The Oral History Center is thrilled to release to the public the first major oral history project documenting the vast shift in public opinion about marriage, the consequential reconsideration of our nation’s laws governing marriage, and the actions of individuals and organizations largely responsible for these changes.
“The Respect for Marriage Act seeks to fix major gaps in federal protections for married couples," said Jo Deutsch, federal director of Freedom to Marry. "We must keep working to end every vestige of federal marriage discrimination and send this mean-spirited law to the dustbin of history.”
As Freedom to Marry’s chief lobbyist in Washington, D.C., Deutsch has been lobbying Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to ensure that, as she puts it, “Any loving and committed couple in this country that wants to get married can get married.”
On May 18, a week before the 30th anniversary of their trip to the Georgia women’s festival, they were married in Upper Marlboro. Jacob, Matthew and Bena stood at the corners of a three-sided chuppah, smiling proudly as their parents exchanged vows.
Deutsch is a liberal Democrat and earlier this year became the federal director of Freedom to Marry. She has devoted decades of her career to lobbying for unions. Deutsch’s professional raison d’être, “is to make our strongest case in D.C. with every influential player. Members of Congress, political operatives, the press corps — you name it."
Jo Deutsch, a longtime labor lobbyist, “knows the importance of working across party and ideological lines to build broad, strong coalitions and has the track-record of success in advancing legislation we need in Washington, D.C."
"When I was 8 years old," Deutsch says, "I was playing with dolls and thinking what it would be like to be married. I imagined a life like I have now. The difference is I didn't marry Ken. I married Barbie."
"The FAA concluded that requiring restraints in planes would result in more fatalities. The Association of Flight Attendants still considers that finding "totally bogus," says Government Affairs Manager Jo Deutsch.
"We're at the point where people were who started the fight for car seats 25 years ago," Deutsch says, noting that car seats now are required in automobiles in all 50 states. "We have got to educate parents."
Nor is it just the remote chance of being in a plane crash. "We have kids injured every day when turbulence hits," said Jo Deutsch, chief lobbyist for the 33,000-member Association of Flight Attendants.
After consulting flight schedules, Jo Ellen Deutsch, a lobbyist for the Association of Flight Attendants, calculated that no more than 20 flights a day would still permit smoking.
The Association of Flight Attendants hailed today's action. ''It is a vote for the lives of thousands of flight attendants in this country and of millions of passengers,'' said Jo Ellen Deutsch, manager of government affairs for the group. "This Is Really Historic."
Jo Deutsch, a lobbyist for the Association of Flight Attendants, a union that supports the ban because its members suffer prolonged and repeated exposure to the smoke of passengers, said "it still looks good" for eventual passage of the bill.