A Big Gay and Personal Thank You to Senator Dianne Feinstein

By Melanie Nathan, June 30, 2015
Sen. Feinstein officiates at same-sex couple friends wedding.
Sen. Feinstein officiates at same-sex couple friends wedding.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, my Democratic Senator from California, has been a consistent and stellar supporter of LGBT equality, both as a Senator and as a friend to many in our community. This week her Facebook page blazed in celebration after SCOTUS ruled in favor of marriage equality for all 50 of the United States of America, in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges.

Not only did she hail the decision, noting “Equality for LGBT Americans has been one of the defining civil rights issues of our time,”  but she also posted a picture, officiating at a wedding, saying:  “I had the honor of officiating the marriage of two dear friends. The joy evident in this photo is now a right for all.” 6a00d8341c2ca253ef0115700ef365970b

As we think back to the struggle for equality we should remember that Senator Feinstein was one of the few courageous Senators who voted against The Defense of Marriage Act  (DOMA), back in  September 21, 1996, long before it became fashionable for Democrats to ‘evolve’ in favor of marriage equality. It is clear that the Senator saw the Consitutional infraction and hardship that such legislation would cause.

I commend Senator Feinstein for all her hard work along this difficult journey.

Whenever we approached the Senator, as advocates, requesting assistance for those in our community who were injustly impacted by DOMA’s severe consequences, the Senator always opened her door and heart. I can attest to this on a personal level and as an advocate on behalf of Shirley Tan and several other LGBT people in the U.S.A. and around the globe.

Tan, Melanie Nathan, Car
Shirley Tan and wife Jay Mercado , Twins and Melanie Nathan at San Francisco Pride 2009.

Back in April 2009, when the Senator recognized that Shirley Tan was about to be deported because of the crushing implications of DOMA,  she went out of her way to invoke the extraordinary measure of introducing a Private Bill into Congress on behalf of Shirley.

There are many other instances where I can personally attest to how Senator Feinstein helped LGBT Americans, LGBT people in Africa and provided direct support to her constituents in California. I can without any reservation whatsoever strongly assert my pride and deep gratitude in having Senator Feinstein as my Senator.

As I noted on the Senator’s Facebook page – her support has been unwavering!

7 thoughts on “A Big Gay and Personal Thank You to Senator Dianne Feinstein

  1. Reblogged this on JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
    It’s important to recognize our allies!

  2. AND on another note, my husband and I got married on Friday, ourselves! We were the first in Columbus, Georgia (Muscogee County). The probate judge and his staff were polite, professional and supportive. Believe it or not, so was the FoxNews reporter!

    Had I known the media would be there, I might have waited until Monday. . . .

    But hey, how often is it that your marriage is on the front page of the local newspaper, in the evening news, and on YouTube!

      1. Melanie,

        And before anyone asks, Jay is about to be 24 years old. He has a degree in medical care and will be re-starting his college, this Fall. Beyond that, what the future holds for us is anyone’s guess!




        We went to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, and 3-4 people recognized us and came up and congratulated us. A number of comments on the threads were discouraging, but a number were sincerely supportive. This has also enabled me to engage with the greater Columbus, Georgia gay community, whom I had not had much to do with, since moving here, last June. (Way too busy in my new jobs!).

        The Philippines remains a very “gay friendly” destination! Anyone should go. I have a HUGE number of gay friends there. Jay’s parents were very welcoming of me and glad for him.

        I enrolled Jay in my civilian Blue Cross/Blue Shield and my military DEERS and got him his ID card so he can have my military benefits. I am a portly MAJ in the U.S. Army – and need to lose about 35 pounds, yes, yes, I know, I know. Ah, well: our love is not superficial!

        Let me know, sometime, if you’d like my commentary on same-sex marriage. I’m still looking for a media outlet to publish it. It is a bit long, but it answers all the silly questions and arguments that you and I have had to deal with, this past week.

        – Jim

        1. THANKS Jim – I would love your commentary. please send to my email. Also I am so happy you are able to get the benefits for Jay that equality has brought for us. Please acknowledge that but for the Democrats we would not be in this position as a community. I am hoping to convert you from your conservative views. How does one reconcile fiscal conservatism with social issues in America today?

          1. Thanks, Melanie! I have my comment in a Word document. Please send me your email adress and I’ll shoot it to you. I don’t hink I can attach anything to a post, can I?

            I’ll shoot you my “conservative v. liberal” discussion by separate post. Rest assured, however: now that one party has finally decided to take up the cause of same-sex marriage and the candidates of the other party have decided to wage an “assault on marriage” by opposing my same-sex marriage, if Santorum, Huckabee or Jindal are on the ticket, I’ll be planning to stay at home and pop popcorn on election night, next November!

            I have moved to the South, and so the Confederate controversy is never far from me. Politicial adversaries have argued whether it was about slavery or the right to do with your property as you please and not have anyone tell you how to live your lives. Civil rights activists have always argued it was about slavery and that this was the only issue.

            Of course, it was about BOTH issues, unfortunately, the “right do do with my property” that was at stake referred to 4 million human beings and the imagined “right” of 5 million Southerners to take away the rights of those 4 million human beings and brutalize, torture, rape and even murder those human beings. The RIDICULOUSNESS of demanding your own “freedom” to deny other human beings their own freedom is, of course, stupid.

            I bring thos gross dichotomy up because it reminds me of the same-sex marriage opponents: they have argued that they are being persecuted because they are being DENIED the right to persecute others and discriminate against them. I had one person tell me “You are using this as a way to ‘persecute’ us by calling us ‘bigots!'”

            “Wait a minute,” I said. “You’ve called us ‘dirty, evil, filthy, perverted sodomites,’ and now YOU don’t want to be called A NAME?!?” Seriously????????? The hypocristy of these same-sex opponents is blindingly obviously, just as the hypocrisy of the Confederacy was, 155 years ago.

            And no, their fears of a “Liberty University” holding, denying them tax exemption for what they believe are entirely unfounded. That ruling did not deny tax exempt status for a Church because it did not believe in inter-racial marragie, but against a for-profit school. Besides, such a ruling against same-sex opponents will never happen because that would require Congress to take a stand against Muslim Mosques and deny them their tax exempt status – that is SO not going to happen.

            We celebrated the Fourth on Savannah Beach, which was great and Jay’s first USA Independence Day (though I have promised to celebrate Rizal’s birthday, next year!).

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