Profile in Courage: The 67 Representatives Who Said “No” to DOMA

Before I get started, I wanted to express my condolences to the Biden family for the loss of Beau Biden. Beau was a military veteran, a strong supporter of LGBT rights, and a great American in general who died long before his time and will be greatly missed.

Last year around this time, I did a two part blog post honoring the 14 Senators who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. I felt that this was important, because while support for gay marriage is a mainstream political position now, it was fairly radical in 1996. DOMA was passed with a heavy, bipartisan majority and signed by a president who painted himself as a champion of gay rights. I am immensely pleased by the fact that many of the people, including that president, who originally supported DOMA have changed positions, but it was a lot tougher to vote “nay” in 1996. I figure that since I paid tribute to the Senators who voted “nay,” I should do the same for the Representatives who did. Due to the higher number of anti-DOMA Representatives compared with Senators–67 vs. 14–I cannot profile them all the way that I did with the Senators. So, without further adieu, in no¬†particular order, here are the 67 Reps, grouped alphabetically, who stood up for gay equality when it was highly taboo!

1. John Lewis
2. Lynn Rivers
3. John Conyers
4. Barney Frank
5. Lynn Woolsey
6. Robert Matsui
7. Peter DeFazio
8. Chaka Fattah
9. Patrick Kennedy
10. Martin Sabo
11. John Williams
12. Bernie Sanders
13. Jim Moran
14. Jim McDermott
15. Steve Gunderson
16. Maurice Hinchey
17. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
18. Luius Gutierrez
19. Louise Slaughter
20. Bobby Scott
21. Joseph Kennedy
22. Barbara-Rose Collins
23. Henry Waxman
24. Ed Markey
25. Nancy Pelosi
26. Ron Dellums
27. Matthew Martinez
28. William Coyne
29. George Miller
30. Charles Rangel
31. Neil Abercrombie
32. Patsy Mink
33. Pat Schroeder
34. David Skaggs
35. George Brown
36. Tom Lantos
37. Pete Stark
38. Anna Eshoo
39. Zoe Lofgren
40. Sam Farr
41. Anthony Beilenson
42. Howard Berman
43. Xavier Becerra
44. Julian Dixon
45. Lucille Roybal-Allard
46. Esteban Torres
47. Maxine Waters
48. Jane Harman
49. Juanita Millender-McDonald
50. Frank Pallone
51. Donald Payne
52. Gary Ackerman
53. Jerrold Nadler
54. Cynthia McKinney
55. Ed Towns
56. Nydia Velasquez
57. Carolyn Maloney
58. Jose Serrano
59. Engel Elliot
60. Alcee Hastings
61. Sam Gejdenson
62. Carrie Meek
63. Sherrod Brown
64. Gerry Studds
65. Thomas Foglietta
66. John Olver
67. Louis Stokes

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