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Senior House Democratic whip wants DOMA defense funds diverted to investigation of Trayvon Martin’s shooting

DOMA trials Right-wing

By Scottie Thomaston

Representative Mike Honda, a senior Democratic whip, piles on the criticism of Speaker Boehner’s misguided and expensive defense of DOMA that I alluded to yesterday. To recap, Boehner is facing strong criticisms from both the left and the right, legitimate political actors and hate groups alike. The decision to take up the defense of the discriminatory and costly law and the process under which the House leadership has worked has been anything but open and transparent. No one seems to be particularly happy with Speaker Boehner or the Republican House leadership and as more cases work their way through the courts, it isn’t getting any better.

Now representative Honda is speaking out again, wondering why the Republican-led House is wasting so much of their money in a desperate last-ditch effort to continue the pain inflicted upon gays and lesbians since the law’s passage in 1996 when they could be aiding the Department of Justice in investigating what is likely a racially-motivated unprovoked attack and murder of a black teenager who was walking down the street carrying Skittles and a drink:

“We can spend some of that money and address ourselves to the issue in Florida where we could do some investigation and see if there are civil rights violations,” said Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., and a senior Democratic whip team member.

It would seem to be a more substantive and productive use of time and taxpayer money to investigate civil rights violations than it is to throw $1.5 million at the defense of a law no one really likes. Certainly that is something that would unite a lot more Americans and House representatives than the costly defense of this law.

Representative Honda has addressed the House’s insistence on defending DOMA at the expense of everyone else before:

The California lawmaker has previously requested a hearing into Beohner’s “irresponsible, backdoor use of taxpayer money to pay the private law firm Bancroft PLLC to represent the House in support of the constitutionally-questionable” law. The legal team that Boehner and the Republicans hired has come under harsh criticism for arguing that homosexuality is a choice, misrepresenting research, and relying on such experts as ex-gay advocate George Rekers and the National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher.

Violations of civil rights against racial minorities are still enormous and pervasive problems, despite amending the constitution and passing much legislation designed to fight against these violations and protect racial minorities from daily injustice. It’s incredibly problematic to think that we could just ignore stories like this and that the House might not even bother to spend a little money on investigating one of the most widespread and long-term problems the country has ever faced while at the same time perpetuating injustices of a different sort against another minority group through fighting hard to uphold a blatantly discriminatory and disrespectful law that is likely unconstitutional anyway.


  • 1. Sagesse  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm


  • 2. Richard Lyon  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    But, but if they did that they might spend the money on hoodies.

  • 3. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    That would be SOCIALISM!

  • 4. Carpool Cookie  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    "It's not wrong to…treat different laws…differently!"

    (or something like that)

  • 5. Steve  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    How about the federal government charge Zimmerman with federal murder charges.

  • 6. fiona64  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Mike Honda is our representative. He is very much involved, a staunch ally of GLBT people, and concerned with the civil rights of all. I have yet to contact him without receiving a personal response in return (as opposed to some canned thing) that specifically addresses questions I asked. I hope that they listen to him.

  • 7. Kate  |  March 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I get a kick out of NOM's "DumpStarbucks" logo — clearly, that cup of coffee had to be PURCHASED before they could dump it out……….

    I did manage to get a link to Maggie's in-house emails and the internal documents that were unsealed posted at NOMblog, but it only lasted about 30 mins. before they took it down. It's pretty obvious that they do not want their "faithful" to know what is really going on with that organization.

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