Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rep. Elijah Cummings Comes Out of Closet on Hesitation About Marriage Equality // Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger Still Hiding

PLUS: Rep. Elijah Cummings & Dutch Ruppersberger Reject DOMA Repeal Effort

As we get closer to the November showdown over marriage equality in Maryland, we are finding out more about the character of our members of Congress. We previously knew that six out of eight Democratic congressional nominees now support equality (John Delaney, Donna Edwards, Steny Hoyer, Wendy Rosen, John Sarbanes and Chris Van Hollen). We now know that Rep. Elijah Cummings and Dutch Ruppersberger do not appear to support full civil rights for LGBT families or the repeal of DOMA  - *rolling my eyes*

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS WEAK ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY // DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER EVEN WORSEThe Washington Blade recently conducted a survey of the Free State's eight members of the U.S. House to find out where they stand on marriage. Democratic Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger continues to hide his views on this topic, but the survey elicited a lame/weak response from Rep. Elijah Cummings (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BLADE: ...Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), whose district includes Baltimore City, said in a statement released Wednesday, “The Maryland Legislature has spoken. I respect its decision and will not oppose it. It’s now up to the voters to decide whether to uphold the law.”

The state’s remaining three House members, Republicans Roscoe Bartlett and Andy Harris and Democrat C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, did not respond to the Blade’s inquiries seeking their position on the marriage law....

Ruppersberger, considered a moderate Democrat, represents a district that includes the Baltimore suburbs and surrounding counties. LGBT activists in Maryland have expressed disappointment that he hasn’t co-sponsored any of the LGBT rights legislation that his fellow Democratic House members in the state have backed....

CONGRESSIONAL DEMS FILE AMICUS BRIEF AGAINST DOMA // REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS & DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER MISSING IN ACTION - Meanwhile, the U.S. House Democratic leadership has gone further than simply stating a preference for marriage equality. Yesterday, BuzzFeed reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 130 House Democrats filed an amicus brief calling the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. The law purports to override the U.S. Constitution's full faith and credit clause and allow states to decide whether or not to recognize marriages lawfully granted in other states. It seems like a no-brainer that DOMA should be seen as unconstitutional, especially in this day and age, but some of our Democrats appear to have served in office too long and may be out of touch. BuzzFeed reports that Rep. Elijah Cummings and Dutch Ruppersberger are the only two Maryland Democrats to reject the amicus brief (excerpt below):
BUZZFEED: One third of House Democrats broke with their leaders today and kept their names off a brief urging a federal appeals court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which limits federal recognition of marriages to those between one man and one woman.

The majority of Democrats joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's argument, which her office described in a news release as "the Democratic Members' brief," but the break among Democrats offers a glimpse at remaining divisions inside the party....

The 60 Democrats who did not sign on to today's brief are (with those co-sponsoring the DOMA repeal bill in italics):

Mid-Atlantic (9): Jason Altmire (PA), John C. Carney Jr. (DE), Mark Critz (PA), Elijah Cummings (MD), Tim Holden (PA), Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD), Allyson Schwartz (PA), Albio Sires (NJ)....

All of this nonsense must reflect either a lack of courage or an actual policy disagreement, because these Democrats are not in danger of losing their seats. I'm not sure which is worse.

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