In 2013, Mike McCurry , the White House press secretary at the time, recalled that "[Clinton's] posture was quite frankly driven by the political realities of an election year in 1996."  James Hormel , who was appointed by Clinton as the first openly gay . Ambassador , described the reaction from the gay community to Clinton signing DOMA as shock and anger.  On Hormel's account, Clinton had been the first President to advocate gay rights, push for AIDS funding, support gay and lesbian civil rights legislation, and appoint open LGBT people to his Administration. Thus his signing of DOMA was viewed by much of the community as a great betrayal.