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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:35 PM

Who was right when America needed them to be right? Who opposed DOMA in the 1996 debate?

At the time, 342 voted in favor of the law and 67 opposed it in the House of Representatives. And in the Senate, 85 voted in favor it, 14 opposed.... Here are some of the lawmakers who had the political courage to say no to DOMA when it first came up in Congress:


Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): “I rise in strong opposition to this ill-named “Defense of Marriage Act” and I do so on the basis of conscience, Constitution and constituency.”

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii): “I understand some of the people who are sponsoring this bill are on their second or third marriages. I wonder which one they are defending.”

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.): “Whether senators are for or against same-sex marriage, there are ample reasons to vote against this bill because it represents an unconstitutional exercise of congressional power.”

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.): “I recognize that my views are likely to be in the minority as well as unpopular, but this isn’t the first time I’ve come to the well to stand up for what I believe in, and it won’t be the last.”

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.): “Let us not take part in this assault on lesbian and gay Americans and their families.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.): “Discrimination is discrimination, and it is wrong.”

Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-Mich.): “I rise in opposition to this bill and I oppose it with both my head and my heart.”

Sen. Charles Robb (D-Va.): “I feel very strongly that this legislation is fundamentally wrong, and feeling as I do it would not be true to my conscience or my oath of office if I fail to speak out against it.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif): “To me, this is ugly politics. To me, it is about dividing us instead of bringing us together. To me, it is about scapegoating. To me, it is a diversion from what we should be doing.”

Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.): “These couples are not hurting us with their actions, in fact they may be helping us by showing us that love can indeed conquer prejudice and hatred.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.): “The arguments against gay and lesbian marriage are essentially the same argument that we used to hear against black-white marriages.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.): “This bill isn’t conservative. It’s Big Brother to the core. My judgment is this is a subject that the federal government ought not stick its nose into.”

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.): “Why do you want to destroy the love they hold in their hearts? Why do you want to crush their hopes, their dreams, their unions, their aspirations? We are talking about human beings, people like you.”

Rep. Steve Gunderson (R-Wis.): “Why shouldn’t my partner of 13 years be entitled to the same health insurance and survivor’s benefits that individuals around here, my colleagues with second and third wives are able to give to them?”

Rep. Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii): “It seems to be quite apparent that our court system is going to yield a decision which will validate same-sex marriage.”

Rep. Gerry Studds (D-Mass.): “We are going to prevail, Mr. Chairman. And we’re going to prevail just as every other component of the Civil Rights movement in this country has prevailed.”

Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.): “I hope that every person on this floor who is going to look at and vote on this bill considers for a moment what the judgment of history might be if 50 years from now their grandchildren look at their debates and look at their words in support of this mean-spirited legislation, and consider the judgment that will be cast upon them then.”


http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/03/28/speaking-out-who-opposed-doma-during-1996-debate/

It's a lot easier to support marriage equality today than it was back then. These forward-thinking people deserve praise for their political courage.


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Reply Who was right when America needed them to be right? Who opposed DOMA in the 1996 debate? (Original post)
Nye Bevan Jun 2013 OP
geek tragedy Jun 2013 #1
Democracyinkind Jun 2013 #2
geek tragedy Jun 2013 #4
Democracyinkind Jun 2013 #5
dsc Jun 2013 #3
cali Jun 2013 #6
PoliticAverse Jun 2013 #7
bvar22 Jun 2013 #8
pnwmom Jun 2013 #9
limpyhobbler Jun 2013 #10

Response to Nye Bevan (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:37 PM

1. Even Paul Wellstone voted for that atrocity--his single greatest regret. nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:39 PM

2. Wow. I didn't know that.


This must be the first negative thing I've heard about Wellstone's voting record.

Still a good hit-to-miss ratio, comparing to what we have today.

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:45 PM

4. Every politician has at least one terrible, awful, hard to forgive or understand

 

vote on their record.

Someone who's good 99.9% of the time isn't bad.

Our nation would be so much better with even 10 Wellstones in there.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:47 PM

5. I couldn't agree more.


Plus, humans make mistakes, which gives them a chance to learn and evolve. I'd rather have humans representing me than some sort of infallible beings.

10 Wellstones in Washington would have saved us from allot of the stuff that we are dealing with now.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:40 PM

3. A special shout out is deserved for Chuck Robb and Bob Kerrey

both of whom did this while representing states that aren't known for being gay rights bastions. Most of the rest of that list represent places that are far more gay friendly than the average place, those two didn't.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:51 PM

6. Bernie voted against it as well. In fact, 67 reps voted against it

 

Pat Leahy, alas, vote for it. Like Wellstone, he's said it was his worst vote.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:39 PM

8. Love THIS one:

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii):[font size=3] “I understand some of the people who are sponsoring this bill are on their second or third marriages. I wonder which one they are defending.” [/font]

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Response to Nye Bevan (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:45 PM

9. I'm surprised not to see Barney Frank on the list. Does anyone know how he voted?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 03:05 PM

10. k/r. It took some guts to be for gay marriage in 1996. Especially in red or purple districts.

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