A prominent Fla Republican wants federal govt to recognize same-sex marriage
We're a bit late reporting this, but U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, is the first Republican to co-sponsor a bill to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Steve Rothaus:
Eight years ago, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, said she was slowly becoming a gay-rights advocate but wasn't ready to accept same-sex married couples.
"I haven't evolved to that state yet," she told The Miami Herald in 2003. "But God isn't done with me."
Friday, several national gay-rights groups announced that Ros-Lehtinen had become the first Republican in Congress to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal a 1996 law that prevents the federal government from recognizing married gay couples.
"I have had the opportunity to speak with so many members of our community on both sides of the issue of marriage equality and, after much soul-searching, have concluded that it is time for our laws to better reflect the principles of equality that serve the better angels of our nature," Ros-Lehtinen told The Herald on Friday. "I'm a pro-life, gay rights advocate so I manage to upset many folks at any given time!"
Ros-Lehtinen was among 342 'yes' votes for the '96 Defense of Marriage Act. Now, she has become the 124th co-sponsor of the bill to repeal it.
Ros-Lehtinen, a congresswoman since 1989 and married to former U.S. Attorney Dexter Lehtinen, has said she didn't teach their children about gay rights -- she learned from them.