DOMA Splits GOP Leadership and Rank-And-File
June 26th, 2013
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued this brief statement after the DOMA decision was announced:
Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis and President Clinton signed it into law. The House intervened in this case because the constitutionality of a law should be judged by the Court, not by the president unilaterally. While I am obviously disappointed in the ruling, it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances. A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman
As BTB’s Timothy Kincaid pointed out, many are seeing his statement and others from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R_KY) as a sign that Republican leadership isn’t eager to take up opposition to marriage equality in the nation’s Capital. They can see the tea leaves as well as anyone. Well, almost anyone. One rank and file Congressman looked at Boehner’s statement and saw things differently:
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), speaking at a Tuesday meeting between reporters and conservative lawmakers, said he will file a constituional amendment in Congress late this week to restore DOMA. Huelskamp said he will be joined by other conservatives.
“My response to this [decision] will be later this week to file a federal marriage amendment,” he said.
When asked if leadership is likely to support efforts to restore DOMA, Huelskamp said he was encouraged by the Boehner’s statement after the ruling. “I give tremendous credit to the Speaker of House,” Huelskamp said.
Whatever Huelskamp may think he saw in Boehner’s statement, I think it’s safe to say however that DOMA’s revival will be DOA as soon as it hits the House floor.
Meanwhile, Florida Senator and possible 2016 presidential contender Marco Rubio strikes a different tone:
I believe the Supreme Court made a serious mistake today when it overstepped its important, but limited role. I do not believe that President Clinton and overwhelming bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress acted with malice or intent to ‘demean’ a class of people when they adopted a uniform definition of marriage for the purposes of federal law. The Court should not have second guessed the will of the American people acting through their elected representatives without firm constitutional justifications. The sweeping language of today’s majority opinion is more troubling than the ruling itself as it points to further interference by the Court in the years to come.
For millions of Americans, the definition of marriage is not an abstract political question, or some remote legal debate. It’s a deeply personal issue. It’s an issue that I have grappled with as well.
I believe that marriage is a unique historical institution best defined as the union between one man and one woman. In the U.S., marriage has traditionally been defined by state law, and I believe each state, acting through their elected representatives or the ballot, should decide their own definition of marriage. For the purposes of federal law, however, Congress had every right to adopt a uniform definition and I regret that the Supreme Court would interfere with that determination.
Rubio: “I’m Done” If Gays Included In Immigration Bill
June 13th, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), one of the so-called “gang of eight” Senators who crafted the bipartisan immigration bill in the Senate has said that he will withdraw his support for the bill if an amendment is approved that would allow gay people to sponsor their foreign spouses for residency.
“If this bill has in it something that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I’m done,” Rubio said Thursday during an interview on the Andrea Tantaros Show. “I’m off it, and I’ve said that repeatedly. I don’t think that’s going to happen and it shouldn’t happen. This is already a difficult enough issue as it is.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced an amendment which would allow foreign spouses of gay Americans to obtain green cards. He had originally introduced the measure last month during mark-up hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but withdrew it under pressure from both Democrats and Republicans when GOP lawmakers vowed to kill it if the amendment were approved. Some lawmakers are pinning their hopes on the Supreme Court, which is expected to issue its ruling in the next couples of weeks on the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples.
Rubio Records Robocall for NOM
November 2nd, 2012
GOP Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has been identified as a rising star in national politics, is making robocalls on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage to voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington state, where marriage equality is on the ballot (Minnesota, which is considering a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, prohibits robocalls.) And in a sign that marriage is still seen as a wedge issue, those calls are also going out to the swing states of Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Also making calls for NOM are former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Focus on the Family co-founder James Dobson.