Monday, September 28, 2009
(CNN) -- After weeks of looking for the perfect puppy, my partner Marlon and I adopted Gia last month from the Colorado Humane Society and brought her back to Washington with us.
We wanted to make sure we adopted a small breed that wouldn't grow too large for us to bring on board the aircraft and commute with from Colorado to Washington each week.
We finally found a beautiful 11-week-old terrier mix and adopted her on the spot. Her slightly larger and noisier two brothers were there with her, and we bid them farewell and escorted our puppy to her new home.
With the health care debate temporarily on hold until House leaders bring a new bill to the floor, members of Congress have had a chance to once again address the plethora of issues on our legislative plates. For me, this meant working on important education and environmental legislation as well as speaking in favor of LGBT equality and immigration reform, while trying to spend time with Gia during her important formative weeks.
Thirteen years ago, Congress passed the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which effectively outlawed same-sex marriage. At that time, no states allowed same-sex couples to marry. It was a so-called "defense" against something that was only hypothetical at the time.
Today we have tens of thousands of married same-sex couples in this country, raising families and paying taxes in the five states that have granted them the right to marry. Both President Clinton, who signed DOMA into law in 1996, and Rep. Bob Barr, who originally authored DOMA have agreed it is time for its repeal. This law prevents states from determining what marriages to allow or not allow by second guessing them at the federal level....(Remainder.)