In an appearance on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show Friday night, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton defended her husband for signing DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) into law. DOMA, a federal law, defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Clinton justified former President Bill Clinton's support for DOMA because it was a "defensive action" to "prevent going further."
"In a lot of ways, DOMA was a line that was drawn that was to prevent going further," Clinton said. "It was a defensive action. The culture rapidly changed so that now what was totally anathema to political forces -- they have ceded. They no longer are fighting, except on a local level and a rear-guard action. And with the U.S. Supreme Court decision, it's settled."
Clinton said if her husband did not sign the bill there would be momentum to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.
"On Defense of Marriage, I think what my husband believed -- and there was certainly evidence to support it -- is that there was enough political momentum to amend the Constitution of the United States of America, and that there had to be some way to stop that," Clinton told Maddow on Friday.
Clinton's primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared on Maddow's MSNBC show Monday night to explain why voters should care which candidate supported gay rights first when he and Hillary Clinton have essentially the same positions now.
Sanders said he did not buy the Clinton argument. The democratic socialist said Clinton acted as if it were a shield to protect against banning gay marriage.
"Although I criticized Secretary Clinton on saying something that wasn't accurate. I mean, you can argue that somebody may, look, I don't agree with DOMA politically, I have to do it, you can make that argument, but you can't say that DOMA was passed in order to prevent something worse. That is just not the case," Sanders said.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), one of two members of Congress that have endorsed Sanders, said DOMA "institutionalized discrimination at the federal level."