Prelude to ‘Defense of Marriage’ Campaign: Civil Discrimination Against Feared or Despised Minorities America’s “Defense of Marriage” campaign against legal unions for homosexuals is the most recent example of using lofty slogans to defend the denial of civil rights to feared or despised minorities. Catholics, Mormons, Protestants, Jews, African-Americans, Asian- Americans, Native American Indians, and Polynesians have supported “Defense of Marriage” acts (DOMA) in various states even though this is an echo of racist and religious bigotry in their own histories. Even so-called “liberals” in these groups have supported DOMA laws. The persecuted sometimes become the persecutors. Reminders of the past may not change the outcome of campaigns or of legislation, but history does provide perspective for society’s winners and losers.
D. Michael Quinn