Largely ignored by the public at large, the American Libertarian Party wrapped up their nomination process last weekend with former Republican Bob Barr taking the nomination.

Barr, who co-authored the Defence of Marriage Act while the Republican Governor of Georgia, now says he opposes DOMA, which bars the federal government from recognising same-sex marriages.

Interestingly, according to radio journalist Michelangelo Signorile, just a week ago, Barr appeared on his radio show and vowed to support DOMA.

Why the change?

As bloggers speculate, Barr beat out staunch gay rights supporter Mike Gravel for the nomination, indicating that a vow to overturn DOMA might have been his concession to cinch the nomination.

“We went back and forth about DOMA, the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution, and how, in my view, his position just didn’t gel with libertarian principles. Nonetheless, he staunchly defended DOMA,” Signorile explained.

“Then, two days later, in his acceptance speech after snagging the Libertarian Party nomination, Barr vowed that he would work to repeal DOMA.”

As Ralph Nader has done to the Democrats in years past, Barr looks too be a spoiler for the Republican Party, potentially costing the McCain campaign votes.

With this flip-flop, analysts say Barr’s standing in the Republican Party could be damaged beyond repair.

“Some political observers have cast some doubt that Mr. Barr, who once supported the Patriot Act and strict drug laws, and helped lead the impeachment of President Clinton, could energise enough in the party to make a difference.”

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