When the partner of freshman Colorado congressman Jared Polis went to get his Congressional Spouse ID last February at Member Services, he thought the new administration had dawned a new day for same-sex partners of Congress members.
“They just snapped my picture and wrote ‘spouse’ on it,” recalled Marlon Reis, who celebrated his sixth anniversary with Polis in September, though the couple is not legally married. “It took all of five minutes — it was so easy that it gave me the impression of a semipermanent policy change.”
But the 28-year-old’s attempt to join Polis in June on a congressional delegation (known as a “CODEL” in Hill-speak) was a different story entirely.
The U.S.-Mexico Interparliamentary Meeting was being held in Seattle as an opportunity for U.S. lawmakers to meet members of the Mexican congress, and the Defense Department was providing transport for the trip. The military routinely flies congressional delegations and under House rules, members can take their spouses with them if there’s space on the aircraft (when CODELS fly commercially, spouses are responsible for their own airfare).
“A week before the CODEL, Jared’s chief of staff contacted me to say that the military was trying to block my trip,” Reis said.
In fact, Polis’s chief of staff, Brian Branton, was jumping through a series of bureaucratic hoops so that Reis would be able to accompany Polis on the flight to Seattle, just as several other spouses were doing.
“I just assumed naively that it wouldn’t be an issue,” said Branton, “but it was a huge hassle and the inequity was disturbing.”
read the whole article if you can stand the bigoted double standard.