Bil Browning

Rep. Earl Blumenauer: DOMA "Worst Vote of My Political Career"

Filed By Bil Browning | September 16, 2009 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, Earl Blumenauer, gay marriage, marriage equality, Oregon, Respect for Marriage Act, same-sex marriage

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) published a column on the Huffington Post today entitled, "Proudly Changing My Position on DOMA". The Congressman details his decision making process and takes responsibility for his vote.

3752024047_04a5363e4d.jpgOn July 12, 1996, I cast the worst vote of my political career. Having served in public office since 1973, that says something. While I've made other mistakes, this was different: it was a deliberate vote that I knew to be poor public policy and was against my values. I've been a strong champion of civil rights and protections based on sexual orientation since I chaired the first legislative hearing on anti-discrimination legislation in 1973. Even worse, this vote was cast after careful consideration.

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.

It's a very refreshing and candid post. Kudos to the Congressman for coming out for marriage equality. He is an original co-sponsor of NY Rep Jerrold Nadler's Respect for Marriage Act that would repeal DOMA.

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