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Congressman Randy Weber proposes DOMA redux

Timothy Kincaid

January 10th, 2014

Randy Weber (R- TX) has yet to make much of a name for himself.

Oh, in addition to his day job as an air conditioner repairman, he also was involved in local Republican committees and on the city counsel of Pearland, Texas. And that was all before being elected to the Texas House of Representatives, where he served for four years.

And when Rand Paul decided to run for Senate Ron Paul decided to retire, Weber won the Republican Party primary for Paul’s seat – after a run-off election. And while Massachusetts’ Mitt Romney did do a bit better than Weeber in his home district, he was nevertheless elected to represent Texas’ 14th Congressional District.

Now, he’s only been in office for a year so he hasn’t really had much time to find the right idea, the vehicle which will define him as a statesman.

He has written one resolution, which would “Expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the government’s scientific and technical analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline have repeatedly affirmed its environmental soundness and safety”. But that resolution is currently langering in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where Wever is a committee member. And that can’t feel good.

And he’s helped 415 Texans through casework and guided 140 families on US Capitol tours. But doesn’t get you headlines.

However, Roddy Wegle has finally found his issue. He has finally found that one position on which he can get in on the ground floor and make a name for himself.

Werber has now sponsored HR 3829: the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014.

And it’s a real doozy. Very timely. And oh so popular among those whom Weber find a common cause.

Though the text of the bill is not yet available, what it would do is require that the Federal Government change the criteria for recognition of same-sex marriages from whether they were legally licensed, performed, and recorded and instead determine Federal recognition on where the couple lived at the moment. Weger’s bill would have the Feds only recognize a marriage if the state of residency recognized the marriage, thus allowing one state to not only invalidate another state’s contracts, but to force the Federal Government to do so as well.

Now this might be a bit tricky. A couple that moved often might find themselves to be married, unmarried, married, single, civil unioned, or completely confused. Move to New York and you’re married. Move to Nevada and you file state taxes jointly but Federal taxes as single. Move to Texas and hope to God that you don’t live near Weber.

But Ronnie Webbe now has gotten some attention. The Family Research Counsel has endorsed his bill, as has the National Organization for Marriage.

And he has co-sponsors; 27 of them (all Republicans). And while many are fellow Texans with whom you may not be familiar, he’s got some big names on his bill including Joe Pitts, Doug LaMalfa, Louie Gohmert, and even Michele Bachmann, whom we all know so well.

But, alas, it looks as though he might not have been as clever as he hoped. Because this move, as timely and hot-button as he might hope, as joyously received by the stalwart defenders of “the family”, still didn’t get his name into the papers.

Oh sure, the gay blog sites took notice. And the far right disseminators of viewpoint and opinion. But otherwise nothing.

Well, okay, not exactly nothing. It is true that the Sacramento Bee did make available on their website the press release which was issued by the FRC, but otherwise the media attention was the same as if Woober farted in the wind.

No New York Times., No Chicago Tribune. No Duluth News Tribune. Not even the wacky, Moony-owned, far right, anti-gay Washington Times ran a story.

And, sadly for Weder, it’s not likely to get better. While the good ol’ boys at the local Elks Lodge may all think his proposal is a fine idea, the Republican Party leadership will bury this dog. They know that the ship has sailed and that equality is the future and they want nothing more than to have the issue behind them. Preferable before 2016 so they can blame President Obama and the Supreme Court and move on to other issues.

Alas, poor Ricky Weevil. Your second try at establishing your legacy doesn’t seem to be panning out so well. But take heart, you have another year. Maybe you’ll find a way to make everyone remember your name.

Comments

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Ben In Oakland
January 10th, 2014 | LINK

Two things.

He ran for Ron Paul’s seat, not the seat of the Man Who Wears a Poodle on His Head.

He admitted that he filed his bill before he had even read the Windsor decision. Sounds like Sarah Palin has some serious competitition in the Speak Before You Know Jack contest.

Timothy Kincaid
January 10th, 2014 | LINK

Thanks and my apologies to the poodle

David in the O.C.
January 10th, 2014 | LINK

This is the fallback position for politicians like him that are actually incapable of helping the citizens that elected them. If you don’t have a clue how to fix problems with the infrastructure, or improve the job market, or generally make life better for people living in your district… create the perfect distraction by attacking gay people.

I look forward to the day when the U.S. Supreme Court nullifies all the state bans on same-sex marriage, and I only wish I were standing in the same room with this pathetic hate-monger when he gets the news.

emcee_cubed
January 11th, 2014 | LINK

This is a serious nitpick, but you would never file a state tax return jointly if you moved to Nevada. You wouldn’t file one separately either. There is no state income tax in Nevada. For your purposes, Oregon might work, maybe? Not actually sure. (I get your point here, and it’s a good one. The specific just doesn’t work for me, being a tax preparer in Nevada with a husband I married in California.)

Steve
January 11th, 2014 | LINK

The FRC very likely wrote the bill themselves and got him to put his name on it.

Hunter
January 11th, 2014 | LINK

Steve:

My thought exactly, and it looks like it was a rush job. Any guesses as to whether Rep. Weevil had seen the bill before it was announced?

Ben in Oakland
January 11th, 2014 | LINK

The Poodle forgives.

Ray
January 11th, 2014 | LINK

Just to personalize Rupert Weddle’s bill here:

If you look a the list of co-sponsors, there he is – Ralph Hall, my little sister’s congressman whom she voted for. He’s one of the 11 Texans sponsoring the bill. I tried to tell her she was voting to have my marriage nullified. Her state senator is of the same ilk. I had no effect on her and she was the one sibling I could count on as an ally. So I started my new year by having a schism with my entire family – again. Stupid me. For not learning the first time.

I cannot but feel pain over this, Timothy. I’m from the same Pentecostal background you are but, apparently, a less literate branch. Along with finding out my sister voted for this guy, I got Duck Dynasty rubbed into my nose by several nephews who started out defending Phil Robertson’s free speech rights but when I injected myself into the conservation, the bibles came out in that special way Pentecostals have of taking a verse, saying what they think it means to them, and asserting how obvious it is that everyone they know agrees with them.

Anyway, that happened over the holidays with my sister and various blood kin and I got several emails bawling me out for hurting everyone’s feelings “at Christmas” and then every other petty dig they could think of that goes with “we’re not going to agree with your lifestyle”. I’m still reeling.

Ben In Oakland
January 11th, 2014 | LINK

Ray, sorry to hear about it. I have a lot to say on your post, but no time right now. I’ll leave it at this. Paraphrasing my late, brilliant partner, gone 18 years in a few weeks:

Your family’s attitude is never going to make you sorry that you’re gay. It’s only going to make you sorry that they’re your family. And isn’t that just too sad?

Ray
January 11th, 2014 | LINK

That’s true, Ben. Difficult as it is to admit it. I spoke to my daughter about the confrontations because she lives in Texas, very near to all of my family (I’m in California) and she’s Facebook friends with them. It was sooooo nice to hear her immediately jump to my defense. I’ve been wanting to move to Texas to be near her but with the scramble of marriage legislation such as it is, I really felt I couldn’t move there. I tried to explain that to my family members and it just didn’t phase them. Out of one side of their mouth the would say kind things about my marriage (like how my 31 years in a committed relationship was the longest of any in our family, including our parents), but then turn around and vote for people committed to nullifying my marriage.

I never had to explain the irony of this to my daughter. She brought up the subject to me. She’s my only child and all of my relatives are her only relatives who will endure because, on her mother’s side, she is the only grand child. Period. And when her mother’s side is gone, my daughter’s entire family will consist of my siblings and their offspring. She essentially will have no family. It’s been a sad turn of events for both me and my daughter. My husband is in hospice care right now and I’m sparing him the details. If my family thinks my daughter is going to express shame in the two men who raised her from infancy, they will have a rude awakening. I expect she’ll turn and never look back. Me? Sentimental old fool. It’s like having my arms and legs severed from my body. Again.

Timothy Kincaid
January 11th, 2014 | LINK

Ray, my sympathies. I hope your family some day comes to realize that keeping a family member is more important than vocalizing every arrogant and hateful thing that crosses their mind.

David Hall
January 12th, 2014 | LINK

Do I read this wrong, or does it mean that my poor parents who eloped out of state nearly 64 years ago because my dad was too young to marry in their home state without permission, weren’t really married all these years?
Even those who eloped to Gretna Green were considered married back at home.
Dumb.

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