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Mark Foley, who cast ‘gut-wrenching’ 1996 vote for DOMA, applauds today’s Supreme Court ruling

by George Bennett | June 26th, 2013


Former Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Foley voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, but he applauded today’s Supreme Court ruling striking down a provision of the law denying benefits to married gay couples.

“Obviously I think it’s a very, very good ruling by the court. It’s one of the votes I wrestled with at the time,” said Foley, who is gay but did not go public with his sexual orientation until he resigned from Congress in 2006 in an uproar over sexually charged Internet messages he sent to congressional pages.

Foley was part of the bipartisan majority when DOMA passed the House on a 342-67 vote in July 1996. The Senate approved the law two months later on an 85-14 vote and Democratic President Bill Clinton signed it into law.

DOMA says that no state shall be required to recognize a same-sex relationship that is treated as marriage by another state. That portion of the law remains intact. Today’s 5-4 ruling invalidates a provision of the law that says for all federal laws and regulations, “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.’’

Foley said he continues to support the right of each state to define marriage. But he said he was always uncomfortable with the DOMA’s provision denying federal benefits to gay couples whose marriages were recognized by a state.

Just before the final vote for DOMA, Foley was one of 30 Republicans who joined 132 Democrats in a failed motion to recommit with instructions; Foley said that procedural vote was an attempt “to force an in-depth study” to address federal-benefits issues.

“The idea was to let the states make the decision. Regrettably, we didn’t come up with a proper way to deal with the benefits,” Foley said today. He said he voted for DOMA because, at the time, his belief in states’ rights outweighed his misgivings about the issue of federal benefits.

“The crux was that federal benefit part. I wrestled with that. That was a tough vote…It was a real gut-wrenching vote,” Foley said today.

“Had I had a chance to re-vote that bill I would have many, many times, even while I still served,” Foley said. “Today repudiates the vote and happily so for me. I’m very, very pleased.”

13 Responses to “Mark Foley, who cast ‘gut-wrenching’ 1996 vote for DOMA, applauds today’s Supreme Court ruling”

  1. same old Says:

    Another hypocrite deceitful politician who does what the party leadership tells him instead of what he thinks is right. I would say good riddance, but there are 435 more just like him up in DC. On both sides of the aisle.

  2. Robert Says:

    What an idiot! The “States right to define marriage”?? Ask any inter-racial couple how they feel about that topic. It would still be illegal in most southern states if they had their way…Either all men are created equal, or we are not. It is a human rights issue, asking a pedophile his opinion on the matter is insulting to the readers.

  3. npgator Says:

    I heard Mark Foley tell Bill Maher that at least the Replicans were honest if they had a problem with his sexuality whereast the Democrats would talk behind his back.

  4. Cheeseus Sonofdog Says:

    But he still agrees with discrimination against the unmarried. The unmarried don’t get federal benefits to share. Hey, maybe the issue is with all of these goodies? Maybe people should pay for their own love interests and spouses? Government should not be giving goodies to gays. They should be abolishing them for everyone, including the straight married couples.

  5. LW Beachboy Says:

    Foley is a disgrace to the House of Representatives and gay community. His vote on DOMA, his action while being a Congressman, are laughable. Isn’t his 15 minutes up?

  6. rob Says:

    Who cares what he thinks ? He didn’t want to get married. Doesn’t affect him one way or another. This is 20-year old news.

  7. Downtown Danny Says:

    Hey Mark – just go away.

  8. Post Critic Says:

    What do you expect from this newspaper? Two years ago this newspaper did everything that they could to promote the idea that Mark Foley should run for mayor of WPB. If you dared to question their logic about Foley’s character, they simply refused to print it in their letters to the editor. Some big-wig at the Post must have a “thing” for Mark Foley. There is nothing worse than a homophobic homosexual for which Foley fits the bill. He voted against DOMA but now he has seen the error of his ways. Who cares?

  9. SciGuy Says:

    Mark Foley will lie to save his tarnished reputation any given day. Talk about talking out of both sides of your face as most politicians do anyway. He lied about being gay for years because he didn’t want to hurt his father’s feelings – bull. Then he is giving underage Congressional Pages advice about sex and who knows what else. Still spending that campaign money of his now that his partner cannot support him anymore. He should just co slither back under that rock he crawled out from. What a farce.

  10. Micahel Cohen Says:

    I am sure the Democrats will give him all the money he wants providing he runs in Republican primaries and elections.

  11. Tax Religion NOW Says:

    Screw Foley!
    Uh… belay that order. Just ignore the worthless piece of shoeborne dog crapple.
    Ultimate hypocrite Foley worked hard to elevate and advocate religion. All organized religion — which we moronically still subsidize with our property taxes while it actually pushes divisive hate behind its phony veneer of “love” the same way cigarette companies generate cancerous death behind their veneer of stylish fun. BOtH seek wealth and power for themselves any way they can get it. Debunk and tax medæval misogynistic homophobic religions and their amoral salesmen.

  12. old days Says:

    I know Mark from the old days at LW high. He was an A-hole then and it looks like he is an A-hole now.

  13. Sludge Report Says:

    Mark Foley is made of the same political sludge as Masalotti, Newell, McCarty, Liberti, Alcee and the rest of the elected criminal alumni in Corruption County. Go away, Mark, Alaska is beautiful this time of year!

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