Small Change, Big News
Okay, so this actually IS news worth reporting: On Friday, Sept. 23, the very first Republican, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [FL18] of the Miami, Florida area, cosponsored H.R. 1116, the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill to repeal the despicable Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), without whose existence, there would be no need for UAFA or this site.
AmericaBlog Gay reported on August 3 that Ms. Ros-Lehtinen was just joined by New York Republican Richard Hanna as the second Republican member of the LGBT caucus in the House. The article went on to encourage that both of these Republicans also sponsor the repeal-DOMA bill:
Maybe now Hanna and Ros-Lehtinen should just take the plunge and cosponsor H.R. 1116, the Respect for Marriage Act, which repeals DOMA. They’d be the first Republican cosponsors in either the House or Senate. And, as members of the Equality Caucus, it just makes sense.
Well, now one has. Calls, letters, office visits to Mr. Hanna in his Congressional District, perhaps?
319 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
110 Genesee St., Suite 110
Auburn, NY 13021
Cortland, NY Office
18 Tompkins St.
Cortland, NY 13045
Utica, NY Office
258 Genesee St.
Utica, NY 13502
Now that the state of New York has legalized state-level (that is, “small-rights”) marriage, perhaps that event can be leveraged to persuade Mr. Hanna of the need to remove the one Federal law that is preventing all New York marriage licenses from carrying the same full legal weight.
When you talk to him, remind him that state-level marriage amounts to little more than a coupon when the vast majority of marriage rights (1,127 out of 1,400) reside at the Federal — not the State — level.
Remember: neither repeal of DOMA nor passage of UAFA will happen without both massive support among Democratic members AND significant support from Republican members. No one party can do it alone.
Fight for your meager scraps of decency, but don’t wait for full equality: in the meantime, arrange your life as best you can such that you and your loved one can remain together as long as possible. DO NOT DEPEND ON THE GOVERNMENT HELPING YOU, because they simply will not — until they finally have no other choice.