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Christian group slams Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for seeking repeal of Defense of Marriage Act

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

A Christian group has chastised U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, as “an arrogant, anti-family, homosexualist extremist” for becoming the first Republican in Congress to co-sponsor legislation to repeal the federal ban on gay marriage.

“We’re putting her and all other Republicans on notice that if they’re going to represent themselves as Republicans, they’ve got to respect the party platform,” said Anthony Verdugo, executive director of the Christian Family Coalition in Miami-Dade County.

In late September, several national gay-rights groups announced that Ros-Lehtinen had become a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal a 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the U.S. government from recognizing married gay couples.

"I have had the opportunity to speak with so many members of our community on both sides of the issue of marriage equality and, after much soul-searching, have concluded that it is time for our laws to better reflect the principles of equality that serve the better angels of our nature," Ros-Lehtinen told The Herald. "I'm a pro-life, gay rights advocate so I manage to upset many folks at any given time!"

Verdugo said Ros-Lehtinen’s conservative constituents are not happy. “When they voted for Ros-Lehtinen, this isn’t what they signed up for,” he said.

Ros-Lehtinen was among 342 'yes' votes for the '96 Defense of Marriage Act. Now, she has become the 124th co-sponsor of the bill to repeal it.

By 2003, Ros-Lehtinen had already co-sponsored or supported a federal hate-crimes bill that protects gays from federal employment discrimination and laws that increased funding for HIV/AIDS prevention.

In 2005, she bucked Republican Party leadership and joined 70 Democrats in supporting repeal of the military gay ban.

The next year, Ros-Lehtinen said she was one of 27 Republicans who voted against a federal constitutional amendment on gay marriage.

During summer 2008, Ros-Lehtinen told Miami gay Republicans that she opposed Florida's Amendment 2, which passed the following November and banned gay marriages, civil unions and state-recognized domestic partnerships.

Later, she learned that daughter Amanda had come out as a transgender man named Rodrigo.

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This is the first time I could say YEA Ileana!!!

I think the Republican better change their "Platform" from hate and discrimination to productive government.

Sympathetic joy is when we take delight in the happiness of another instead of begrudging it. Can we allow the lives of others to be different from ours and feel happy for them? Can we rejoice for them as their happiness grows? I do not believe that happiness is a limited resource, that the more someone else has, the less there is me. I do not believe that heterosexuals have a monopoly on love, commitment, and happiness. I say, "Love the religious bigot, disagree with the religious bigotry." If Ellen Degeneres is happy in her same-sex marriage then I am happy for her too.

SHe is being blasted by the same people that she used and abused in order to get their votes and win her election. Ileana catered to her Republican Party with all of its social policies of discrimination and hate and now she is being hated and will be discriminated by right wing extremist Reactionaries that she USED AND ABUSED. Like Bob Dylan would say,"how does it feel?" What goes around comes around. its all about Karma and when it affects her personal family.

The only thing the Christians groups promote is hate and bigotry towards others who do not see their beliefs. These groups should be ashame of themselves. No Religion has no place in deciding in other peoples lives and preferences. I believe in happiness with your partner whether you are heterosexual or gay.

It is not bigotry to disagree. But if you believe it is than it is you who are a bigot against Christians.
Christians (and the majority of Americans-Christians and non-Christians alike) do not hate homosexuals they simply believe that marriage was ordained by God 1 man with 1 woman. The name calling is getting old and only shows YOUR hatred for those who disagree with you which seems to be the liberal tactic to advance their agenda but will back-fire. Tired of the immature name-calling, "racist" if you disagree with the President and Bigotted and hateful if you are not for gay-marriage. Its seems like you hate all who disagree with you. How sad.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, I understand and respect anyone changing their minds and even your position regarding the issue, that's the beauty of living in a free country. However, one of the reasons as to why you were voted into office was because you were in favor of the "Defense of Marriage Act" therefore you should continue to vote in it's favor because you were not voted in office to serve yourself but rather the people and especially those who voted for you.

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