Officer Sean Watkins, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2, visited Speaker of the House John Boehner’s office during his office hours to present his elected representative with 30,000 signatures from constituents in the district requesting that Mr. Boehner not defend DOMA in court.
The defense, which our own president has already said to be unconstitutional, is expected to cost taxpayers upwards of fifty million dollars at a time when Republicans are cutting funding to NPR, PBS, and even the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
Officer Watkins was not permitted to enter Boehner’s office, and was eventually locked out, even though he visited during open office hours, and is a constituent of Boehner’s. Oh, and there was the little matter of the 30,000 signatures, also Boehner’s constituents. Thankfully, the entire affair was caught on video by Get Equal. Watkins and his group were eventually arrested for their peaceful protest.
Watkins, and four other LGBT Ohio residents staged a sit in on the Speaker’s doorstep. It is difficult to imagine why Mr. Boehner predicted refusing entry to those he is employed to represent – on video – was a better alternative than simply letting the man present him with the signatures, which he will now be forced to acknowledge anyway as the entire YouTube-watching world has now been made aware of them.
Big props to Jesse Bonney, the straight man who accompanied his lesbian sister to Boehner’s office. It makes a strong statement when our straight allies stand with us. Too often the argument is framed against us as the gay community standing on our own, when that’s hardly the case. 45% of the nation supports same-sex marriage. Our parents, brothers, sisters, and extended families and friends wish us well.
This is hardly a case of five protestors wanting more for themselves, or even the 30,000 people they were prepared to represent that day. 150 million Americans believe that what Mr. Boehner is doing is wrong. Sooner or later, he is going to have to acknowledge this. The question is simply how many millions of taxpayers’ dollars is he prepared to waste on a fight he cannot win – that the country does not wish for him to fight.
Should Representative Boehner be disciplined for his unwillingness to serve his constituents?