Well, I didn't see this one coming.
In 1996, Congress passed and Bill Clinton -- yes, that Bill Clinton -- signed into law an act known as the Defense of Marriage Act. The law had two parts: first, it created an end-run around the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution, which requires states to honor legal contracts made in other states, such as marriage licenses. Any opposite-sex couple in America can marry in one state and travel to another and not worry about whether their marriage license is valid. DOMA created a loophole so that states could choose not to recognize legally enacted same-sex marriages from other states.
The second part requires that for all federal purposes, "marriage" can only be understood as one man and one woman. This is the part that, for example, prevents legally married same-sex couples in Massachusetts and now California from being able to file joint tax returns.
The text of the law was written by Georgia Representative Bob Barr, who was a Republican at the time and apparently eager to defend his third marriage from the threat of happy homosexuals everywhere.
Fast-forward twelve years: Barr is now the 2008 Libertarian Party candidate for the presidency, and this week apologized for DOMA, saying, "As I mentioned to you all last night and I reiterate here today, standing before you and looking you in the eye, the Defense of Marriage Act insofar as it provided the Federal Government with a club to club down the rights of law-abiding American citizens, has been abused, misused and should be repealed. And I will work to repeal that."
Bob Barr, I could kiss you!
It should be pointed out here that Hillary Clinton -- yes, that Hillary Clinton -- only partially opposes DOMA. She has called for the repeal of the federal ban on recognition of legal same-sex marriages, but would leave the first provision intact, so that states can continue to selectively honor the Full Faith and Credit clause of the United States Constitution on the basis of prejudice. (Barack Obama supports DOMA's full repeal.)
So, to summarize, on the issue of civil rights for LGBT people, Hillary Clinton is now to the right of the guy who wrote the Defense of Marriage Act.