It was bad enough that President Clinton began his first term by enacting the misguided "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, but as the end of his term approached he signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act on September 21, 1996 (just in time for Election Day). It allowed states to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions and also prevented the federal government from recognizing the validity of such marriages.
Since the signing of DOMA thirty-two states (accounting for nearly 80% of the U.S. population) have added amendments to their constitutions that define marriage as the union between a man and woman. Nonetheless, eight years later Massachusetts became the first state to legalize and perform the first gay marriages. And by the end of May 2013, eleven other states and D.C. had also legalized same-sex unions.
18 years after it was enacted "Don't Ask Don't Tell" was finally repealed. How long before DOMA is also repealed? In the past few years state courts in Massachusetts and California have found the law unconstitutional and in 2011 the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend its implementation. For the time being, however, further action to implement repeal of DOMA appears to be stalled.