Hmm… is Kathryn Lehman the lesbian version of Ken Mehlman?
Sixteen years ago, Lehman was a Republican Hill staffer helping to write the language for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that limits the definition to marriage as between one man and one woman, reports the Huffington Post.
Then, she was chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution. She was engaged to the one man that her one womanhood would eventually marry.
Nowadays, the 52-year-old is working on the Hill as as a lesbian GOP lobbyist trying to repeal DOMA, the product of her hand. She’s also happily partnered with longtime friend Julie Conway, a political fundraiser who she really hit it of with at the 2004 RNC.
She tells HuffPo reporter Jennifer Bendery that, when she wrote DOMA in 1996, it was just a totally different time:
“There was nobody married, it wasn’t allowed anywhere. The view of gay people … it wasn’t Ellen [DeGeneres]. It wasn’t Neil Patrick Harris. It was kinky sex and women riding around on motorcycles without shirts on. That was sort of the view that the community projected as well. It wasn’t people that you know, people that you work with, people just like everybody else.”
Well, Ellen did the “Yep, I’m Gay” People mag cover in April 1997, so DOMA doesn’t quite predate it so much. And, right, all lesbians were affiliated with Dykes on Bikes® in 1996. Obviously! The worst part might be that Lehman realized what she was doing was wrong but didn’t act on it. She says of Barney Frank’s moving testimony against DOMA:
“I remember Barney Frank saying at the time, ‘I don’t understand how me being married to my partner hurts your ability to be married.’ And I remember thinking, ‘Yeah, I don’t either.’”
Well, now you’ve got the platform to reverse the harm you did, Lehman, so that your partner can receive the federal health benefits you wrote that she didn’t need back in 1996. Better work hard on that!
Photo via Holland & Knight