We won in the courts last week when the Supreme Court refused to hear the DC marriage case. I wrote:
So, DC’s marriage law is safe from judicial attack. Now, we’ve got to keep our eye on those homophobic GOPers in Congress.
That didn’t take long. The homophobic GOPers in Congress are setting their sights on DC’s marriage law. Yes, they’re planning to use their power to strip rights from DC citizens. The Hill’s Molly Hooper reports:
House conservatives say they will pursue legislation that would ban gay marriage in the nation’s capital.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), told The Hill that he will push for a vote on the controversial issue in the 112th Congress. The RSC has 175 members.
“I think RSC will push for it, and I’m certainly strongly for it. I don’t know if we’ve made a decision if I’ll do it or let another member do it, but I’m 100 percent for it,” Jordan said.
This isn’t far-fetched. Republicans will use the legislative process to push their agenda. I outlined my concerns about how this could play out in November:
So, here’s the scenario that I fear: House Republicans include anti-gay language in their appropriation bills. We can’t strip that language on the House floor. Sure, the Senate won’t have similar language (we hope.) But, when the House Republicans get to conference committee with their anti-gay legislation and demand its inclusion in the final bill, who in the Senate will stop them? Not only do Democrats have a smaller caucus, a number of moderate-to-conservative Democrats are on the ballot in 2012 (Claire McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Jim Webb, Mark Pryor, Bill Nelson, Jon Tester, Kent Conrad, Joe Manchin). Think any of them will want to go out on a limb for gay issues?
Conference bills can’t be amended on the floor. The anti-gay provisions will be very small pieces of much bigger, must-pass bills. Does anyone really think Democrats are going to filibuster, for example, funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on behalf of gay marriage? And even if they tried, does anyone honestly think they’d win? And does anyone really think Obama would veto any appropriations bill “just” because it includes anti-gay language? I don’t think that’s where the White House will draw its line in the sand. I’d like to be wrong, but so far I’ve been sadly right.
Last year, Rep. Alcee Hastings tried to use the appropriations process defund the DADT discharges. The White House stopped him. Our side doesn’t play that way. The other guys do. Anyone who thinks the Republicans don’t is delusional. The Republicans will be tenacious and fight hard to include anti-gay language in any measure where it’s feasible, and the Democrats, in the Senate and the White House, will run away as far as possible, as they always do.
That’s still my concern. Unless, Obama evolves quickly on marriage and decides to fight against efforts to strip citizens of rights.
As I said in the post below, this should serve as a warning to everyone. Once legislators feel empowered to take the rights away from some, everyone’s rights are on the chopping block.