A Commentary- by Melanie Nathan of oblogdeeoblogda
In response to this Article By CHRIS JOHNSON, in today’s Washington Blade “Nadler to unveil DOMA repeal bill Tuesday Frank not among legislation’s co-sponsors” at http://www.washblade.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=27153
There is so much LGBT popcorn popping on the Hill (D.C.) that it is tough to discern which bag to choose; the one with the hot popcorn or the one with cold popcorn. Then add some seasoned politicians to the mix and we are indeed coiled. Oh yes and lest I forget, the ‘not for profiteers’ whose jobs depend on partitioned successes – add them to the jumble and you indeed have a muddle.
I once promised myself that I would never use this (now cliché) phrase in my writing, but my mind falls prey to these vagabond fingers – as I do type the very word “W T F” – yes WTF, I said it ! That is what I said when I read the Article in the Blade today, at http://www.washblade.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=27153
My hero Jerrold Nadler will at 11.00 am on Tuesday next week announce his newly sponsored Bill to repeal DOMA. Did I say my hero? This extraordinarily compassionate man, whom I believe has no problem prioritizing the interests of his constituents, at whatever political cost, went the extra mile and to include in the Bill a “Certainty Provision.” This means that the marriage is transportable at a Federal level. It will not force States to marry same sex couples, but regardless of where you live as long as you got married somewhere, you will carry your Federal rights anywhere in the US.
Here is the dilemma – enter my other Congressional Hero, Rep Barney Frank, openly Gay and yet has not signed on to cosponsor this Bill with other “OUT” Representatives such as Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis. The reason apparently is because of “strategic differences.” In a nutshell he believes that the “Certainty Clause” could in fact turn out to be an impediment to the passing of the Bill.
Now I have to think about where I stand on this one. Do I support The Nadler Bill? Of course I must support the Nadler Bill. Just think – if DOMA is repealed, Binationals seeking immigration rights will automatically be included, and of course all those 1,138 benefits would apply to every gay married couple. This would have the impact of a catchall amendment to the Civil Rights Act. It would eliminate the need for some (exclude DADT/ ENDA and HATE CRIMES) of other stand alone/ piecemeal legislation and all the “non-profiteers” will have to reinvent themselves to justify their respective existences. (well almost, anyway.) We would not have to sit around waiting for the big “CIR to include UAFA – maybe- Bill… “ We would all simply climb on board for this one.
Then Frank’s statement that the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders lawsuit against DOMA, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, stands a better shot of overturning DOMA than congressional action. The lawsuit specifically targets the portion of DOMA that prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. “That’s very thoughtful, very well done,” Frank said. “That’s the way we’ll win this.”
So here is my knee jerk 2 cents worth – I think we Should embrace Nadler’s repeal Bill, with the certainty provision in and put everything each and every LGBT activist, non -profit etc has left in them into promoting and lobbying the legislation, so that if we lose the GILL case, we still win the Repeal. Imagine both simultaneously timed to synchronize the respective results. For this to happen all the LGBT organizations will have to unify as one to develop a well mastered and funded strategic plan. Egos and separate agendas aside – good leadership and it can be done. Once we can marry and we all do so, all the other still necessary Bills will pass with ease given that our de facto existence will finally have universal de jure clarity. We will be a newly empowered people and a lot more than mere facts of life. We will have our path to absolute equality.
Note Frank did say: “It’s not anything that’s achievable in the near term,” he said. “I think getting [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act], a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and full domestic partner benefits for federal employees will take up all of what we can do and maybe more in this Congress.”
If anything I think Barney Frank, who has a most brilliant mind, has made the argument for Nadler’s Bill in this statement and so…………..
Here is my challenge – cryptic as it may be-
(1) Let us find the leadership that can gather us all- Call two tier meetings/ strategic action:- to strategize and develop a Master Plan:
First Tier: Human Rights Commission, EQCA, PFLAG, COLAGE, LAMBDA LEGAL, ACLU, NAACP, Stonewall Democrats, OUT4Immigration, Immigration Equality, Log Cabin Republicans, Amnesty International, NCLR, Marriage Equality – API, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force , GLAD , GLAAD, Keshet Inc., Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Love Exiles Foundation, and whichever important group I have forgotten or not heard of; and
Second Tier:- Courage Campaign, Local groups and organizations, community centers etc.
Third Tier:- Bloggers, writers, media, social networks.
(2) Let us ALL stand 100% behind Rep Nadler’s legislation as a Priority strategy and get it pushed through to the Floor/s ASAP. Remember – the President will SIGN a Repeal of DOMA. We would have to explore if he would sign one with a Certainty Clause in it.
(3) That means drop all else and fight for Repeal of DOMA, in Mega Unity.
(4) First meeting to be held directly day after March on Washington in D.C.
(5) Once Doma is Repealed any stand alone Legislation can be pursued.
This Plan places recognition of our relationships at the fore. What makes us gay and lesbian is ultimately our relationships. Our love for our same sex partners is our common denominator and the reason we are here in the quandary as a minority that is discriminated against, is our existence in relationship to our partners, whether in commitment or not. We have children. Family law pertains to all children and ours too suffer the impact lack of rights.
So in conclusion ask yourself this question and observe the metaphor:
If you were a black person in 1989 South Africa – which would you chose:
1. The complete repeal of Apartheid; OR
2. Fighting for the enactment of legislation as stand alone separate bills as follows:-
a. discrimination in employment
b. the reservation of Jobs act
c. Repeal of the Group Areas Act
d. Legislation prohibiting Pass Laws
e. abolishment of the Racial classification Act
Now while the above is more complicated than presented for the purposes of this article – it merely illustrates the point. Get the recognition and legitimatization and the rest will be history.
: http://www.privatecourts.com; http://www.divorcemediators.us; www.oblogdeeoblogda.wordpress.com.