Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:
1. Two Democratic congressman from Texas were among those who voted in favor of an anti-gay amendment on the House floor Thursday. The amendment to a Defense appropriations bill, which passed 248-175, reaffirms the Defense of Marriage Act by prohibiting the Pentagon from spending funds in violation of DOMA. The Human Rights Campaign says the amendment is “unnecessary” and called on the Senate “to reject the House’s return to using LGBT Americans as a wedge issue.” All but five Republicans voted in favor of the amendment by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., while all but 19 Democrats voted against it. Two of those 19 Democrats were Rep. Gene Green (Houston, Baytown) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (San Antonio, Laredo, Seguin).
2. In other DOMA-related news, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold the first-ever hearing on legislation that would repeal the 15-year-old anti-gay law “in the coming weeks,” according to an aide for committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, one of the sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act. Another sponsor, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, said this in response to news that the bill will get a hearing: “If Democrats and Republicans can come together to do what’s right in New York, I know we can do the same in Congress to do what’s right for all of America. Now is the time to act on the federal level.”
3. Here’s another reason why Texas Gov. Rick Perry needs to hurry up and enter the GOP presidential race: Candidates have only until Aug. 1 to sign an anti-gay Iowa group’s pledge called, “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family.” Candidates must sign the pledge to earn an endorsement from the group in the key primary state. Among other things, the pledge says that homosexuality is a choice, that homosexuality is akin to polygamy, and that homosexuality represents a public health risk. Thus far, the only candidate’s who’s signed the pledge — which also calls for banning all forms of pornography — is Michele Bachmann, but we’re pretty sure Perry can’t wait to join her.