Effort to Repeal DOMA Picks Up Republican Support

Jim Burroway

September 23rd, 2011

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has signed on as cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, a proposed bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Ros-Lehtinen’s consponsorship now give the RMA bipartisan support:

“I voted against the constitutional amendment defining marriage [in 2006] so I’m pleased to cosponsor the repeal of DOMA and work with my colleagues on marriage equality,” said Ros-Lehtinen, who represents Florida’s 18th district, which includes South Beach, most sections of Miami, and the Florida Keys.

Though the south Florida representative has a long history of voting in favor of LGBT rights, her decision to join 124 House Democrats in cosponsoring the Respect for Marriage Act nevertheless is a bold move, given the Republican House leadership’s defense of DOMA in multiple legal challenges after the Obama administration announced in February it would no longer defend the law.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen is vice-chair of the House LGBT Equality Caucus, where she has been supportive of anti-discrimination measures, equal access to adoption and foster parenting, and changes to the tax code to level the playing field for employer-sponsored health care.

Ryan

September 23rd, 2011

I like the idea that the Democrats are creating a “wedge issue” on the other side, just as DOMA was originally. Obviously, repeal will never happen when the GOP controls the House, but the fact that some Democrats think they’ll be able to brag in campaign ads that they voted for repeal is pretty nice.

Lucrece

September 23rd, 2011

Ileana is a hero to the community down in Florida. Through her heritage she does indeed grasp the concept of civil liberties and freedom to pursuit happiness that her party allegedly claims to advocate for.

It’s a pity the party is not more like her. I could actually be tempted by a party if it were more like Ileana.

Jerry

September 25th, 2011

I will be watching to see if she get rimaried by the teabag faction next year. If that happens I would give some money to her primary campaign, and I haven’t contributed to a Republican in a couple of decades.

cd

September 25th, 2011

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s district is something like 48-49% national Democratic voting. She has remained its rep by recently moving steadily more liberal.

The district continues to trend liberal and there simply aren’t enough Republican voters left in greater Miami/South Florida to sustain the three Republican House Rep seats there. One of the former Diaz-Balart seats is apparenly already being abandoned to shore up the other (which is nonetheless only maybe 5 years away from tipping Democratic) and IL-R is pretty much hanging on by making herself appealing to enough Democrats/Democratic leaners.

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