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Gay Ally Rep. Jane Harman to Resign

Gay Ally Rep. Jane Harman to Resign


California representative Jane Harman, an early denouncer of "don't ask, don't tell" and one of the few Congress members to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, will step down from her post, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Harman, a Democrat representing Los Angeles's Venice neighborhood first elected in 1993, will announce that she plans to resign to head up the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has yet to publicly confirm her departure, but sent a message to her supporters to share her decision.

On her website, Harman touts her endorsements from organizations like Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, and the California League of Conservation Voters. Harman has a score of 100% in the last two congressional terms in the HRC's index of elected officials. In August 2009 she was one of 77 politicians who issued a letter to President Barack Obama, urging the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

In 2009 she was a cosponsor of the Community AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention Act, the Uniting American Families Act (which would have given equal rights to same-sex binational couples), and the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." She also was a sponsor of a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage at the federal level.

"As one of the 67 members of Congress who originally voted against and questioned the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, I'm hopeful that we can repair some of the damage done by that law," Harman said after introducing the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 3567) as a cosponsor.

She also voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007; the act would have banned employers from discriminating against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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