Today Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen became the first Republican to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act. The bill would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which currently outlaws same-sex marriage on the federal level. DOMA means that legal same-sex marriages in states that have marriage equality are not recognized by the United States Federal Government. This results in a number of serious problems for LGBT families, including the threat of deportation for international couples whose marriages are not taken into account in applications for residency or citizenship.
Representative Ros-Lehtinen is a Vice-Chair of the House of Representatives LGBT Equality Caucus. She was also the first Republican co-sponsor of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which would outlaw discrimination against same-sex couples who are seeking to adopt or become foster parents. After Representative Ros-Lehtinen became a co-sponsor of the bill to repeal DOMA, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York (who originally introduced the bill) called her "a tremendous ally in the world’s struggles for freedom and against oppression and discrimination” and said that her support "reminds us that the march to repeal the discriminatory DOMA is not a partisan issue. … [T]he drive to end DOMA is — and must be — a collective, nonpartisan effort that unites Americans behind a simple push for equality.”
For her brave leadership on LGBT equality Representative Ros-Lehtinen has received some backlash from opposition organizations, perhaps most vocally from the Family Research Council which wrote that the Representative was "never a big fan of family issues" and "has joined the dark side."
Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is an advocate for ALL families.
1. If you live in her district (or know someone who does) please thank her for her support and leadership!
2. Call your Representatives and ask them to become co-sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act. Visit www.capwiz.com/