At Friday's Democratic Forum Rachel Maddow challenged Hillary Clinton to explain her comments that DOMA was a "defensive action."
Friday night Rachel Maddow asked Hillary Clinton to weigh in on Houston's just-defeated HERO equal rights ordinance, and to explain comments she had made two weeks ago in a previous interview with the MSNBC anchor about DOMA.
The conversation begins at the 1:30 mark in the MSNBC video above.
Clinton had called DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, a "defensive action" to thwart off a possible attempt of an even greater anti-gay threat: a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex couples from marrying.
Some LGBT activists responded angrily to Clinton's classification, claiming there had been no threat of a constitutional amendment, while others agreed the climate had been so anti-gay that it was possible. Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner last week authored a report stating there were no documents in the Clinton Presidential Library to prove the former First Lady's claim.
"Well, certainly, in thinking back on it, those were private conversations that people did have," Clinton told Maddow during the Democratic Forum in South Carolina. "And I am more than willing to say, again, that was something that came up in private discussions."
Clinton then quickly shifted, stressing that the "important thing is: DOMA is gone."
"Look what happened under the George W. Bush Administration when it was Karl Rove's strategy to put constitutional amendments on state ballots, which all but a few passed," the former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State added.
Calling it "a very real problem that people were concerned about," Clinton offered, "if I'm wrong about the public debate, I obviously take responsibility for that. But I think the important thing is that we are now beyond that. My husband has certainly said, and I agree with what he said, that now, thankfully, we have moved to a stage where marriage equality is the law of the land."
"What we haven't yet done is to deal with the discrimination that still exists, and try to figure out how you can help people who can now legally get married on Saturday and then get fired on Monday," she said, to great applause. "And that's the next big challenge."
Maddow then moved to the defeat of Houston's HERO equal rights ordinance and asked Clinton what went wrong, given that Houston is a "blue dot" of progressivism in red Texas.
The Democratic frontrunner agreed with Maddow, saying that HERO "is similar to ordinances in cities across America, including in other cities in Texas."
"But what the far right did, very successfully, is really engender a lot of fear and a lot of anxiety, and create this backlash against this ordinance. And they used the bathroom issue. And yet, you could go to another city in Texas, like San Antonio, and you would know that that was totally without merit, that there was no basis for it."
"I think this is a reminder that if you stand for equal rights, if you stand against discrimination, you don't just do it once and you're done," Clinton said, again to great applause. "You've got to keep fighting for it, you've got to keep standing up for it, you've got to keep moving forward."
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