Maryland Democrat Mikulski Pushed by LGBT Groups to Co-Sponsor DOMA Repeal

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has not signed on as a sponsor of the bill to repeal DOMA, and she's under heavy pressure to do so, reports Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

Mikulski A coalition of LGBT rights advocates — made up of Courage Campaign, Freedom to Marry and Equality Maryland — are building pressure on Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act by circulating a petition among Maryland residents asking her to support the bill.

As of Tuesday, organizers had collected more than 3,000 names for the petition encouraging Mikulski to voice support for the Respect for Marriage Act. LGBT rights advocates were set to deliver the petition to Mikulski’s Baltimore, Md., office on Friday.

LGBT rights advocates said Mikulski’s lack of co-sponsorship of the bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), is particularly striking because other elected officials in her states have voiced support for same-sex marriage and because plans are in motion to legalize same-sex marriage in the state next year.

Mikulski Pressured To Co-Sponsor DOMA Repeal [washington blade]


  1. Rick says

    Seriously, though, she is in the same age group as the Indiana lawmaker who is being crucified in another thread on this page–and her reticence is probably motivated by the same generational factors that played into his behavior (people of that generation still instinctively remain in the closet out of fear of the consequences of not doing so)…….so let’s see if the same individuals who are hammering him jump on Mikulski with the same degree of venom.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  2. dcinsider says

    Of course the fact that she’s a lesbian might also be another reason for her to support DOMA repeal, don’t you think? Or are we just ignoring her sexual orientation? Why sould she be protected from outing since she’s clearly not supporting our equality? Isn’t she as a big a hypocrite as others?

  3. dcinsider says

    Well said, Rick. I just don’t get how she is entitled to a pass here. She is not, obviously, an anti-gay bigot, but she is not an advocate here either, and she MUST be as a lesbian. If she wants to hide in the closet, she loses that privilege when there is a LGBT issue on her plate, and she hides from it. Sponsor this, or face the outing police.

  4. K in VA says

    This is the moment Mikulski has tried to avoid her entire career. I suspect she’s still convinced, after so many years of timidity, that she must maintain a hands-off attitude when it comes to equality. Like most Senate Democrats then, she voted for DOMA in 1996, but, unlike so many Republicans, she’s generally avoided overt homophobia-as-cover activities since then.

    Will she stand up for equality now?

  5. says

    @Rick: Once again, you’re confused. Unlike the Indiana lawmaker, Mikulski has a mixed but mostly pro-gay voting record, particularly in comparison to any Republicans. She certainly has not supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex couples from marrying.

    Urging her strongly and politely to co-sponsor the DOMA repeal bill is appropriate and expected. Our pro-gay VT Senator, Bernie Sanders, was not a co-sponsor, so we asked him to sign on and he did. If Mikulski does not and indicates that she wouldn’t support the bill, then she deserves criticism–but she is hardly in the same hypocritical league as Mr. I’m Not Gay But I Buy Teen Boys.

  6. mdtopdad says

    Well in my career as a chef in Baltimore,I have had the pleasure of cooking for the good senator for a christmas party one year and she was very cozy with a very attractive blonde woman. As for the party it was a real hen fest. Shame on her for not being honest with herself. Nobody cares who she sleeps with; she is a damn good legislator

  7. CPT_Doom says

    Oh please, Mikulski plays this game all the time. She hides in the closet, refuses to take a risk on a pro-LGBT issue, then someone in DC threatens to out her and she magically changes course. I would predict sponsorship by the end of September.

  8. Rick says

    @Ernie I see, so being a partial hypocrite is better than being a total hypocrite, particularly if the former is a liberal Democrat and the latter is a conservative Republican. She voted for DOMA, which, in the overall scheme of things, did a lot more damage to gay people than a state legislator in Indiana might have done by voting for some unenforcable anti-discrimination law that did not have a prayer of passing in the first place, even if he had voted for it.

    Sorry, but I fail to see the difference, especially given that she represents one of the most progressive constituencies in the country where a pro-gay vote of any kind is easy to defend, whereas the Indiana legislator in question lives in a very conservative state where such a vote would be the kiss of death to his career.

  9. says

    Actually, being a partial hypocrite is better than being a total hypocrite. Those who are lobbying Mikulski to do the right thing are also doing the right thing. She should be pressured as effectively as possible. She is persuadable; her voting record indicates that. (There is no indication Mr. Rent Boy could be persuaded to ever do anything pro-gay, hence the difference.) If she cannot be persuaded to support the bill, she should be called on that. It’s how politics works.

    My own senator, Sen. Patrick Leahy, supported DOMA. He shouldn’t have, and he has evolved. He now supports marriage equality and the repeal DOMA bill; he is a co-sponsor. This evolution came about because, unlike Mr. Hinkle, he is a decent person and he has responded to smart lobbying. Comparing the likes of Mikulski and Leahy to some screwed up anti-gay wingnut from Indiana is just silly.

    Liberal Democrats are the reason pro-gay legislation gets passed. Conservative Republicans, particularly of the hypocritical, rent boy hiring sort, are one of the main obstacles to progress.

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