Sen. Dianne Feinstein, my Democratic Senator from California, has been a consistent and stellar supporter of LGBT equality, both as a Senator and as a friend to many in our community. This week her Facebook page blazed in celebration after SCOTUS ruled in favor of marriage equality for all 50 of the United States of America, in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges.
Not only did she hail the decision, noting “Equality for LGBT Americans has been one of the defining civil rights issues of our time,” but she also posted a picture, officiating at a wedding, saying: “I had the honor of officiating the marriage of two dear friends. The joy evident in this photo is now a right for all.”
As we think back to the struggle for equality we should remember that Senator Feinstein was one of the few courageous Senators who voted against The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), back in September 21, 1996, long before it became fashionable for Democrats to ‘evolve’ in favor of marriage equality. It is clear that the Senator saw the Consitutional infraction and hardship that such legislation would cause.
I commend Senator Feinstein for all her hard work along this difficult journey.
Whenever we approached the Senator, as advocates, requesting assistance for those in our community who were injustly impacted by DOMA’s severe consequences, the Senator always opened her door and heart. I can attest to this on a personal level and as an advocate on behalf of Shirley Tan and several other LGBT people in the U.S.A. and around the globe.
Back in April 2009, when the Senator recognized that Shirley Tan was about to be deported because of the crushing implications of DOMA, she went out of her way to invoke the extraordinary measure of introducing a Private Bill into Congress on behalf of Shirley.
There are many other instances where I can personally attest to how Senator Feinstein helped LGBT Americans, LGBT people in Africa and provided direct support to her constituents in California. I can without any reservation whatsoever strongly assert my pride and deep gratitude in having Senator Feinstein as my Senator.
As I noted on the Senator’s Facebook page – her support has been unwavering!