Repealing DOMA Isn’t Pelosi’s Priority. Shouldn’t It Be?


Sorry, kiddos, but despite all the progress individual states are making with marriage equality, it looks like the federal government will continue to lag behind — and keep the Defense of Marriage Act on the books. It’s just not a top priority for Democrats — or rather, for majority leader Nancy Pelosi. But there is an upside: Her LGBT focus is on two other pieces of terribly important legislation.

Passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and a federal hate crimes bill trump DOMA, Pelosi says. Both worthy causes, but does this mean America should sit on its hands and endure marriage discrimination in the meantime?

Pelosi’s stance appears to conflict with New York Gov. David Paterson’s moving speech yesterday, where he introduced his own marriage equality bill. “For too long, the gay and lesbian community have been told that their rights and freedoms have to wait,” Paterson said at the presser. “For too long, New Yorkers have been told that this dysfunctional government is going to make them wait for openness and real transparency. This is the real reform. The time has come to act. The time has come for leadership.”

Paterson might be speaking about New York specifically, but the message rings true across the country. And while Pelosi, if she’s not just giving lip service, should be commended for her efforts to pass ENDA and a hate crimes bill, should the type of “leadership” we permit be telling us to wait for equality?

So where do you stand? Is it enough to accomplish one piece of GLBT legislation at a time? Or should all hands be on deck to stamp out discrimination across the board … immediately?