Bil Browning

House Dems to Boehner: What's Up with DOMA?

Filed By Bil Browning | September 26, 2011 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, gay marriage, House Democrats, John Boehner, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, sternly worded letter

A handful of House Democrats have sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner requesting a briefing on the Republican-led defense of DOMA. pretty-please.jpgThis follows another letter they sent in early April.

In a letter dated Sept. 26, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the sponsor of DOMA repeal legislation, and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) as well as gay Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and David Ciciiline (D-R.I.) seek a meeting to address concerns about defending DOMA.

"As Members who believe that DOMA is unconstitutional and support the President's decision to stop defending it, we believe that the law is not factually or legally justifiable and were interested in hearing what arguments might possibly be made in its defense," the lawmakers write.

The letter states all interested House members should be able to attend the briefing and that it could be conducted by outside counsel undertaking defense of DOMA on behalf of the House.
The lawmakers' most recent letter to Boehner focuses on the arguments that House attorneys have made in defense of DOMA. Some have been challenged as factually incorrect or a distortion of research.

What's their next move? The lawmakers will hand deliver homemade sugar cookies to GOP headquarters in a pretty basket with a note tied to it reading, "Pretty please?". (imgsrc)

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I guess Democrats will do just about anything to avoid talking about LGBT jobs while still pandering to the wealthiest segments of the community these days, won't they?

Rebecca, if there are people who care more about DOMA than they do about ENDA, perhaps they are not leaving behind some members of "the community". Perhaps they simply belong to a different community than yours. And they have the right to exist, and some of them are poor and unemployed.

There are some trans women that, no matter how many surgeries and medical treatment they have, still look to outsiders on the street as cis-man. Why do "non-passable" trans women demand to be legally recognised as women? Why do they go out dressed as women? They know the vast majority of people will not see them or treat them as women, regardless of clothes or what legal documents say. And yet they risk their jobs and safety to affirm what they know is true, and demand legal recognition of that truth. Do you understand this? It is a matter of dignity over practical matters.

What is not to understand about some gays, lesbians and bisexuals demanding that their relationships are recognised as equal, even before they have safe jobs?

I think you're missing my point. It's about a political party that out one side of its mouth is saying they're all about jobs, jobs, jobs, and out of the other only gives attention to the issues of the wealthiest and most politically connected. It's about a Democratic Party that doesn't care about what's right for America but only about what's most profitable for Democratic election coffers and most politically convenient for its members.

We can argue from now until doomsday about the relative merits of marriage versus employment rights, but the reality some choose to ignore is that when you're homeless and hungry the right to marry isn't exactly a high priority.

I agree with your opinion about the Democratic Party motivations. It characterizes most political parties in the world nowadays, and because of it I always vote for small really left or green parties.

But when trans people take the opportunity to complain about jobs every time something positive about LGB equality is mentioned, it really sounds like you don't respect LGB rights (even if you are LGB yourself). The average LGB who cares about marriage is not homeless and hungry, but neither is wealthy and selfish, regardless of what the Democratic Party thinks.

I know that many trans people are actually homeless and may desperately need ENDA, and that you may think only one LGBT issue can be dealt with at a given time. But it is not fair to expect LGB people who care about marriage to put that issue on hold (it even concerns practical matters like hospital visitation rights). If we are competing for attention, and if we are not happy when one of us advances, how can we be the same community? I don't know a good way out of this.

It may be a little easier to be happy about advances for LGB issues if it wasn't so often gained at the intentional and direct expense of trans issues. How should I feel about NH 2009 - when gay marriage and trans employment legislation was up for a vote the same day (marriage won, jobs were UNANIMOUSLY voted down as part of a deal to pass marriage)?

I'm just pretty much done with L/G people being surprised that trans folks actually remember thing that happened more than 6 months ago. I am beyond done with L/G people insinuating that trans women pointing out these events and the continuation of these same events is "divisive" or not being part oof the community. If the community is all gay all the time, it's not much of a community is it?

It'd be a moot question if they'd repealed DOMA when they controlled the Congress and White House. The didn't because, like Republicans, they're run by bigots and bigot panderers.

For the same reasons they refused to pass ENDA.

They only raise it now because Democrats, from Obama on down, are running scared. In the upcoming elections the real choice is between rejecting the twin parties of biogtry, union busting and warmongering on the one hand and building mass movements to win real change on the other.

There are no real choices in the electoral, especially between the Bigot in Chief and his rivals for the job.

Democrats and liberals have been supporting the same lesser evils for decades and getting the same political prostitutes selling them out. That's a pretty good working definition of functional political insanity.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of what 13 presidential candidates plan for DOMA, marriage equality, and related issues:

We get it, Ned. You've left this same comment on several posts now and they're getting flagged as spam by readers - which it technically is since you're not adding anything to the conversation except a plug for your site.

OK. Sorry. None of my comments were commercial plugs; MEUSA is a non-profit org, of un-paid volunteers, with no advertisers, and no traffic revenue; I was just trying to catch those who read only 1 article in a series. I'll wait to comment further until White House candidates make bigger news.