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04/19/2007


Rep. Gohmert (R-TX): Hate Crimes Bill Holding Soldiers Hostage

Gohmert

Last night on the House floor, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) attacked the Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill, which is attached to a defense appropriations bill. Gohmert says the hate crimes bill is holding soldiers hostage, preventing hate preachers from stating their opinions, and attacking the moral fabric of America.

Reps. Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, and Jerrold Nadler rebutted Gohmert's sickening diatribe.

Watch them all, AFTER THE JUMP... 

(via inlookout)

UPDATE: The House later defeated a motion to strip the hate crimes bill from the DoD appropriations bill.

Continue reading "Rep. Gohmert (R-TX): Hate Crimes Bill Holding Soldiers Hostage" »


Video: Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Introduces 'Respect for Marriage Act'

Nadler

Late yesterday, I added a few videos to my post about the introduction of legislation repealing the "Defense of Marriage Act," but Rep. Jerrold Nadler's (D-NY) intro wasn't available yet.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Bllumenauer In related news, today, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) posted a piece about how approving DOMA was the worst vote of his political career :

Having given it much thought, I was convinced that by voting for this one federal statute against the recognition of same-sex marriage, it would somehow take the steam out of the Newt Gingrich-Tom Delay Congress, which was using the homophobic right-wing agenda to mobilize their base at the expense of millions of gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual Americans. My hope was to simply move on and get to more pressing business at hand, including smaller steps for equality based on sexual orientation, like legislation against employment discrimination.

Since I was an outspoken supporter of anti-discrimination, I assumed that my calculations would be understood by my friends in the community and that we would lay this obnoxious political vendetta to rest. Wrong on all counts.

It should have been obvious to me that we would not be able to quell this assault based on sexual orientation. Far from stopping it, this vote fed the bigotry. Once Congress had put its imprimatur on DOMA, it was a logical step for the homophobes and political cynics to intensify their efforts and make permanent a ban on gay marriage in both the U.S. and state constitutions -- spawning many state initiatives and intensifying the assault.

Continue reading "Video: Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Introduces 'Respect for Marriage Act'" »


'Respect for Marriage Act' Introduced to Repeal DOMA

Domarepeal
(image via HRC)

UPDATED

U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) Jared Polis (D-CO), along with John Lewis (D-GA) and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) today introduced the 'Respect for Marriage Act', a measure that would repeal the 'Defense of Marriage Act' (DOMA). I'll be posting more details on the press conference as updates to this post as they come in.

Video clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

Nadler According to the Human Rights Campaign, the Respect for Marriage Act "would restore the rights of all lawfully married couples — including same-sex couples — to receive the benefits of marriage under federal law. The bill also provides same-sex couples with certainty that federal benefits and protections would flow from a valid marriage celebrated in a state where such marriages are legal, even if a couple moves or travels to another state...rights like Social Security survivors’ benefits, medical leave to care for an ailing spouse and equal treatment under U.S. immigration laws."

The bill has 91 co-sponsors (list here).

Bill Clinton, who signed DOMA into law in 1996, thanked the bill's  sponsors in a statement read by Nadler, The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld reports. Said Clinton in the statement: "Throughout my life I have opposed discrimination of any kind. When the Defense of Marriage Act was passed, gay couples could not marry anywhere in the United States or the world for that matter. Thirteen years later, the fabric of our country has changed, and so should this policy."

Lambda Legal called for the bill's swift passage. Said Executive Director Kevin Cathcart: "When DOMA passed in 1996 it was a gratuitous slap in the face. But now, 13 years later, there are thousands of married same-sex couples who are hurt by this law. We've come a long way in 13 years and the federal government shouldn't be in the business of deciding that some married couples are worthy of federal respect and others are not. Married same-sex couples pay federal taxes just like everyone else and have a right to the same respect, important benefits and protections as everyone else."

Said National Gay & Lesbian Task Force executive director Rea Carey: "We thank Reps. Nadler, Baldwin, Polis, Lewis and Velazquez for introducing this bill to dismantle one of the most discriminatory and far-reaching laws to emerge against our community: the so-called 'Defense of Marriage Act.' ... DOMA is and has always been an immoral attack on same-sex couples, our families and our fundamental humanity. This hateful law has only served to discriminate against people and belittle our country's heralded values of freedom, fairness and justice. It is long past time to repeal DOMA, which has left a moral scar on this country. Today marks an important step toward closing an ugly chapter in our nation's history, and for working to ensure same-sex couples and our families are treated fairly. Too many families have been hurt for far too long because of DOMA."

Rep. Barney Frank, the third openly gay member of Congress, said last week he was not putting his support behind the bill because he doesn't feel it has the votes to pass in the near term, suggesting that lawsuits currently underway challenging DOMA have a better chance of getting the law overturned.

Nadler was unfazed by Frank's assertions: "Mr. Frank knows better than anyone that our opponents will falsely claim that any DOMA repeal bill 'exports marriage' in an effort to generate fear and misunderstanding. But the dishonest tactics of our opponents should not stop us from aggressively pushing to end this horrific discrimination now. Our bill does not tell any state who it must marry or what marriage it must recognize under state law.

Videos of David Wilson, a member of HRC’s Board of Directors and a plaintiff in the Goodridge case, HRC President Joe Solmonese, Dawn BarbouRoske and Jen BarbouRoske, and Congressman Jared Polis, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Respect for Marriage Act' Introduced to Repeal DOMA" »


Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) to Introduce DOMA Repeal Bill Tuesday

I mentioned this briefly yesterday, but the Washington Blade has more details:

Nadler "Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) intends Tuesday to submit legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and answer questions at a Capitol Hill press conference. The event is set for 11 a.m. at the House Triangle, near the southern steps of the Capitol Building. Nadler first told the Bay Area Reporter that he intended to introduce a repeal bill and that the legislation would only affect same-sex marriages — not civil unions or domestic partnerships...Gay Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) will co-sponsor the legislation, but Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) hasn't signed on in support."

Frank told the Blade he doesn't feel the bill can pass in the near term: "I think getting [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act], a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and full domestic partner benefits for federal employees will take up all of what we can do and maybe more in this Congress."

Frank also said he feels that lawsuits currently underway challenging DOMA have a better chance of having it overturned than legislation.


Nadler: DOMA Repeal Would Skip Domestic Partnerships, Civil Unions

Congressman Jerry Nadler plans to introduce legislation to repeal DOMA this week or once Congress returns from August recess, according to the Bay Area Reporter, but the legislation will not concern civil unions or domestic partnerships:

Nadler "Under DOMA's Section 3 the federal government is forbidden from recognizing LGBT couples married in the six states where same-sex marriage is legal. Section 2 of the law says those states that outlaw same-sex marriages do not have to recognize legal same-sex marriages from other states. Nadler said his bill would repeal both sections of DOMA. 'We have got to repeal DOMA and have got to make sure it accomplishes for federal purposes allowing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages,' said Nadler, who led the fight to defeat a Federal Marriage Amendment that would have enshrined the same-sex marriage ban in the U.S. Constitution. 'The time for dumping DOMA is long overdue.' HRC President Joe Solmonese said it makes sense to restrict the debate over repealing DOMA only to recognition of same-sex marriage. 'We ought to start it with what we would ultimately achieve, a wholesale overturning of DOMA,' he said. Nadler said that including domestic partnerships or civil unions in his legislation 'gets very complicated' because the laws governing such legally recognized relationships are "different in every state." Also, he said it would cloud the legislation's end goal, which is ensuring all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the right to marry."

Congressman behind DOMA repeal nixes federal rights for DPs, civil unions [bay area reporter]


Group Petitions to Expand 1964 Civil Rights Act to Include LGBT

Updated

This morning, a press conference was held outside New York's historic Stonewall Inn by grassroots online group The Power announcing its LGBT Civil Rights campaign for full equality. At the presser, the group  presented U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler with a signed petition for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include LBGT status. 

Stonewall4I'll post video when it's available.

Updated: Statements by prominent leaders, AFTER THE JUMP...

 The group writes: "As President Obama prepares to host a cocktail reception at the White House for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender leaders, prominent activists and fundraisers return to the Stonewall Inn on the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots to announce a new comprehensive LGBT civil rights agenda.  At that time they will also present U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler with signed petitions from all 50 states and 36 countries supporting expansion of the Civil Rights Act to include LGBT people, marking the official launch of The Power’s nationwide petition drive and campaign demanding full equality now."

The petition will be accompanied by statements of support from prominent lawmakers and LGBT leaders. A list, is AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Group Petitions to Expand 1964 Civil Rights Act to Include LGBT " »


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