3 TX Dems want to screw 83-year-old lesbian out of 40-year partner’s estate

Thea Spyer and Edith Windsor

Back in July we reported that a majority of House Democrats from Texas had declined to sign a brief opposing the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act — despite the fact that the Texas Democratic Party had recently added marriage equality to its platform. The brief filed in July was signed by 132 House Democrats, including four of the nine from Texas.

Two months later, Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi and 144 other House Democrats filed a similar brief today in another case challenging the constitutionality of DOMA, and this time two more Democrats from Texas have signed on, bringing the total from the Lone Star State to six of nine. It’s worth nothing that today’s brief was filed on the heels of a convention at which Democrats added marriage equality — including opposition to DOMA — to their national platform.

The two Democrats from Texas who did not sign the July brief but signed today’s brief are Reps. Al Green and Silvestre Reyes. The four Texas Democrats who signed both briefs are Reps. Lloyd Doggett, Charlie Gonzalez, Sheila Jackson Lee and Eddie Bernice Johnson. The three Texas Democrats who signed neither brief are Reps. Henry Cuellar, Gene Green and Rubén Hinojosa.

Metro Weekly reports the brief filed today is in the case of Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old lesbian widow who sued the government after she was taxed more than $363,000 on assets that passed to her after the death of her wife in 2009 because the government did not recognize their marriage. The two women first met in 1963 and were married in New York in 2007 after a more than 40-year engagement.

We just wonder if Cuellar, Gene Green and Hinojosa have watched the below video about Windsor’s case.

—  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