Dear Friends of Marriage,
Yesterday afternoon, Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, reported on new proposed House ethics rules that would same-sex partners as "spouses" -- a clear violation of the Defense of Marriage Act.
After Roll Call inquired about the new draft rules, which had been posted on the Ethics Committee website, the rules were promptly removed from the site and have been replaced with the 2008 disclosure rules.
Given the outspoken desire of many Congressional Democrats to repeal DOMA -- and the growing implausibility of doing so in an election year -- it's hard not to be suspicious of what is going on here.
Even under the most generous interpretation, it's a clear violation of federal law. The Defense of Marriage Act states that for all purposes of federal law (including laws, rules, regulations and interpretations), "the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."
Obviously the Ethics Committee has no authority to violate the plain language of DOMA, and few on Capitol Hill can claim ignorance of DOMA's existence. Rather than an innocent mistake, this appears to be a calculated, incremental, back-door effort to undermine DOMA. A trial balloon to quietly recognize same-sex marriages under the most innocuous of contexts.
Tell Congress it didn't work! We're well on our way to building a grassroots army of two million Americans committed to keeping an eye on Congress -- to watch for just this sort of backroom attempt to undermine marriage.
The law on marriage is clear, and we won't stand for legislators trying to do an end run on DOMA -- just because they don't have the political capital to repeal it in an election year.
Please use this link to send a message to your congressman today. Make sure he's aware of this latest attempt to gain a legal foothold for same-sex marriage. Urge him to oppose these new rules, and to do anything within his power to investigate their origin. Someone obviously decided to try to sneak the new rules through, but then pulled back when they got caught. That's not work the House Ethics Committee should be doing.
In five minutes or less, you can customize and send an email to your congressman.
Then forward this message to your friends. If we all work together, we can protect DOMA and send Congress a message from every corner of America: Stop Messing with Marriage!
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542
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