Republican Lesbian Who Helped Write DOMA, Is Now Lobbying To Repeal It

From Huffington Post:

“WASHINGTON — It has been 16 years since Kathryn Lehman was a Republican Hill staffer working on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Now Lehman’s back on Capitol Hill, in a new capacity: as a lesbian GOP lobbyist trying to repeal the law she helped write.

Things were pretty different in Lehman’s world in 1996. She was engaged to a man. Same-sex marriage wasn’t legal anywhere. And the public perception of what it meant to be gay wasn’t anything like it is now, she says.”

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2 comments on “Republican Lesbian Who Helped Write DOMA, Is Now Lobbying To Repeal It

  1. Her dismissiveness of lesbian and gay experience of 1996 makes me angry. I felt compelled to email Ms. Lehman the following:

    Hi Kathryn –

    Hope you are well. I am a lawyer in private practice in Baltimore, but I am also a long-time lesbian activist. I cannot tell you how profoundly distressing I found your remarks on the Huffington Post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/kathryn-lehman-doma_n_1341775.html?ref=mostpopular

    The internalized homophobia you had in 1996 is one thing, but you don’t get to rewrite history. I was just out of law school in 1996. I went to the University of Buffalo, where we did a significant amount of organizing around DADT repeal. We also did organizing for Karen Burstein, the first openly-lesbian candidate for attorney general in New York. She ran against Dennis Vacco, an anti-gay Republican that my law school invited as our commencement speaker in 1995. We protested that and walked out.

    I and others were deeply hurt when Clinton signed DOMA, and it emboldened us to work tooth and nail – for years – to change it. And there were all kinds of lesbians there, doing this work, day in and day out – including dykes on bikes (who are fantastic, by the way).

    I’ve attached a photo of what I was doing in 1995 when you were busy working to harm gays and lesbians.

    Thank you for your work now to undo the wrong you helped do. I really appreciate that. If I can help, let me know.

    Cathy

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