has provided the federal
government a club to club down rights of law-abiding
American citizens, has been abused, misused, and
should be repealed, and I will work to repeal it," he
said on Sunday.

Barr, 59,
authored DOMA in 1996 as a Republican congressman for
Georgia's seventh district. In a statement about his
support for the California supreme court's recent
ruling to allow same-sex marriage, Barr said his
original intent in authoring DOMA was to ensure that each
state determine whether to legalize same-sex marriage.

"Regardless of
whether one supports or opposes same sex-marriage, the
decision to recognize such unions or not ought to be a power
each state exercises on its own, rather than
imposition of a one-size-fits-all mandate by the
federal government -- as would be required by a Federal
Marriage Amendment, which has been previously proposed and
considered by the Congress," he said in the May 25
statement. "The decision today by the supreme court of
California properly reflects this fundamental
principle of federalism on which our nation was founded."

Barr was first
elected to Congress in 1994, serving four terms in a
district north of Atlanta. He also played a key role in
President Bill Clinton's impeachment hearings. He was
defeated in 2002 after district lines were redrawn,
forcing him to run against John Linder, a popular
fellow Republican, according to The
Washington Post.

The Libertarian
National Committee's convention took place in
Denver, the site of the upcoming Democratic convention this
August. More than 650 delegates gathered to choose the
candidate in a six-round voting procedure on Sunday
afternoon. Barr beat out Mary Ruwart, a research
scientist, in the final round. The vote was 324–276,
according to the Post. Barr also won over former
Democratic presidential nominee Mike Gravel, who left
the Democratic Party over dissatisfaction about
his lack of coverage by the media as compared to
that of other Democratic candidates. Gravel, along with
former hopeful and Ohio representative Dennis
Kucinich, were the only two vying for the Democratic
ticket who fully endorsed federal rights for married
same-sex couples.

"I just ended my
political career," Gravel said to the Post. "From 15
years old to now, my political career is over, and
it's no big deal. I'm a writer, I'm a lecturer, I'm
going to push the issues of freedom and liberty. I'm going
to push those issues until the day I die." (The
Advocate
)