Alex Blaze

Congress: DOMA Repeal Introduced, Obama Condemned, Developmental Aide Threatened

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 16, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barney Frank, DOMA, foreign policy, homophobic behavior, LGBT, marriage

A bill to repeal DOMA was just introduced in the House of Representatives today. Lead cosponsors include all the gay and lesbian members of Congress, Jerry Nadler, and John Conyers; there are 69 cosponsors total. Senate Democrats are expected to introduce a DOMA repeal bill as well.

congress.jpgNo word yet on whether LGBT antidiscrimination legislation will be introduced in this Congress.

HRC also released a poll that found Americans oppose Section 3 of DOMA 51-34 (many media outlets, including Politico linked above, are saying that the poll was about all of DOMA, which is incorrect). The 15% non-response rate shows how little people care about this issue.

Another result from that poll is also being played up as part of HRC's recent talking point on marriage: Americans favor action on the economy over action on same-sex marriage. HRC has employed this defensive talking point in several localities and claims that this poll found that Americans favor work on the economy to work on DOMA 54-32. The question they draw that number from, though, is long, convoluted, proposes no specific solution to economic woes, and forces a choice between two issues on which no choice is needed (Congress can repeal/defend DOMA at the same time it helps/destroys the economy). But don't expect mainstream media to be skeptical of that poll question.

Michelle Bachmann and 80 other cosponsors introduced a House resolution to condemn President Obama for not defending DOMA. The resolution also condemned Obama for continuing to defend the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in the last Congress.

And Barney Frank introduced an amendment to discourage developmental aide to countries that discriminate against LGBT people, which was unanimously inserted into a larger finance bill in committee.

The text of the amendment reads: "The Committee urges Treasury to advocate that governments receiving assistance from the multilateral development institutions do not engage in gross violations of human rights, for example, the denial of freedom of religion, including the right to choose one's own religion, and physical persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

The word "physical" was probably put in there to keep America from banning itself from helping itself. The religion portion sounds like a trade-off for conservative Christians who believe that Christianity is the world's most persecuted religion. I'm skeptical both that this will be enforced and, if enforced, that it will do anything to help LGBT people.

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The word "physical" was probably put in there to keep American from banning itself from helping itself

That actually made me laugh out loud.

I think it was done to put the Republicans in a quandry, vote yes and be skewered by their base for supporting LGBT, or voting No and getting skewered for not supporting the church.