Last week, we talked about the Democratic members of the Legislature that had voted for the anti-gay marriage Constitutional amendment of 2005, and where they stood now. Along those lines, The Hill checks on the situation in Congress.
Eleven House Democrats are on record as opposing gay marriage, even as support within their party for the issue builds.
Another nine haven’t taken definitive positions in support of or against gay marriage.
Nine Democrats who voted in 2011 to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to gay couples haven’t publicly changed their positions: Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Gene Green (Texas), Dan Lipinski (Ill.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Nick Rahall (W.Va.).
Another two freshmen Democrats voiced opposition to same-sex marriage during their 2012 campaigns: Reps. Bill Enyart (Ill.) and Pete Gallego (Texas).
The nine Democrats who haven’t taken a definitive position on gay marriage are Reps. Jim Costa (Calif.), Ron Kind (Wis.), Cedric Richmond (La.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), David Scott (Ga.), Terry Sewell (Ala.), Bennie Thompson (Miss.), Pete Visclosky (Ind.) and freshman Filemon Vela (Texas).
Five of these Democrats hail from districts that voted for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, and they are perennial GOP targets: Barrow, Matheson, McIntyre, Peterson and Rahall. Obama narrowly carried Enyart’s district.
The Hill contacted all 20 offices this week as the Supreme Court considered two gay marriage cases and several Democratic senators made headlines by announcing their support for gay marriage.
Matheson, Rahall, and Gallego’s offices said they continue to oppose legalizing gay marriage.
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.
It should be noted that Romney carried Rep. Gallego’s district, which makes his stance unsurprising, but still disappointing. I discussed the issue with Rep. Green when I interviewed him last year; he said he was thinking about it but “wasn’t there yet”. As for Rep. Cuellar, well, this is another example of why so many of us are regularly frustrated by him. There’s no political reason for him to maintain this stance. I hope someone follows up with Rep. Vela on this – his lightly-used official Facebook page is here if you’re interested – because you don’t get to not have an answer. Favoring marriage equality is now the almost unanimous position among Democratic Senators, some of whom represent pretty red states. My sincere advice to Reps. Gallego, Green, Cuellar, and Vela is not to be the last Democrat to get right on this. History only waits so long. Link via Texpatriate.