3 of 11 House Dems who opppose marriage equality are from Texas

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U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, for the first time publicly expressed support for marriage equality, according to the Hill.

Three of the 11 House Democrats who oppose marriage equality hail from Texas, according to The Hill.

They are Henry Cuellar of San Antonio, Gene Green of Houston and Pete Gallego of Alpine.

With the U.S. Supreme Court taking up two marriage equality cases last week, The Hill contacted all 20 Democrats in the House who either oppose marriage equality or haven’t taken a position.

Gallego is a freshman who defeated Republican Francisco “Quico” Canseco in Texas’ only swing congressional district last year. During that race, Canseco sent out a mailer falsely accusing Gallego of supporting marriage equality.

Contacted by the Hill, Gallego’s staff confirmed that he opposes marriage equality. Gallego has said he supports civil unions.

According to the Hill, “Green said the choice should be left to the individual states but didn’t address DOMA, which he’d voted to uphold, or say whether he personally supported gay marriage.”

Cuellar’s office did not respond to the Hill’s inquiries. Neither did the office of freshman Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, who is among nine additional Democrats in the House who have not indicated their position on marriage.

On the bright side, Texas Democratic Rep. Ruben Hinojosa for the first time publicly indicated that he supports marriage equality, according to the Hill.

As for Cuellar, Green and Gallego, it would appear as though they are running out of time to get on the right side of history.

—  John Wright

Majority of House Democrats from Texas decline to sign brief opposing Defense of Marriage Act

Dallas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was among four Democrats from Texas who signed the brief opposing DOMA. Five House Democrats from Texas declined to sign the brief.

With friends like these, who need enemies?

The Texas Democratic Party may have recently added marriage equality to its platform, but obviously that doesn’t mean all or even most Democratic elected officials in the Lone Star State support the plank — or have the guts to stand up for it.

In fact, a majority of U.S. House Democrats from Texas have declined to sign a court brief opposing the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.

Five of the nine House Democrats from Texas — the most from any state — are among 60 from across the country who declined to sign the friend-of-the-court brief filed Tuesday before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (BuzzFeed has a list of all 60 representatives who declined to sign the brief.)

The Washington Blade reports that 132 House Democrats signed the brief, which urges the federal appeals court to strike down as unconstitutional the the 1996 law prohibiting federal recognition of same-sex marriage. The brief was filed in Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management, in which federal employee Karen Golinski is seeking benefits for her partner.

Shelbi Day, a staff attorney for Lambda Legal, which represents Golinski, told the Blade that the brief filed by House Democrats “sends a powerful message” and “underscores just how problematic and unconstitutional DOMA is.”

“As the brief points out, DOMA is not the rational result of impartial lawmaking but rather was enacted in haste with no legitimate government purpose,” Day said. “We welcome this brief and applaud the members of Congress who have signed it.”

The four Democrats from Texas who signed the brief opposing DOMA are Reps. Lloyd Doggett, Charlie Gonzalez, Sheila Jackson Lee and Eddie Bernice Johnson.

The five U.S. House members from Texas who declined to sign the brief are Reps. Henry Cuellar, Al Green, Gene Green, Rubén Hinojosa and  Silvestre Reyes. (To his credit Al Green is a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA.)

In case you’re wondering, contact info for these five — and the rest of Texas’ congressional delegation — can be found here.

Read the full brief here.

—  John Wright