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Rep. Frederica Wilson: As 'a firm opponent of DOMA,' I wanted to sign a pro-gay marriage brief

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, is dismayed that gay activists think she is against marriage equality -- she's not, according to Gwen Belton, her South Florida communications director.

In fact, Wilson is "a firm opponent" of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law the forbids the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex married couples.

Wilson found herself in hot water with LGBT activists over the weekend when it was reported that she was one of only 30 Democratic House members who last week didn't co-sign a marriage equality brief to the Supreme Court.

Democratic Reps. Joe Garcia, Alcee Hastings, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Lois Frankel of South Florida all signed, as did GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, did not sign, nor did Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, one of 13 Democratic senators who did not.

Wilson said she and a few other Democratic representatives didn't sign a brief because of a "technical glitch" in the House, which caused them to be left off the distribution list.

Here's the complete statement from Wilson's office:


WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Frederica Wilson strongly supports the Supreme Court amicus brief arguing for immediate invalidation of the Defense of Marriage Act.   A senior House staffer explained earlier that there was an “imperfect system” for distributing the notice for the brief and that Congresswoman Wilson’s office and other Democratic members’ offices were inadvertently left out due to a technical glitch.  As a firm opponent of DOMA, she has formally requested to be added to the list of signatories of the brief.
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson is a steadfast advocate for the LGBT community and views LGBT rights as a civil right battle of our time.  She is a Congressional co-sponsor of both the bill to repeal DOMA and the Uniting Families Act and has been recognized by Human Rights Campaign and SAVE Dade as a strong supporter of marriage equality.

U.S. Rep. Frederica S. Wilson is a second-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties. A former state legislator and school principal, she is the founder of the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, a mentoring program for young males at risk of dropping out of school.


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