MIAMI — Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, on Wednesday said that Rodrigo Lehtinen, the transgender son of U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, is the reason his mother became the first Republican co-sponsor of the House bill aimed at repealing the Defense of Marriage Act.
Rodrigo Lehtinen, is a transgender rights advocate who currently works as a a field organizer for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and in February was a trainer at the National Conference on LGBT Equality, better known as the “Creating Change” conference.
His mother, although having originally voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, has been building a steady resume of pro LGBTQ equality rights that included votes in favor of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” opposition to a bill to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage in 2006, and vocal opposition to a ban on equality rights regarding same-sex marriage in her home state of Florida in 2008.
In his tweet, Brown linked to an article citing conservatives in her district attacking Ros-Lehtinen saying “this isn’t what they signed up for.”
“They think of it as a Neanderthal way of thinking not to accept someone because of their sexual orientation. My kids just say, ‘So and so is gay.’ It’s like, ‘He likes chocolate ice cream.’ It’s a total mind shift among generations. … As new generations raise up, a lot of taboos will be laid to rest.”
Ros-Lehtinen acknowledged that she has learned a good deal about LGBTQ equality rights from her kids.