FEC: no gay couple political contributions

Timothy Kincaid

April 26th, 2013

Dan Winslow is competing for the Republican nomination for US Senate in Massachusetts. And in what was probably more of a statement than an inquiry, he formally asked the Federal Election Commission whether he could apply the federal election rules equally to gay married couples and straight married couples.

The answer, not surprisingly, is no. As FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub explained:

Because Mr. Winslow expressly limited his request to this narrow issue, I very reluctantly voted to answer his question in the negative. Regardless of my personal views of DOMA, I must adhere to the law until it is repealed by Congress or invalidated by the Supreme Court. I write separately to emphasize that my vote today was in no way intended to endorse the discriminatory, irrational burden that DOMA places on political participation by individuals in same sex marriages.

But he made his point. He reminded voters that even in an equality state like Massachusetts, the law still isn’t equal.

“It’s sad that in the 21st Century the federal government is still denying certain people their First Amendment rights as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution,” Winslow said in a statement. “However, I am encouraged by the FEC’s advice that I return to them as soon as DOMA is overturned and they will happily reverse their decision. I strongly believe DOMA will be overturned by the Supreme Court and I look forward to take the FEC up on its offer.”

I wish Winslow well in Tuesday’s primary election.

TampaZeke

April 26th, 2013

Well I’m glad that he’s taking up the banner of giving gay people equal rights to give to political campaigns. I can’t think of an issue that could possibly be more important to a gay family than the ability to make political donations like heterosexually married couples.

Yes, I understand the greater ramifications but the fact that Winslow limited his statement to the denial of a right to make a joint political donation seems a bit thoughtless and insulting all things being considered.

John

April 26th, 2013

Thoughtless and insulting? He probably already knew the outcome of this and only did it because he thought it would resonate with Republicans. And it probably will.

We are talking about the Republican who supported fully equal marriage rights for gay couples, aren’t we?

Timothy Kincaid

April 26th, 2013

Zeke,

Actually this goes to the very heart of institutional discrimination: the right to compete fairly in the political process.

In Massachusetts there are likely many ways in which same-sex marriages are not treated the same, but it’s not like Florida, for example. So Winslow picked the area in which he was forced to discriminate. Winslow, who has support from gay couples, is forced to discriminate against them.

We all know that this was mostly a PR effort. The number of couples who this will impact is low. It was more a chance for Winslow to distinguish himself from his competitors and to also raise an issue that most people never consider – that there are still small ways in which a legally married same-sex Massachusetts couple are reminded that they are inferior.

And it’s never an insult for someone to stand up against discrimination.

John,

Winslow is well known to be pro-gay. So, yes, in this case we’re talking about the Republicans who fully support equal marriage rights.

TampaZeke

April 26th, 2013

I only think it’s insulting that he didn’t make the point that this is just one of MANY ways where Massachusetts’ same sex marriages are treated unequally at the federal level.

I appreciate the gesture however in not making the point that this is just one of many examples it makes his actions seem baldly and purely political when I honestly believe that his intentions were more than that.

Even still I think it’s another sign of progress.

jutta

April 27th, 2013

I must confess that I find couple political contributions strange. We’re in the 21st century, women have had the right to vote for some decades. I’m not obliged to support the same political party or the same candidate as my spouse. But then I also live in a country where there is no joint tax return.

Corey Mondello

April 27th, 2013

Oh dear, I smell a rat, a gay-friendly Republican. Wondering if he is pulling a Romney, who said he was more gay friendly than Ted Kennedy when e was running for a seat in the Senate, one of his many failed attempts to be elected anything other then an a-hole.

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