Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh, Heck. Rep. Joe Heck Supports DOMA. Surprise!

"Does my hair look like a sister wife's?"
No! Not at all!
The other day, encouraged by a friend who is half of a same-sex marriage (as am I), I signed an online petition against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The act has been ruled unconstitutional in part by at least one court, and the Obama Administration agreed, and has decided not to defend the law in court.  Online petitions are literally the least we can do, of course, but this one had the added benefit of sending letters--automatically--to each of our individual Congressmen. Unfortunately, my Congressman is Joe Heck.

In an extreme case of fickle, uninformed and/or abstaining voters, freshman Congresswoman Dina Titus was elected and unelected in the space of two years. I voted for Titus, but have no relative opinion of her. I didn't have time to form one! But I've never been a fan of Heck, who was a perennial candidate for something here in the Las Vegas Valley for many years. Anyway, Heck did do me the courtesy of responding to my letter, even if it was from a nondescript address ( with an equally vague subject line ("Responding to your message"). What is correspondence coming to in this country?

Anyway, here are excerpts from his letter, with my responses bolded in brackets:

Dear Mr. Greenlee,

Thank you for contacting me to share your opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I understand your concerns, and appreciate the opportunity to respond to you on this important issue.

As you may know, Dear Mr. Greenlee, [I know, Dear Mr. Heck] the Obama Administration and Attorney General Eric Holder recently stated their belief that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and as a result, will not defend the law against a legal challenge. DOMA was originally signed into law by President Clinton (P.L. 104-199) [Republicans cannot resist pointing out that Bill Clinton signed this law. They don't cite Clinton for much else, ever, and they don't point out that he now regrets having signed it.] and defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. [Among other things, including preventing the exercise of the Constitution's full faith and credit clause.] The decision by this Administration to abandon the law oversteps presidential authority. [No, it doesn't. Presidents have done this before, notably St. Ronnie Reagan.] The separation of powers clearly outlined by our Constitution gives only the Supreme Court the power to interpret the law - not the President. [And he's not interpreting the law, he's declining to DEFEND it.] Additionally, as the institution of marriage is not a right defined in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, the issue of marriage falls to the people of the states to decide, and the people of Nevada amended the state constitution to provide that definition. [In a laughably transparent campaign to "protect the sanctity of marriage." In NEVADA, home of the quickie divorce and the drive-up window, Elvis impersonator wedding.] Unless the Supreme Court decides that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, it is the responsibility of the Administration to uphold [Refusing to defend in court is not the same thing as enforcement.] the law of the land.

While I agree with President Obama when he says that marriage is between a man and a woman, [Another thing Republicans never fail to point out. Obama's unfortunate, politically expedient stance on marriage is the ONLY thing about the man Heck would likely ever cite. And Obama himself is AGAINST DOMA, and has said his opinion on same-sex marriage is "evolving."] his decision to not defend the law and the voice of the people is disappointing. Speaker of the House John [Boner] Boehner has asked that the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group meet to determine how to uphold its duty and protect the will of the states, and I support these efforts. [Kinda figured.] Please know that I understand your concerns and will follow this matter closely as it moves forward [I'm sure you will. And that you'll continue to tithe, to help support the effort].

For additional information, please visit my website, From this site you can access statements about current events or pending legislation, and receive detailed information about the many services that I am privileged to provide for Nevadans [Blah, blah, blah.].

Again, I appreciate your thoughts [No, you don't] and it is an honor to serve you in Congress [Bite me]. Your suggestions are always welcome, and if ever I may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me [Oh, I won't].

Sincerely [REALLY?],

DR. JOE [Oh my heck] HECK
Member of Congress

[Color me unimpressed, and unsurprised.]

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