A First: GOP House Member Supports Marriage Equality


Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, of Florida, has become the first sitting Republican member of Congress to unequivocally support marriage equality.

Reports the Washington Blade:

Asked by the Washington Blade whether she’s a supporter of same-sex marriage in addition to backing DOMA repeal, Ros-Lehtinen initially expressed confusion about why the question was being asked, saying, “I don’t know why you’re asking that. It’s such a weird way.” But she later affirmed she’s a supporter of marriage equality.

“Oh, yeah, I am,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “I thought you were trying to get some tricky thing here. No I am.”

Her office did not respond to Blade inquiries following up on the remarks.

If you have been following developments on the DOMA repeal front over the past year, Ros-Lehtinen’s support perhaps does not come as much of a surprise.

She of course became the first Republican House lawmaker to sign on to the Respect for Marriage Act. The legislation, which she decided to sponsor late last year, would repeal in its entirety the Defense of Marriage Act that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and therein precludes same-sex couples from the federally governed rights and benefits associated with marriage.

Ros-Lehtinen has also been the only House Republican to sign a letter petitioning the IRS to re-examine tax rules when it comes to how it treats same-sex couples who, because of DOMA, often face higher tax rates because they cannot file jointly.

During the Washington Blade question and answer session, which was held at the launch of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry at the Capitol Hill Club in D.C. on Tuesday, Ros-Lehtinen also confirmed that she does support presidential candidate Mitt Romney, but was keen to qualify that support thus: “Well I support him because of his views on the business issues and the economy. There are a lot of issues in which I disagree with Mitt Romney, but there are a lot of issues in which I disagree with members of my family. But I love them all the same.”

Romney has of course pledged to back a federal marriage amendment banning same-sex marriage.


Related Reading:

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen First Republican Sponsor of DOMA Repeal

Marriage Equality: It’s a Mainstream Value (Infographic)

Brewer’s Anti-Gay Stance Forces Appointee to Quit


Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to FArepublicans.


Donna R.
Donna R5 years ago

Thank you, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. As a republican myself, you make me very proud. I am not gay, but we hosted a gay
wedding at our home. It was beautiful! I feel that when two people are in love, they should be able to marry one another with the same rights my husband and I have. That said, I was feeling like I was not one of the better republicans, but ask me if I care. The main thing I care about now is getting rid of the socialist party that ran on the democratic ticket that is currently occupying the white house!

Danielle K.
Danielle K5 years ago

Never mind, it's on Urban Dictionary: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Tealiban

Great minds think alike, I guess.

Danielle K.
Danielle K5 years ago

Rose, my dear, the Tealiban (I have never seen this word used before, so maybe I did coin it!) has all but taken over the Republican Party. They are the fringe of the fringe, the extreme right. The Republican Party has become more and more exclusionary over the past 30-some years. Pro-choice and pro-GLBT factions are all but drummed out of the party.

When the Occupy movement was making headlines, I don't believe very many Democrats were particularly supportive of them. They did not take over the Democratic Party. There may be a few fringe elements in the party--not many--but the Democrats are not going to let some fringe group take them over.

So, excuse me, but the saner elements do prevail in the Democratic Party. What you think is so far to the left they're falling off the edge of the earth is centrist or right-leaning in almost every other industrialized nation in the world.

karen pieper
karen pieper5 years ago

if it's a lie then she's one that needs something or someone to help her because she is obviously incompable of doing it on her own. if it is the truth then thank you for the backing. i am getting so tired of hearing this or that. marriage is a civil matter, not a county matter, not a state matter, not a federal matter, as far as i know civil means city. what difference who you live with, marry, go on vacation with, it is none of my business unless it is something that is deadly or harmful. when someone says it is not right for 2 people of the same sex to be together what the hell, it's not like they are having to come over and eat with the couple. they go home to their disfunctional family and don't even think about one person that's sexually different from them. what is in your house is NOBODY's business exact the person who is paying the rent. and it is amazing how ALL this got started because one person many years ago made a statement.

Joy L.
Joy L5 years ago

I am sure behind that statement is a hidden agenda

Martin Wiescholek

Troy G is right on. This is a pure political move for her. Without the gay community in Dade-Broward County she will lose and she is one of these nut job anti-Castro ex-Cubans who just cannot get their head around that 50 years of embargo did not bring down the Cuban regime but made it worse for the people that she supposedly cares about.
Smoke and mirror. Don't put your hopes up.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

A Republican female standing up for marriage equality? What a thought! if only she will hold her ground when the party decides who deserves to be treated with equality, dignity, and respect......

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago


Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

Well, at least one GOP member isn't hiding behind religion to push biogtry.

Jeremy S.
Jeremy S5 years ago

I can only hope her support isn't purely politically motivated. Of course, it is. But I can hope there's some of her true ideology in there too.

If so, it might mean the right wing is slowly turning around. Unfortunately, though, I suspect it's just to get votes in her community.