Hillary Strategist Mark Penn Helped Shape Bill’s 1995 Opposition to Equal Rights for Homosexua

Brian Zick

John at AMERICAblog reports on Bob Shrum's claim in his new book that Bill Clinton advised John Kerry to support the Federal Marriage Amendment, i.e., the anti-gay amendment to the US Constitution that would have banned gay marriage and vitiated scores of other rights that gay couples may have, including health insurance, inheritance, child custody, parenting, and more. Shrum reports that Kerry refused to endorse the amendment. John contacted representatives for both Clinton and the Kerry/Edwards campaign, and received contradictory responses to his inquiry. The Clinton spokesman denied the story, the Kerry/Edwards staffer insisted it was true. John then revisits the history of the Clinton re-election campaign in 1995. Clinton hired Democratic strategist Mark Penn as his pollster and political adviser along with now-conservative pundit Dick Morris. (Mark Penn is also Hillary Clinton's chief strategist for her current presidential run - more on that later). Penn, Morris and Clinton had decided that Clinton was going to win the re-election based on his support for "family values." And family values meant "bashing gays." John follows quoting a 2004 Newsweek article: President Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act when he was in the White House, advised Kerry in a phone call early in the campaign to find a way to support the state bans. Kerry never considered abandoning his principles to that extent, but he also didn’t take seriously enough the threat. John concludes: It gives me no joy to bash Bill Clinton. I cannot express sufficiently how much I admire the man's intellect and his political acumen. We had lunch with him last fall, and my first thought was "this is what a real president is like." He possesses so many of the qualities that our party and our politicians lack nowadays. But the man is politically amoral. Not immoral - amoral. And he, along with his amoral campaign aide Mark Penn, are the top advisers to Hillary Clinton's presidential run. And that should give every supporter of gay rights, civil rights, or any other issue, serious pause.

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